From page 94 of Classic Rock Magazine November 2001
Metal meets the mainstream as Slipknot hang the charts high with their third album
(Roadrunner) The masked misanthropists' third album tops the charts, and metal goes mainstream again.
W HEN 'IOWA' CRASHED IN AT THE top of the UK album chart, it swept aside the likes of indie pretenders The Strokes and boy band du jour Five. This didn't just confirm Slipknot's own iconic status, it also marked a milestone in the resurgence of rock as a popular force. Who would have thought 10 years ago that doom metal and thrash would be taken out of the moshpit and into the stadium? For a whole new generation, this is its first contact with the power of dirty, gut-churning metal. And boy do they like it.
Slipknot's trick is to suck the visceral elements out of old-skool rock while distancing themselves from the gothic, satanic images that the nu-kids may perceive as reactionary. Realising that nothing is more disturbing than the unnamed terrors of the self, Slipknot remain steadfastly egocentric. In 'Iowa', the enduring adolescent themes of confusion, anger and alienation get more than an airing, they get dragged into a darkened alleyway and beaten to death. The hate-filled 'People=Shit' opens with a salvo of frenzied kick drums and a subsonic groan that Corey Taylor seems to dredge from his very bowels. Producer Ross Robinson is the Phil Spector to Slipknot's Napalm Death. Misanthropy is rarely this catchy.
The force behind The 'Knot's performance is relentless. 'Disasterpiece' bangs its head to the point of haemorrhage, and Taylor ladles on the bilious scorn like acid: '/ want to slit your throat and fuck the wound' (I'm betting this is the first time this particular activity has been mentioned on a number-one album, but then I've never heard David Gray's 'White Ladder' all the way through). 'My Plague' batters home a sense of selfloathing, `The Heretic Anthem' addresses the theme of personal expression rather than religion, and 'I Am Hated' is a tazer gun wake-up call to the Society of Overshare. You lost your dad? Nobody cares. Your wife just died? Shut up and get over it. nightmarish collage of screams over an ominous bass line, but it's 'Onslaught Of Everything' that conveys Slipknot's brooding philosophy perfectly: 'You are wrong, fucked and overrated... This is the end of everything.'
Slipknot show and don't tell. With the band members' faces hidden behind those masks, the nukids associate all this nihilism with only one human face: their own. So when Junior starts playing 'Iowa' in his room, don't worry, he's just another normal, confused, angry adolescent getting moved by music. When he starts jumping around to Five, then you've got a problem.
***** Grant Moon