9 Things We Love About Slipknot’s New Album ‘The End, So Far’
Loudwire is bringing you 9 Things We Love About Slipknot's New Album, The End, So Far because as your No. 1 destination for all things Slipknot, what else on earth could we possibly be doing on release day?
Not since Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) have we only had to wait three years or less for a new album from The Nine to arrive, meaning that a fair amount of Maggots weren't even born yet (perhaps in a larval stage when that record dropped). So here we have it, the successor to 2019's We Are Not Your Kind, which was led by three singles — "The Chapeltown Rag," "The Dying Song (Time to Sing)" and "Yen."
Curiously, those three appear in order on the album's track listing, but we'll talk more about that later. And there is a lot to talk about, so let's get to it!
The opening track “Adderall” caught us way off guard
It’s Slipknot, one of the heaviest bands on the planet who have continually pummeled us record after record. Add in that The End, So Far track listing starts with a song called “Adderall,” which is an amphetamine often used in the treatment of attention deficit disorder, and it’s natural to assume a chaotically heavy opening, right? Wrong!
A droning opening that could fit just as easily on a Radiohead album is our introduction to the new Slipknot album, before a mid-tempo drum and synth-led song with underlying tension unfolds while Corey Taylor melodically sings a cautionary tale. It’s definitely not what you’d expect from a Slipknot record, but it’s a testament to the band’s evolution and artistry that they felt confident to show their more melodic side by opening the album this way.
Though known for their heaviness, Slipknot have shown their ability to take on more melodic material when needed, and “Adderall” stands as one of their finest moments in doing so to date. This is more than just a curveball to change things up, and it’s part of giving the group one of the most well-rounded albums of their career. —Chad Childers
Three singles represent an early chunk of the album, leaving the rest a total mystery
You always see it in interviews — an artist is asked what their new album sounds like, which is just an impossible question to answer. Rather than relying on this as an anxious fan, it’s best to just let the music speak for itself so you can get an idea of what an album is shaping up to be.
That’s a bit more difficult though when the band doesn’t release tracks that are scattered throughout the record and you instead get a three-track chunk that appears near the top of the album. “The Dying Song (Time to Sing),” “The Chapeltown Rag” and “Yen” represent tracks two, three and four, respectively, which leaves much of the album a total mystery leading up to release day.
In an era of over saturation, anticipation can be dulled, not that we’re implying any Maggots out there are acting casual about another new Slipknot album. But when there’s eight tracks in a row you’ve never heard before, it makes that first listen that much more valuable! —Joe DiVita
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Styles upon styles
The End, So Far — what’s surprising is how varied Slipknot gets on this record. They incorporate so many different styles and moods into this album without abandoning their signature lead-heavy and blast-beat brand.
The song “Adderall” might have you wondering whether it was Slipknot or indie/Brit band Travis. Hard to tell with depressive yet clean singing heading into a chorus drowned in harmony. The DJ scratching on “Yen” has been done before but is still masterful.
“Hive Mind” gives a feeling like the opening to a trippy 70’s movie, like the Parallax View or Marathon Man. Despite a predictable metal turn, it still gives off a vibe that explains the unfortunate plot of a sci-fi movie turned real.
“Acidic” could have been found in a Soundgarden or Alice in Chains vault. Heavy but melodic, and delightfully discordant.
“De Sade” (shout out to the Marquis) is the nu-metal that 2000s nu-metal should have been — heavy, melodic and moody without being immature or whiny. And it ends with “Finale,” a groove metal orchestral and operatic masterpiece. —Todd Fooks
Corey’s vocals are his best on a Slipknot record yet
Look, we know that it’s not some big secret that Corey Taylor is a very talented vocalist, but we would be remiss not to mention his phenomenal performance as a highlight on The End, So Far. The control and refinement of both his clean and aggressive vocals is what puts him among metal’s greatest vocalists of all time.
While Slipknot are definitely more known for his harsh vocals, it seems that as time goes on they have incorporated more of Taylor’s clean singing voice as they’ve experimented in new styles and directions.
