The former nine (now eight) member metal band released their first album in 1999 and if anything it’s a debut that’s hard to ignore. Though some may argue that the music sounds like it was made for angsty teens experiencing their first year of high school, there are some moments on the album that shows Slipknot have more tricks up their sleeves then just screaming against distortion.
The album opens with the odd track “742617000027.” It’s mainly a sample of what I think is someone saying “The whole thing I think is sick” speed up and slowed down at different intervals. Though it may not be something to listen to on a regular basis, it does a good job of setting the mood of the album: at times creepy, at times disturbing.
It then launches into the track “(sic).” The entire intro is very in your face. At first you can’t make out what instruments are making which sounds. You just hear a lot of aggressive noise until Corey Taylor starts screaming the lyrics. The bridge here is great because not only do we get a break from the yelling, but we get a chance to actually hear the music as well. I must admit this track does remind me of something a teen would listen to when they’re angry at the world, but that doesn’t make it a bad song.
Another song you’ll find here is probably the most popular track, “Wait and Bleed.” What’s great about this song is that it starts out kind of slow and clam with Taylor singing the opening lyrics accompanied by hushed guitars. It then explodes into noise and anger when Taylor and the music starts screaming at the top of their lungs. But that dynamic is what makes the song so great and memorable. It shows off the talent of the musicians and Taylor’s singing talent.
One of the most standout songs here is “Prosthetics.” This is a slow, creepy track that sounds like it was made for a horror movie. There are random screams and other weird noises heard throughout the song. Taylor starts out by singing softly with his vocals slightly distorted and then launches into screaming during the chorus. The track is pretty dark too. The whole song is about taking a girl and basically keeping her against her will. It’s the ultimate stalker/serial killer song. But it’s one of the best tracks because it’s so different from the others. It shows that Slipknot is capable of doing other things.
Another thing about the songs is there are so much going on in them. There are different sounds, vocals, and samples to be heard. It’s difficult to hear them all in one sitting. Every time you listen to the album you hear something new (especially if you have on headphones). Each song also gives you the chance to hear different instruments more clearly. In some tracks, the turntables are more apparent. On others, the percussion takes center stage. It really gives you the chance to hear every element of the band. The songs are also filled with so much anger, aggression and hate. It gives most of them an energetic edge that keeps you moving, but it also affects the album negatively.
Because just about all of the songs use heavily distorted instruments that are loud and fast, it can make some of the songs sound the same. The songs themselves are good, but it can be difficult to tell songs apart, such as “Me Inside” and “No Life.” The subject matter seems pretty similar too; standing up to those who want to knock you down. Though Slipknot would go on to vary their sound on later albums, it would’ve been nice if they did more on their debut.
Overall, the album gets 8/10. All the songs are pretty good. Even if some of them sound the same they at least are full of aggression and energy and they are still good songs. There are different elements at play on this album and it’s what keeps the record exciting and interesting. It’s also great to hear the dynamic in Corey Taylor’s voice; how he can go from a screaming, growling maniac, to a vulnerable person in a matter of minutes. It’s an in your face, not taking any shit debut that still holds up to this day.
What do you think about this album? Did I miss your favorite song? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.