Album Review: Slipknot – The End, So Far (Roadrunner Records)

One of the biggest bands in metal make their grand return on September 30th, 2022. Slipknot, the 18-legged beast, return with their new and seventh album ‘The End, So Far’. Out via Roadrunner Records.

A band that needs little introduction and a band that continues to evolve, album after album. Slipknot’s meteoric rise to the top over the past few decades has been well and truly earnt. The members having spilt a lot of blood, gallons of sweat and a fair few tears, and rightfully, their fanbase has responded. It’s what means The End, So Far is one of, if not the most, hotly anticipated albums of the year.

The slew of singles has done little to whet the appetite, so it is immediately exciting to get an unheard one with the opener of Adderall. Where an ominous tone transitions into a startling, slower and hypnotic tune. The electronica contained atmosphere balanced by clean vocals, crooning harmonisation and a sense of drifting in a sea of nothingness. It’s easy to bemoan the lack of explosivity at the start of a Slipknot album but the unique nature of this opening track certainly makes a mark.

Though, if you’re after something with bite, The Dying Song (Time to Sing) and The Chapeltown Rag will deliver, and then some. The riffs are furiously chaotic, the percussion is ungodly powerful, the effects are blended nicely, and the vocals are rabid. It’s two good examples of Slipknot’s raw power and modern production. You’re not missing a single thing, which is incredible when you consider the level of noise this band is exuding here.

One word that is going to come up a fair bit throughout The End, So Far is ‘experimental’ and the next track, Yen, embodies that. Slipknot experimenting in ways that we haven’t experienced from them ever. The menacing tone, the swell of melody, the dangerous expulsion of deck-scratching and following breakdown. It’s one of the album’s most captivating tracks, growing and growing in strength, the more times it’s played.

Which is certainly something that can apply to the album as a whole. It’s an album of multiple listens. It’s an album that requires time and a willing investment. There are just too many layers to take in just a handful of run-throughs.

A pointed and punchy set of lyrics adds a lot of weight to Hivemind. Slipknot directing their scorn at society at large and spitting out some of their heaviest sounds so far. The riffs are bone-scrapping here, but a harmonised chorus softens the teeth-grinding edge. Followed then by the feral sounding groove-infused monster that is Warranty. A track that is going to sound even more immense live.

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Slipknot then jump feet-first into the deep of the pool of experimentation with the thick, infectious, and dramatically dark flair of Medicine for The Dead. A track that holds one of the album’s most dangerous sounding riffs. Before things get strange and unexpected with the grunge-tinge of Acidic. Likely to be one of the more polarising tracks on the album. It’s not that it’s particularly bad or anything, more rather that it’s such a shift in tone for Slipknot, it’s going to have as many people who dislike it as like it. Again, multiple listens and an unpicking of detail is necessary here, and at its core, it’s still got that simmering Slipknot intensity.

Talking of intensity though, Heirloom is a chunky slab of heavy instruments and statement making vocals. The thump of the drums leads the rhythm and it all coalesces into a soaring and harmonious chorus nicely. Whereas H377 is pure punch and power, Slipknot taking us back in time for a frantic and anthemic blast of ferocity. The speed of the instruments is one thing, but the vocals are simply startling. Again, this is going to be a track that is brutal in the live environment.

Whereas there was an air of familiarity with that track, the penultimate offering that is De Sade continues the experimental growth of Slipknot. A slow-moving and haunting track that breaks like waves on the bedrock of melody. The vocals reaching smooth levels not heard on the album in quite this way. Yet, as it goes on, chaos begins to enter the scene more and more, and things get harder and rougher. Capped off by some enigmatic guitar soloing.

It’s a fascinating listen but almost pales, in that regard, to the finale of Finale. Slipknot introducing tear-jerking piano tones, poignant strings and dramatic melodies to leave the listener cold all over. Is this the end? Who knows but this is a statement of a closing track. Especially as it ends in a way that almost bookends the album alongside Adderall. Suggesting that this is a cycle and we’re all trapped within it.

So, there it is. What will go down as the most experimental Slipknot album to date. Where predictability is a word that no-one can use when describing it. Where many listens aren’t just recommended but required to fully appreciate just how unique a lot of it is. Does all the experimentation work? Not always but even those moments are at least interesting.

Who knows what the future holds for Slipknot but right now, they continue to prove that their position at the top is more than deserved. Even this long into their careers and with all the blood, sweat and tears shed, they can still evolve and challenge all perceptions of what people expect of them.

Slipknot – The End, So Far Full Track Listing:

1. Adderall
2. The Dying Song (Time to Sing)
3. The Chapeltown Rag
4. Yen
5. Hivemind
6. Warranty
7. Medicine for the Dead
8. Acidic
9. Heirloom
10. H377
11. De Sade
12. Finale




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Slipknot - The End, So Far (Roadrunner Records)
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