Oakland, CA — Slipknot's new album, "We Are Not Your Kind," begins with the interlude “Insert Coin,” which includes an industrial instrumental section that ends when the words “I’m counting all the killers” are sung softly by lead singer Corey Taylor. The lead single, “Unsainted,” is a combination of gorgeous buildups of intense, operatic choral vocals over rapid drums and a steadily building guitar. Unfortunately, this introductory fanfare causes the next three minutes of the song to be slightly underwhelming.
“Birth Of The Cruel” is one of the most fun songs on the record. This catchy misfit anthem switches between screaming and clean vocals almost at random, maintaining its catchiness while surprising the listener. “Nero Forte” is reminiscent of Slipknot's early work, Taylor’s metal growls are almost rap-like in rhythm. This song sounds amazing, but the message is unclear to me because I can’t tell who he is angry with. The next track “Critical Darling” has extremely heavy verses similar to “Nero Forte.” The clean vocals on the chorus and the almost quiet bridge keep the first section of this album from being monotonous. The drum patterns constantly shift, and the vocals match the fluctuations. “Liars Funeral” is my favorite song on the album, because the first half is soft and mournful, while the refrained scream hints at impending rage and frustration expressed in the second half. Even the heaviest part of the song maintains a slower speed than most of the album, highlighting the sadness that comes from betrayal as well as the anger.
“We Are Not Your Kind” returns to a fast-paced heavy song with the next track “Red Flag.” Neither YR Media nor Slipknot is not responsible for any neck injuries obtained from headbanging to this song. I felt the need to put that disclaimer in there because this song is so much fun. “Spiders” is one of the experimental-leaning records on the album. This slow, almost prog-rock sounding song is unlike anything I have heard from Slipknot before. Despite its six minutes long run time, “Orphan” never feels monotonous. This song is both heavy and catchy with a bombastic earworm as its chorus. “My Pain” is a hazy track that reminds me of their older songs “Vermillion Pt 2” and “Iowa.” The end of “We Are Not Your Kind” has several six-minute songs with "My Pain" clocking in at 6:48. Longer songs are cool if they're good. In this case, it's a serious issue because the last three minutes tapers off into a tunnel of vague ambient noise. “Not Long For This World” has the feel of a stadium anthem, it has a catchy chorus and the structure of the song remains delightfully unorthodox. “Solway Firth” is a roaring and defiant conclusion to the album. Not only does the song thematically tie the album together, but it is also objectively a bop.
“We Are Not Your Kind” is an album about overcoming adversity, pain, betrayal, and learning to take care of yourself. It showcases the evolution of a person who has not lost their younger and louder self to life's trials but has also been polished by age. The only major flaws are the ambient interludes “What's Next” and “Death Because Of Death” because they do not meet the high standards set by the full-length songs on the album. While it sonically follows some of Slipknot's early work, it shows maturity and growth. “We Are Not Your Kind” has enough variety that it hardly ever grows monotonous, however, its message and sound remain clear and cohesive. This loud and proud album is an invigorating listen.