Album ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ tops the chart

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A new album jumped through the Billboard 200 to the first slot in August. Slipknot’s “We Are Not Your Kind,” released Aug. 9, caught attention from the public and became the band’s third consecutive No. 1 album in the Billboard 200 to date. The album beat albums from other popular artists like Rick Ross, Trippie Redd, Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran for the top spot, making it the first time a hard rock or heavy metal album has debuted at the top since the Foo Fighters’ “Concrete and Gold” in 2017.

After listening to the album, I realized how distinct it is from Slipknot’s earlier work within the first few songs. “Insert Coin” and “Death Because of Death” start off the album by conveying melancholy instead of the normal heavy pounding aggressiveness that is typical of Slipknot.

“Insert Coin” begins the album with various electronic elements that mix together to create a spacey feel of what is to come, which is almost confirmed by the only lyrics in the song— “I am counting all the killers” — which are sung at the end.

“Death Because of Death” creates a creepy vibe with static as the introduction, accompanied by a piano and the words “death because of, death because of you.” The added effect of a repeating bass drum is almost like a ritualistic chanting. Though the song is only one minute and 21 seconds long, its tone is scary enough to be memorable.

One of the most interesting songs on the album is “Spiders.” This song really brings out the creepiness the band is able to portray in their music, giving off a feel reminiscent of horror movie musical themes. As the song continues, it goes into a psychedelic tone, which is taken further with distortions added to the track, which go well with the singing that is in the song.   

Songs like “Nero Forte,” “Red Flag,” “A Liar’s Funeral,” “Critical Darling” and “Orphan” give fans of Slipknot a reminder of how heavy and brutal the band can truly be. The beginning of Slipknot was characterized by heavy growls, punishing drum beats, and swift riffs, with the added sound of secondary percussionists using snares and even hitting kegs with bats.

“Nero Forte” starts with heavy guitar riffs and aggressive drum beats that are quickly accompanied by lead vocalist and lyricist, Corey Taylor’s, harsh vocals. The band added a choir aspect into the chorus, which creates the melancholic feel the first songs put into place, that is accompanied by Taylor’s well-known ability to be able to quickly sing lyrics while screaming.

Continuing the aggression heard in “Nero Forte,” “Red Flag” is full of the speed that was seen when Slipknot released their “Iowa” album. It really brings in the massive clashing of drums along with periodic electronic elements that really sold “Iowa” to the Slipknot fans. The quick pace of all of the instruments combined with the heavy growls and screams almost makes it seems as if the song could have been on the “All Hope Is Lost” album.

The mood of the album veers sharply into a  tone of doom and sadness with the song “A Liar’s Funeral.” Taylor’s soft singing matched with an acoustic guitar changes repeatedly through the song to slow, pounding beats and low growls. This deep, chugging rhythm changes as the song progresses and the band starts to pick up the tempo by increasing the intensity, giving the song the complete feel of one produced by Slipknot.

Taylor’s vocals on the album alone show the different styles he is able to sing depending on the song. “Critical Darling” is one of the songs on the album that shows the range Taylor can do with the intense growling followed by a chorus that truly shows off his ability to sing. The lead vocals of Slipknot has always been a driving point of emotion for the band, and for this song, Taylor does an excellent job keeping the listener focused and tuned in.

“Orphan” brings a whole new level of heaviness to the album by giving drummer Jay Weinberg a chance to really display his talent, especially after replacing former lead drummer Joey Jordison, who left the band in 2013. The quick double pedal bass drums paired with the secondary percussionists give a hard pounding sound that really draws from the early albums.

Ending the album is the song “Solway Firth,” which gives Slipknot fans a heavy finish to enjoy. As one of the heaviest songs on the album, the band proves they are still capable of being a heavy metal icon even though they have been making music since 1999. Taylor returns with some of his heaviest growls, while the band matches him with all the intensity that is Slipknot. Having this song at the end of the album ties it all together, leaving fans wanting more.

The album contains a vast array of sounding metal experiences that listeners can appreciate. However, as a whole, it is hard to compare it to past Slipknot albums. The different experimental techniques the band used for this album changes from their traditional albums like “Iowa” and “Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses,” which might make it hard for Slipknot fans who enjoy the more raw version of the band during older albums. At the same time, the album also gives enough variation to captivate new listeners of the band.

The album gave songs like “Unsainted,” “Nero Forte” and “Critical Darling,” which are the second, third and fourth most listened to songs on Slipknot’s Spotify page. For a band that has produced six studio albums, two live albums, one demo album, and 22 singles — to have their newest album to have three songs that top Slipknot’s most listened to chart on Spotify alone shows how impressive this album is.

This album alone offers so much variation and talent, that it is hard to not enjoy it. Slipknot is definitely showing that they are not ready to give up the reigns as one of the most well known heavy metal bands today, and this album gives hope to fans who are waiting for the next one to debut.

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