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Slipknot – All Hope Is Gone

Label: Roadrunner Records
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Ever since they literally burst on the scene in 1999, Slipknot brought something visually to the world of Heavy Metal music (those masks make them look like serial killers ready for a slasher film). On the other hand, at their start I found the music to be just noisey like all others from this extreme metal (some call it Screamo) sound and style.
With “All Hope Is Gone”, I am pleased to say the Knot has demonstrated growth as songwriters and players, paying better attention to the use and placement of melody without losing any anger, violence or hostility. For example, the track “Wherein Lies Continue” which includes melodic vocal passages. Their previous expression of aggression Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) in 2004 started to show steps towards “All Hope Is Gone”. “All Hope’s” lead off track is excellent. “Gematria (The Killing Name”) kicks the album into high gear with a thrashesque riff followed by their trademark more rhythmic urban riffs, in his vocal delivery and tone Corey Taylor expresses his frustration and anger towards mankind with the words “America is a killing name, it doesn’t feel or discriminate, life is just a killing field, its all that’s left – nothing’s real. What if God doesn’t care.” Pretty bleak, huh?

First single/video “Psychosocial” was a great choice to let everyone know Slipknot was back (I know it worked on me) and as scary as before brandishing a kitchen knife of more crushing, yet, better stronger arrangements (check out the melodic bridge and guitar work). “Dead Memories” sees Cory singing clean and clear, less angry and more melodic similar to what he does with his other band Stone Sour. “Vendetta” opens with a death metal type guitar riffing and double bass, includes a nice tempo change, and Cory mostly continues with the melodic voice, emphasizing in a harsh manner key points for the chorus. “Butcher’s Hook” recalls old Slipknot utilizing some of the DJ and his scratching (which I can do without but I’m glad the element has been toned down). “Snuff” is the ballad (never thought I would say that, right?) and a tragic sounding one. Very somber and depressive in its lyrics. The album’s title track closes things out on a blast beat filled note.

The booklet graphic artwork is to say the least creepy, dark and yet classy, really well done putting the band members into monochromatic photography with seamless imagery.

For the longest time I thought all hope was gone for me liking this band (though like I said earlier it is eye candy). Not any more.
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