Slipknot "Iowa" 10th Anniversary Edition Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Thu, 20 Oct 2011 17:04:47
On August 28, 2001, Slipknot changed heavy metal forever with Iowa.
Like a seismic event, the band's second album ruptured, ravaged, and razed everything before it. Among the ruins of a genre, Iowa was erected as the future. It's an uncompromising, unsettling, and unique exorcism from modern metal's most important band, and it rose from their darkest and most dangerous period.
On November 1, 2011, the "10th Anniversary Edition" of Iowa will hit shelves, and undoubtedly send the same shockwaves through the musical landscape.
Celebrating the legacy and myth behind Iowa, the new edition includes the "New Abuse Mix" of "My Plague" on the CD, a second CD of the audio from the band's 2002 landmark live DVD Disasterpieces live from the London Arena, and a full-length documentary of the entire Iowa cycle, entitled Goat, directed by percussionist and band visionary, #6, M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan. This is the ultimate way to experience Slipknot at their rawest.
There are countless reasons why Iowa is such a special record. At this point, it belongs in the pantheon of records like Slayer's Reign in Blood, Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power, and Metallica's Master of Puppets as a true game-changing, future-altering album. It's heavier than hell, and it will scar you in the best way possible—as all classic records should.
After the success of their 1999 debut, Slipknot could've played it safe and written as percussionist Chris Fehn says in the documentary, "three 'Wait and Bleed's". They didn't though.
They went into Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA and let out every demon they accrued along their maddening road to success. As revealed in Goat, the album begins with DJ and turntable wizard Sid Wilson screaming and groaning inside the vocal booth, reliving the pain of visiting his sick grandfather in London.
It's those real moments of anger, hatred, and raw emotion that separate Iowa. "People = Shit" instantly became the band's war cry. Watch the live footage included on the DVD, and you'll instantly fucking feel it. If you don't, you'd better check your pulse…
Fueled by Joey Jordison's impenetrable double bass air raid a la Deicide and Morbid Angel but groovier, the track pummels with some of Mick Thomson and Jim Root's most visceral and violent methodical thrashing. At the center, frontman Corey Taylor tears through an invigoratingly infectious refrain. At any time, the train could derail, but the spirit of these nine men kept on track. "Disasterpieces" rolls from raw grindcore into an eerie break that sees Taylor exposed like never before and then it snaps back into brilliant brutality.
Bassist Paul Gray anchors each and every track with his inimitable bass mastery. He flips like a switchblade from deadly death metal power playing to immortal grooves, and it's apparent on both "My Plague" and "The Heretic Anthem". Jordison's drumming surpasses everything before it in the genre during the latter's bridge as Thomson and Root trade riffs in an airtight six-string call-and-response.
"Gently" remains the most haunting moment on the record. Gray's bass slowly chugs as Taylor sounds possessed edging through the verse. One of the band's tightest riffs kicks off one last focused chaotic stomp. Live, on The Pledge of Allegiance Tour in 2001 with System of a Down and Rammstein, everything slowed down during this song to a serial killer psychedelic, and it illuminated how genius all nine members were at their instruments.
"Clown" maniacally fuels "I Am Hated" with pure percussive mayhem as Taylor rips every hater a new one. "Metabolic" takes on a new meaning, after watching Taylor discuss how Gray developed the song bringing it down a half a step. Taylor lets out smile in Goat while remembering how his brother tweaked the song and made it another masterpiece for the band. The singer's screams of "I'm always ready to die but you're killing me" are satanically soaring and another shining example of Slipknot's ability to make the heaviest the most hypnotic.
Before Slipknot, no one sang about personal demons with this kind of instrumental prowess. The band remain innovators in so many ways. Songs like "Skin Ticket" and "New Abortion" see them infuse technicality into catchy catharsis. Everything culminates on the title track, it's the scariest fifteen minutes ever recorded.
Goat matches that intensity. Clown could easily make features as he weaves in gut-wrenching, Apocalypse Now-style live footage between candid and exposed recent interviews with the band. It tells a terrifying story that's impossible to turn away from. "It was a fucking terrible time," exclaims Thomson at one point. However, it produced the greatest heavy metal album of the 21st century.
Slipknot will never die. Iowa is here forever. The next phase will no doubt change the world again.
For now revel in the mayhem the way it was meant on this special edition.
Will you be purchasing the 10th anniversary edition of Iowa on November 1, 2011?
See our exclusive dual interview between Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour and Aaron Lewis of Staind here! Lewis talks about Slipknot changing heavy metal…
What is your favorite Slipknot song from Iowa?