All Hope Is Gone
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02. Gematria (The Killing Name)
05. Dead Memories
07. Butcher's Hook
09. The Cold Black
10. Wherein Lies Continue
12. All Hope is Gone
13. Child of Burning Time (Bonus Track)
14. Til We Die (Bonus Track)
15. Vermillion Pt. 2 (Bloodstone Mix) (Bonus Track)
16. iTunes Exclusive Track [Pre-Order Only]
After making it seem as if each release may be their last, Slipknot are back with album number four, the aptly titled 'All Hope Is Gone'. And after four releases from a band such as Slipknot, what is there to say that hasn't already been said?
They're one of few bands out there that has managed to transcend the great divide between the underground and the more commercial sect of bands that actually get played on radio and MTV. And while there are those self proclaimed self righteous 'tr00' metalheads out there (usually between 14 and 18 years old) and the elder underground elitists that claim to have nothing but hatred for bands like Slipknot, they fail to realize that if it weren't for bands like Slipknot (and Korn), some of their favorite bands may never have made it past the garage (or the burnt down church or the forest). It's not easy for a band to incorporate a godless or anti-christian message into their lyrical content and stage show, and still attain the level of success that Slipknot has.
The last artist to do that was Marilyn Manson, who wasn't ever really 'metal' to begin with. And while there may be something to be said for mixing costumes and theatrics with aggressive music, it stands to reason that those factors are only a small part of the bigger picture. If it were simply a matter of theatrics and angry music, plenty of other bands would have been just as successful (Gwar, Mushroomhead). Based on that alone, it should be plenty obvious that there's more to Slipknot than jumpsuits and masks.
As far as the music goes, All Hope Is Gone finds the band incorporating elements of their past into the new material, but never stagnating. The album, musically and lyrically, is not as tame as 'Vol. 3' was, but at the same time is nowhere near as aggressive as 'Iowa'. If nothing else, it is in many ways a good mix of both. There is an obvious amount of anger in Corey's lyrics, though that's always been the case, but the band has managed to tone down some of the more commercial aspects that were present on the last album, and have come back with a darker, more sinister tone to the music.
The other change is in the lyrical content. Whereas before, Corey was battling his own demons, this time around he's dishing out his anger on a more sociopolitical level. Dissecting, analyzing, and verbally attacking things that are going wrong outside of his personal space. There's a lyrical maturity for sure, with a much wider scope. Instead of appealing strictly to the youth of today, the lyrics can also appeal to the band's older fanbase that have grown up with them. By appealing to both younger and older fans, and both commercial and non-commercial crowds, Slipknot will continue to succeed, whether their detractors (on both sides of the fence) like it or not.
So what's the final word on new Slipknot material? The best way to put it would be to call it Predictably Unpredictable. Unlike other bands who release the same album over and over again, or those who change so drastically that it sounds like a completely different band, Slipknot have managed to throw a few unexpected twists into the mix with each release and still come out sounding like Slipknot.
As for their commercial success...there isn't a metal band out there as big as Slipknot that has managed to stay together, maintain their artistic integrity and succeed. Metallica embraced hard rock in order to sell millions. Marilyn Manson abandoned the Anti-christ superstar image and toned things down. Avenged Sevenfold lost the plot entirely and became G n' R for a new generation. Korn gave Head to god and then lost their drummer. And System Of A Down has all but disappeared.
Slipknot remains...unchanged, uncensored, unwavering, and unrepentent. And it doesn't get any more Metal than that!