This is not a drill: new Slipknot is here with ‘All Out Life’.
Do you want to start your Thursday off on a good note? Course ya do! So might I suggest the newbie from Slipknot, ‘All Out Life‘. Dropped overnight for American’s now heading into their Halloween, this is the first new slab of Slipknot material in four years, teased via the web app, Touche. From the fiendish guitars and chugging drop B riffs, marching snare rolls a la ‘The Blister Exists‘, some venomous blast beats, Corey Taylor’s pissed-off barks with zero cleaning singing and the frontman decrying a need to never settle for mediocrity; ‘All Out Life‘ is decent, heavy track with plenty of classic Slipknot trademarks.
All with a twisted, bloody video (directed by percussionist M. Shawn Crahan) to boot that speaks deeper about the song’s ideals of outlier thoughts, manifesting new passion, and violent intent. In the song’s clip, the shadowy hooded figures bathing these “prisoners” in blood to energise them, to me, seems like a metaphor for the band’s own live performances; Slipknot spilling their guts for rabid like-minded individuals to internalize and make their own. Even to the point where the robed leaders make all gathered get down and rise up with new strength, like its own take on the “jump the fuck up” section from when this band performs ‘Spit It Out‘ live.
Interestingly enough, for the most part, this new song’s production and songwriting style follow the same mindset as their last release. Now unlike most people, I actually enjoyed much of 2014’s ‘.5: The Gray Chapter‘. It definitely isn’t their best album but it sure ain’t their worst either. Why this sticks out to me with ‘All Out Life‘ is with all of their previous records, there’s been an alteration in the overall sound between each release. From the aggro nu-metal of their self-titled to the creepy, deformed metal monster that was ‘Iowa‘; from the more melodic sounds of ‘Vol. 3‘ to the darker, death-metal influenced and experimental turns of ‘All Hope Is Gone‘. Each new record was and is uniquely it’s own in many ways, yet this sticks right within the modern era of Slipknot and continues the sound of ‘The Gray Chapter‘. And that’s not really a bad thing, but it does make me wonder what we’ll see from the Nine next.
As for Corey’s claims that their new LP will be on par with ‘Iowa‘ in terms of heaviness (I’ll believe that when I see it), that’s just new album posturing; talking about new music and selling it to fans. There’s nothing inherently wrong with these kinds of statements – from Slipknot or any other band – but it can set unrealistic or unnecessary expectations. But here’s the funny thing: songs like ‘The Negative One‘, ‘Sarcastrophe‘, and ‘Custer‘ (all taken from their last album) were musically heavy and dark in tone, just like a lot of the ‘Iowa‘ material. With the only real differences being that these newer songs had better sonic polish and were released in 2014 rather than 2001. ‘Iowa‘ is the better record, of course, but these similarities are often skimmed over by many listeners. Mainly because people have short attention spans and are always looking for the next throwback of what was once older, heavier or (supposedly) perceivably better back then.
Yet just as Corey yells during the choruses of ‘All Out Life‘: “old does not mean dead/new does not mean best“. Which is why it’s so weird to me that this new single’s artwork is overlaid with the goat silhouette from their sophomore LP; as if it’s sadly not trying to be its own entity and is trying to be everything at once. The band obviously want to pay love to their past – as the band members have expressed in the recent press release you’ll see other sites regurgitate out – but I just don’t think that that love for the past shouldn’t come at a detriment to their future. It also implies a lack of confidence in their own new material too.
Is ‘All Out Life‘ going to be a new classic track for the band? No, probably not. But for a group like this, at their current massive level and with how they operate as musicians and as artists, this is still indeed a solid new slice of music. Slipknot’s sixth album is set to drop sometime in 2019 and hopefully won’t just be heavy like ‘Iowa‘ was. Hopefully, it’s its own beast in its own way.