SONG REVIEW – “The Negative One” by Slipknot

The greatest metal band of the 21st century has finally stirred from a six-year (creative, at least) slumber, and the pulse of the maggots has at long last restarted. Many questions hung over Slipknot’s return, not least how they’d fare without either sadly deceased bassist and lead songwriter Paul Gray, or lynchpin drummer Joey Jordison. With The Nine reduced to seven, fans feared that anything new could never live up to that which came before; thankfully, they have no reason to worry.

The Negative One is as vicious and unsettling as anybody could have hoped for. Atmospheric swells and a haunting drone provide the precursor to a rumbling drop-tuned guitar riff, before the trademark slamming percussion hits and all hell breaks loose. Remarkably, the dense instrumental assault feels as fresh as on the band’s debut fifteen years ago. Having been sidelined for a couple of albums now, turntablist Sid Wilson in particular is back with a vengeance, his harsh scratches adding an old school edge to the dark rumble. Perhaps most surprising is Corey Taylor’s vocal performance; eschewing clean singing entirely, his unhinged screams almost reach Iowa levels of aggression. An unconventional song structure left to run for five uncompromising minutes is nonetheless ruthless in its efficiency.

The only thing that could potentially upset is the obvious lack of Jordison; while his madcap percussive skills are missed, the currently unknown replacement drummer has clear chops and his own style that adds something new to the Slipknot formula. While The Negative One doesn’t reach the exhilarating peaks of the best of the band’s catalogue, it’s still a stunning comeback from a truly vital band many had written off. Things bode well, then, for the long awaited fifth Slipknot full-length, due later this year on Roadrunner Records.

The Negative One is now available for streaming at

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  1. Slipknot Release “The Devil In I” Music Video | RichardThinks.Org - September 12, 2014

    […] off their “Prepare For Hell Tour” with Korn and King 810. Be sure to check out our review of “The Negative One”, the first song released from Slipknot’s new […]

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