This week I've chosen to review the 4th studio album from Slipknot, All Hope is Gone. I opted for the special extras package when comes in a digipak and includes not only the album, but three bonus tracks and a DVD that features a sort of 'documentary' of the making of this album. Oh, and lest I forget, you also receive a 40 page booklet with all the lyrics! For me, that sweetened the deal immensely because I rarely feel band's focus enough on the lyrics, an element of songs that is crucial for me.

The artwork of the album itself and the booklet stand out. Clearly, the band put a good deal of effort into producing a product that offers plenty of food for the mind. I watched the documentary before listening to the CD itself and I feel that gave me a bit more insight into the songs. It's definitely great to get a peek into their recording process, especially since they created this album in their home state of Iowa as opposed to their normal studio in Los Angeles. All 9 members of Slipknot worked together to write the songs this time and the album feels much, much different from their previous efforts. While not all of the members enjoyed the creation process, I think they've put together a fan pleaser, for sure.

Right off the bat the CD sucks you in. The opening track, .execute., reminded me of a scratchy CB or radio broadcast from some wartorn spot on the globe. The kind of broadcast you wonder if you should be allowed to listen in on. When you read the lyrics to this track you'll see it's something of a manifesto from the band regarding the state of our world today. It's invigorating and drags you straight into Gematria (The Killing Name) where you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that it's Slipknot you're listening to.

"Give me a minute and I'll change your mind. Give me a bullet and I'll change your life."

That refrain rings through Gematria and what I was most struck by is that the vocals not only on this song, but throughout the album are much easier to understand that I remember them being on older albums. This second track stands as probably my favorite of the disc. Next comes Sulfur, an exceptionally dynamic song that blends together powerful melodic vocals with the ripping snarl we've come to love from this band.

Some of the songs like Dead Memories and Snuff are slower, softer songs that reminded me of something from Alice in Chains. Others like Butcher's Hook or This Cold Black emphasized the more speed/thrash metal angle. Psychosocial and All Hope is Gone are clearly intended as radio-friendly work but I never got the feeling the band compromised their sound for the sake of reaching a wider audience, though I know a few people do feel that way.

To my ears, the power of Gematria and the otherworldly vibe of Gehenna made them the tracks I enjoyed most, but it wasn't easy picking favorites. Out of the total tracks offered only a couple didn't quite meet my tastes.

I have to be honest here, Slipknot's not always been a band I enjoy playing 24/7 even though I dig what they're about and the sheer brutality of their shock and awe style. That's left me to think of them as a "once in a while" band, meaning I pull out their albums when a certain mood strikes. This album has changed that perception of them. I believe these guys poured their souls into this album and it's one of the finest harder albums (whether you want to call it metal, alternative rock or whatever) out there today. If you've ever liked ANY Slipknot material, you'll find plenty to like here. If you held Slipknot to be "too heavy" you might still enjoy the songs they're offering. Check Youtube for videos because I'm willing to bet that if you enjoy a heavier sound, All Hope is Gone offers the exact opposite of its title - for heavy music, that is!



Lyrics submitted by mike

Slipknot - All Hope is Gone song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentI've only heard about three songs by Slipknot, but I think I might just try this CD out. Good review, by the way :]
    musical_loseron September 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe new cd is amazing!!!!!!!! i bought it the day it came out and i cant get enoguh of it . i am a newer slipknot fan but coreys voice is just awsome on this album!!!!!!!!
    vern93on September 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe whole CD is owrth buying. Honestl. Its just slipknot telling it how it is.
    WhiteGhoston October 08, 2008   Link

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