Four albums in (five, if you're an eBay-stalking obsessive), Slipknot is having an identity crisis. Frontman Corey Taylor's side project, Stone Sour, has allowed him to unmask his sensitive singer-songwriter side, and that's well represented here on "Snuff" and "Dead Memories" — the former a half-acoustic ballad, the latter a slab of post-grunge radio rock. Guitarist Mick Thomson and drummer Joey Jordison, on the other hand, have death-metal dreams; there are double-kick drum explosions and widdly guitar solos all over this record, including some serious whammy-bar abuse on "This Cold Black." The explosive rage of old is now tempered by the wish to mature — no surprise, given that all nine are in their thirties, but potentially alienating to their younger, eternally pissed-off fans.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.