Written Before Listen
Well, if you haven’t heard by now, Slipknot drummer Joey Jordinson has passed away. To pay tribute to him, I will listen to a Slipknot album for the first time. I know like one or two songs, but that’s about it. Slipknot was never a band that interested me so I never really gave them a fair chance. Since this is more of a tribute, I will try to keep negativity away from this. Maybe for a future Q&A I will reveal the score but for now, I’m just paying tribute to the drummer of an important band.
Slipknots Placement In Nu Metal
Nu Metal might not be the most respectable genre, but it surely had its notoriety in Slipknots prime. Slipknot was kind of like KISS for Glam Rock. We surely had more musically proficient acts like Korn and Deftones but Slipknot took this shit to the extreme. Taking more hip hop influence, industrial influence and continued Nu Metal cliches. It wasn’t like Limp Bizkit where their rap influence was corny, Corey Taylor didn’t try to “rap” per say. It was more like a yelly delivery that would sound like a metal core version of Zack De La Rocha. Slipknot also had members that were strong in their lineup too, so they were not a force to be reckoned with.
Despite not being a post-rock band, the band had a big lineup. We had Corey Taylor on vocals, Mick Thomson and Josh Brainard on guitar, Shawn “Clown” Crahan, Chris Fehn and Joey Jordison on drums, Craig “133” Jones on sampling duty, Paul Gray on bass, and Sid Wilson as the DJ. As you can see, this is not your usual metal lineup. Turntables? Sampling? How will that work? Well, during the world of Deftones, Slipknot tried to make their sampling accessible. A lot of the sampling is industrial based with a lot of eerie and subtle noise that is scattered through the album. The DJ scratches are a lot more atmospheric than up front. Its no DJ Premier scratching, its more just scratches manipulated for the sound. It definitely matches the ferocity of the guitar and bass. Speaking of which, the tone on this album is killer. A C standard tuning with a direct input mixed with distortion, midrange growl and mad presence. The bass is also super distorted as when it goes secluded, it matches the fierceness of the guitar. The drums are also heavy (maybe because there are three of them) but only one drummer has cymbals. Joey. Joey was the prime director of the drums and god damn, he is really good. If you look at some of his drumming videos, you can see that he can really play. We should lastly mention the frontman douchebaggery of Corey mothafuckin Taylor. His screams are very dislikable. You can hate it and you could love it. In a critical standpoint, I think it works for the music but its not my cup of tea. As you can see, this lineup is impossible to top when it comes to mainstream metal.
Im pretty sure Corey Taylor wrote the lyrics but if not, whoever did fit their aesthetic really well. The music is very egotistic, violent and furious. It was berserk, abhorrent and obscene. There are so many dark and disturbing adjectives to use about their lyrical themes. Slipknot really tried to be one of the most annoying band possible by being a fan led band.
This album was produced by Ross Robinson. Robinson was a heavyweight in nu metal production. Before this, he produced for Korn, Deftones, Limp Bizkit and Sepultura. Four of the biggest names of nu metal, so its common knowledge to get him to produce this album. A funny thing about Ross is that he also produced At The Drive In’s Relationship of Command, as well as some of The Cures music from the mid 2000s. Other than that though, he is still a nu metal producer at the end of the day. His name is connected to Nu Metal more than Corey Taylor and Fred Durst combined. The production of this album is what to expect. Heavy drums and guitar, upfront vocal mixing, lot of guitar panning and extra trickery. Its nu metal at its most essential
I wouldn’t consider Slipknot the most eclectic music group out there, but their combination of influences really made THEIR sound. There were of course the Hip Hop and Alternative Metal influence of most Nu Metal but also influences of Experimental music, Groove Metal, Death Metal, Industrial music, Electronic, Metalcore and Noise Rock. Honestly. They take the common tropes of Nu Metal, take experimental and industrial soundscapes, Punk delivery, Electronic sampling and the Noise Rock should be self explanatory. As you can see, despite not being the most versatile, their style was very singular and that is due to their multiple influences.
Well, personally, I can see the hype. I might not be the biggest on this style, but their image and style really set a big footstep in the metal world. They’re easily one of the most important names of Nu Metal and for good reason. I’ll also say that compared to most Nu Metal, they are one of the better bands of the genre. Rest In Peace Joey Jordison.