I’m going to be completely honest with you and say that I never thought this song was going to happen. Slipknot has been through a rather tumultuous period in the tragic death of bass player Paul Grey and dismissing founding member Joey Jordison. Losing one member of a band is tough, let alone two who were integral to the overall sound of the collective. I’ve heard people say, “why nine people?” Slipknot is an entity where every person involved contributes to the uniqueness of the organization.
I bring this up as I talk about the band’s latest single, “The Negative One”. When I saw the teasers for this song, it reminded me of Iowa where the dark textures and imagery made Slipknot even more appealing. Just because a song is perceived to be dark does not mean that it cannot have substance. It was a six-year wait, but damn does it deliver. In losing two members, it brought the remaining band mates together to make everything sound like a cohesive plan of destruction. I can hear all instances of contribution from Sid Wilson‘s scratching to Craig Jones‘ eerie samples.
I for one am glad that Sid’s scratching did not get mixed down. There are instances in previous albums where there would be a start to a great sample part, but it would get drowned out by the guitars. Wilson and Jones are ultimately the painters that set the whole canvas of the song. Corey Taylor‘s vocals shine as they combine the higher pitch that he was touching on the self-titled and Volume 3 albums with the ferocity of the Iowa era. Taylor has developed his vocals over they years, almost as if they are another instrument in the band.
Mick Thompson and Jim Root liken their guitar riffs to the style of “Sic”. They are unrelenting, in your face and impossible not to headbang to. I don’t know who the hell is drumming (we’ve heard rumors from Chris Adler to Jay Weinberg), but it’s a shoe-in for Joey, down to the double bass assault in the bridge of the song. Shawn “Clown” Crahan and Chris Fehn punctuate their percussion throughout the song and give a hell of a kick at the end of it.
Rumors of Slipknot’s demise have been extremely exaggerated. As they show here, they are not going down without a fight.