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Slipknot’s The End, So Far Is a New Beginning

The Record

I purchased the FYE Exclusive light blue vinyl to review, though I imagine the other variations will be the same experience other than the color. The first thing one will notice about this album beyond the creepy/abstract artwork is the sticker covering the band and album name. Corey Taylor revealed in a recent AMA, the record label got the name wrong from what the band had told them and before anyone realized the first batch of records had already been printed. Instead of The End, So Far the label had printed The End, So Far. Humorously, not only is the correction sticker only on the plastic, meaning once you open it to play the records you’ll be back to the old title, but the side of the cover and the vinyl themselves all have the wrong title.

Beyond that, I’d say this is a nearly perfect execution as far as a vinyl release goes. High-quality cover and sleeves with thematic artwork and lyrics. The cover opens to reveal a portrait of the band’s current lineup. The only shortcoming (and a weird one) is the lack of track or side listings on the vinyl, meaning you have to guess which side is meant to be played first and what tracks will be on any given side. This is the first time I’ve ever seen something like this, and it’s mildly annoying, but not the end of the world.

One last very cool note is that the record must be played at 45 rpm instead of the standard 33 for LPs. This means two things. One, the audio quality is going to be ridiculously high. Two, there will be a lot of confused individuals listening to the first song much slower than it’s meant to be played before realizing it…myself included.

The Music

Slipknot is back, and after their incredibly well-received return to form in 2019 with We Are Not Your Kind, it seems like they’re ready to start getting a bit more experimental again. Right off the bat, with the song Adderall, listeners are presented with the band’s most divisive track since Vol. 3. Instead of the usual, blistering, angry song that Slipknot is known for kicking things off with, Adderall is a laid-back, melancholy affair, showing a side of the band that has musically never been seen before. It is also in my opinion one of the strongest songs on the album.

Fans of traditional Slipknot songs shouldn’t worry, though. There are still plenty of those songs to be found throughout and they are just as powerful and angry as ever. Highlights include The Dying Song, Hive Mind, and H377.

The album ends with possibly the band’s best closer yet (controversial, I know) with Finale. It starts slow, and only builds more and more to epic proportions before ending with a choir fading out the track and the album. It’s a very self-aware song, about this being the end of a notable chapter for the band (as it’s the last album under Roadrunner Records) and how uncertain the future is.

I already see a lot of heated debate over the album and where it ranks among the rest of the band’s discography, but I have no doubt it will only resonate more with people as time goes on as a definitive moment in Slipknot’s long and colorful history.


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