Slipknot We Are Not Your Kind Roadrunner Records
Every new Slipknot record heralds a fresh era for the group: new songs, new masks, new legal disputes with former members. We Are Not Your Kind, their first album not to feature lately-fired percussionist Chris Fehn, opens promisingly. Moody post-rock intro Insert Coin and lead single Unsainted strikes a delicate balance between blistering metal and the kind of anthem alt rock that frontman Corey Taylor usually saves for his other band, Stone Sour.
The sense that we might be hearing genuine progress by the band is sadly short-lived. Across an unnecessarily sprawling 14 tracks, they either revert to type by pummeling us over the head with mindless thrashes like Red Flag and Orphan, or they take largely unsuccessful stabs at experimentation.
The mercurially-paced Liar’s Funeral is a sonic misstep, while Critical Darling dilutes its good ideas by being two minutes too long. The nadir is the faintly ridiculous Spiders, which involves one of the most unfortunate guitar solos in recent memory. My Pain, on the other hand, is the clear standout, clocking in at seven minutes of brooding atmospherics that are reminiscent of their best output. Ultimately, We Are Not Your Kind isn’t radical enough to scare off old fans or reel in any new converts. New costumes, same Slipknot.