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Album Review: Slipknot – ‘The End, So Far’*

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Review by Paul Monkhouse for MPM

The kings of violence and brutality are back and ‘The End, So Far’ marks an earth-shaking return for the Iowan wrecking crew.

It’s hard to believe that Slipknot have been around almost three decades now, their effect on metal incalculable as they brought things to new heights of insanity and this, their seventh, album is as visceral and powerful as their self-titled debut.

That’s not to say that this is a heads-down, everything thrown into the meat grinder experience though, whilst you’re beaten with a furious array of riffs there’s also a huge amount of light and shade that set Slipknot apart and show their continuing development as absolute titans.

Never a band to bow to the expectations of others, they’ve always cut their own path through the world and this focus on their creation has reaped massive rewards.

The End, So Far’ might not be their most seminal album but it could be argued that it’s their best to date, twisting and building on all that’s come before with a fresh set of ideas that add even more blood-spattered hues to their already incredibly diverse palette.

The slow, funereal dirge of opener ‘Adderall’ morphs slowly into an atmospheric electronic shimmer that has echoes of Pink Floyd, Corey Taylor’s light and clean vocals casting a spell that is one of the left turns that the release revels in.

Things change in an instant though as the brutal blast of heavy beats that shape ‘The Dying Song (Time to Sing)’ are set to rip faces off, the raging ‘The Chapeltown Rag’ equally blistering as Jim Root, Craig Jones and Mick Thompson work as one, the riffs shredding everything in their way.

When Taylor intones “You’re the sin I’ve been waiting for” at the beginning of ‘Yen’, he encapsulates the feeling that hundreds of thousands of ‘Maggots’ all over the world have had in the intervening years since the release of ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ in 2019, the track’s sinister and laid-back heavy groove met with an eviscerating barrage of fretwork.

The dynamic ranges in ‘The End, So Far’ are at times breath-taking, the ultra-fast and tight pace of ‘Hivemind’ juxtaposed with an anthemic chorus that throws an even sharper relief onto the darkness that comes from the scream of “You’re such a tortured soul”.

‘Medicine for the Dead’ is a tidal wave of fear and malevolence, every note perfectly placed for maximum effect, the production a thing of dark, torturous beauty and the aptly named ‘Acidic’ is a twisting and soaring rollercoaster ride that blends a woozy feel with unsettling undertones that should be played at maximum volume.

In contrast, ‘Heirloom’ is the most straight-ahead hard rock track of the album, showing that Slipknot can play down the middle when they want and it’s not unreasonable to think of this
being played on mainstream radio, albeit with a wicked glint in the eye.

The machine gun riffing, vocals and percussion of ‘H377’ is a supercharged rocket ride, guaranteed to turn any circle pit into a whirlwind of flailing bodies before ‘De Sade’ leans into atmospheric, stadium filling territory, its big musical themes shot through with a barely tamed viciousness.

The emotionally shattering and powerful ‘Finale’ brings things to a shuddering climax, band and listener spent at the end of the dance where bodies and souls are inexorably intertwined, the chapter on this part of the journey
closed.

To the question that Taylor asks in ‘Warranty’, “Isn’t this what you came here for?”, the answer is a resounding and deafening “yes!” but what Slipknot have achieved here is so much more than our feeble minds may have expected or can comprehend. Without doubt, ‘The End, So Far’ is a masterpiece and one of the biggest and most important albums not just in the career of Slipknot but in the history of metal. Untouchable.

SLIPKNOT
THE END, SO FAR

RELEASE DATE: 30th SEPTEMBER 2022

Adderall
The Dying Song (Time To Sing)
The Chapeltown Rag
Yen
Hivemind
Warranty
Medicine For The Dead
Acidic
Heirloom
H377
De Sade
Finale

SLIPKNOT ONLINE:

www.slipknot1.com

Apple Music | Spotify | Amazon Music

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