Antennas to Hell
Listen to the sound of Hell!
Ahh Slipknot. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you’ve heard of them, and if you haven’t well, where the hell have you been for the last 13 years? Much like Lamb of God, they are a band that you cannot escape in today’s vast metal landscape. You might not be familiar with their material, but you’ve heard the name. Well, for those three or four metal heads who haven’t heard a single Slipknot song, the band have put together their first “best-of” compilation, dubbed Antennas to Hell, and it really is a solid place to start if you’ve always wanted to venture into the twisted world of Slipknot but have been too afraid to take that first step. Or something.
The band’s first two releases - 1999’s self titled debut and 2001’s Iowa - make up the bulk of the first disc taking up 11 of 19 places. Technically, two of those 11 are live cuts of songs that featured on the band’s much lauded debut and a third is a remix of My Plague (titled the New Abuse Mix) from Iowa that appeared on the Resident Evil soundtrack. Splitting hairs a little I guess but really, the first two albums, which many still regard as the band’s strongest efforts to date, take pride of place here.
Hardcore fans of the band will know what to expect really and could safely predict the songs from Slipknot and Iowa that get a starting place on Antennas to Hell. Wait And Bleed, Surfacing, (sic), People = Shit, Left Behind and Disasterpiece lead the way with the aforementioned remix and duo of live cuts from the band’s 2002 live DVD Disasterpieces offering the only real variation from the studio album norm here. Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses and All Hope is Gone are well represented with obvious inclusions including Duality, Before I Forget, Sulfur and Psychosocial amongst a couple of others. I was a little surprised to see the title track of All Hope Is Gone to be excluded maybe, but the rest I think is a fair cross section of Slipknot’s career.
Whilst the core of the release is the collection of material that spans the band’s official releases for Roadrunner Records from 1999’s self titled effort through to 2008’s All Hope is Gone, the two disc edition is definitely worth the extra coin. If you pick this puppy up, you’ll be treated to Slipknot's blistering set from 2009’s Download Festival in Donington Park, England. The live disc is the perfect companion to this compilation covering the band’s studio output in an electric live performance. The sound is massive; the band on fire; the crowd into it and the set list will satisfy most if not all fans.
I said it at the beginning of this review – love ‘em or hate ‘em, Slipknot are still around. They have survived the trends – nu metal, metalcore, etc – proving they are more than just trendsetters or followers. They are a solid act with a diverse and broad selection of hits, fan favourites and others, and live, they are force to be reckoned with. Antennas to Hell is testament to this band’s impact and longevity and even in light of recent tragic events surrounding the death of bassist Paul Gray, Slipknot are still around and I think they will be for some time to come, as well. Antennas to Hell is a solid collection that really holds value in the multidisc release more so than the single disc version.
Roadrunner Records/Warner Music Australia
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