Taylor’s voice is not only powerful but so emotive. For example, in “Medicine For The Dead” he switches between a croon and growl, and both sound equally pained.
Taylor has a way of layering vocals from whispers and croons to brutal growling and back again so nimbly that it leaves you on the edge of your seat, waiting to hear what comes next. He uses his voice to build anticipation, making the lyrics that much more dynamic.
Whether it’s ethereal crooning (“Adderall”), the seamless back and forth of snarling to melodic (“Hive Mind”), aggressive breakneck cadence (“H377”) or showcasing his ability to belt (“De Sade”) there are many moments Taylor's vocal prowess is on full display throughout The End, So Far. —Rabab Al-Sharif
There’s lots of thrash-styled gang shouts
The End, So Far is an album that dabbles in a lot of different styles, at least ones beyond the typical purview of Slipknot. We’ve got touches of blues, some lounge bits and, jumping back over to metal, a lot of thrash oriented gang shout backing vocals.
We know what you’re thinking and, yes, we know the group has done this before, but not to the effect they have here. “H377” and “Warranty” in particular utilize call and response gang shouts that are a total throwback to ‘80s thrash and now the nine sound more like a full army. —Joe DiVita
Blast beats into a DJ effect on “Hive Mind”
Sending fans to the most popular destination on the entirety of the internet (that’s TikTok) to check out a teaser of “Hive Mind,” a song that confronts, well… exactly this… is quite a play. We pick up what you’re putting down, Slipknot!
This is another one with some killer gang shouts, but it’s the blast beats underneath a super chunky riff that morphs into a tremolo-picked mosquito-melody… and how Jay Weinberg’s fury is met with a brickwall — a wobbly, warped DJ effect from Sid Wilson. It shouldn’t have come as such a delightful twist in the song because those two individual qualities largely define Slipknot’s two-plus decades of existence. —Joe DiVita
The guitar work in “Acidic”
From the intro riff to the bended tremolo picked verses, to the expressive solo at the song’s halfway point, the guitar work in “Acidic” is a standout piece of Slipknot’s new album. If you were into the more artsy aspects of We Are Not Your Kind, “Acidic” will be a welcomed addition to your experimental Slipknot playlist. The song’s outro even fades out with an aquatic arpeggio reminiscent of early ‘90s grunge and alternative rock. Keep your ears open and there will be plenty for a guitar fiend to unpack. —Graham Hartmann
“Finale” closes it out and marks the end of an era, but we’re excited about what possibilities are ahead
The cinematic finale is, well, literally titled “Finale,” and is decked with a string section, a creepy choir and layers upon layers of instrumentation that build overtime. It’s probably one of the most grandiose tracks of Slipknot’s entire song catalog, especially because of how different it is. The intro of the song may lead one to think that it’s a ballad, but it’s so much bigger and heavier than that. And it’s not heavy in terms of having a pummeling rhythm and harsh vocals, it’s heavy in the way that it makes the listener feel and think about their own existence.
The title “Finale” isn’t only fitting because it’s the last song on the album or because it almost sounds like the final song of a theatrical performance, but because it’s also indicative of the end of Slipknot as we know them. Clown and Corey Taylor have been teasing that the record is the end of an era for them, but all we know to back that up is that it’s the last release in their contract with Roadrunner, who signed the band in 1998.
We have no idea what lies ahead for them, what directions they’ll go in musically or whether they’ll even continue on at all. The unknown forces us to cherish what they’ve put out so far, and even if this is somewhat of an end, they did a damn good job with it. —Lauryn Schaffner
It shows Slipknot have plenty of creative gas left in the tank
From the vibey retreat of "Adderall" to the space rock trappings of "De Sade," the 12 songs on The End, So Far show there's no slowing Slipknot down when they make a sonic point. Indeed, they seem to be picking up the pace creatively. Of course, there will (likely) always be tons of raucous metal madness on a Slipknot disc — and it reigns supreme here. ("Isn't this what you came here for?" Corey Taylor wails on the heavy "Warranty.") But do the glimpses of outré musical growth show a more mature band? It points to a wide-open future for Slipknot. —Philip Trapp