Things have been iffy in the Slipknot camp ever since the death of Paul Gray in 2010. For a while no one knew if they would continue making music especially when member was saying yes while another was saying no. Things grew even more confusing when drummer Joey Jordison departed the band late last year. But Slipknot has finally released some new music in the form of “The Negative One.” It’s their first in six years and it’s pretty damn good.
For some reason I thought the song was just okay when I first heard, but when I listened to it again I really liked. It has all the elements of a great Slipknot song: brutality, anger, aggression, intense vocals, and intricate, but harsh music. This single sounds like something off of their second album Iowa. It begins with a hypnotizing guitar riff that makes you dizzy and wailing, siren sounds that get your blood pumping. The music is the best part of the song; it makes you want to mosh, jump around, and announce to the world that Slipknot is back! The track is almost perfect, but it seems like it’s missing that extra ounce of heavy their songs usually have. This could be due to Jordison’s exit. What’s weird about it is it doesn’t necessarily affect the song.
Rather than trying to cover up the missing member, Slipknot presents the band as it currently is. All their passion and energy sounds genuine; it doesn’t sound like they’re forcing it on the listener or that they’re trying to prove something. It’s as if they’re saying this is the band now, take it or leave it. The band goes back to their roots, but doesn’t sound like they’re repeating themselves. Also, while Corey Taylor’s melodic vocals are great, he sounds best when it sounds like he’s pushing his vocal chords to their limit. When the percussion starts throbbing and Taylor screams “Fire and caffeine, a lot of nicotine/I’m on a burn, so I better tell you everything/The competition, the superstition/Nevermind ‘cause you’re never gonna give in” it reminds you that Slipknot are one of the heaviest and brutal bands around.
Overall, I give the song 8/10. It’s a great track from the band that’s reminiscent of their earlier material. The brutality and intensity of it makes it sound like a classic Slipknot song. Heavy, aggressive, and in your face, it’s a raw, honest effort from the group. The band shows that even though there are two less members in the band, they can hold their own just fine. The single shows promising things for the upcoming album and hopefully they’ll deliver.