Slipknot - Antennas To Hell
One of the most controversial bands of the last two decades, a lot has been written about Slipknot - written off by many too many times to count. But here they still are, terrorising the kids, polluting our poor ears and, occasionally, the airwaves. Despised by a significant proportion of the metal community for daring to emerge from the nu-metal wave and having huge success, and hated by the general populace for being noisy and anti-social, they sustain a loyal following in the millions due to one simple fact – they make some damn fine music.
Antennas To Hell is a succinct, nineteen track, seventy seven minute essay as to why Slipknot have endured. The choice of tracks is somewhat predictable, concentrating on the singles and ignoring many of the more adventurous tracks that are buried away on their four studio albums. But what that does mean is that Antennas To Hell is an unrelenting assault of brutality delivered at a breakneck pace: one massive “fuck you” to all the haters and naysayers down the years.
Step away from the hype and verbal bullshit that has always surrounded Slipknot, and what are you left with? Richly dense death metal played out by some fantastically talented musicians, with bitingly intelligent lyrics spat out with true venom. That is the simple truth, a point too often lost behind the smokescreen – at times kicked up by the band themselves – of a music industry today where style and image are valued over content.
Sequenced in chronological order, Antennas To Hell documents the progression of the band from the raw, out-of-control youngsters that unleashed the self-titled debut way back in 1999, through to the battered and bruised political mouthpieces of 2008’s All Hope Is Gone. This is the sound of a band growing up, fighting against everything and everyone, a 9-headed 36-limbed ball of rage becoming an insightful, yet bitter, party actively searching out the woes of today and shouting out very loudly how bad things have become.
Irrelevant of whether you like them or not, Slipknot have to be respected as one of the most important metal bands of recent times, given the impact they have had outside of the genre (something very few extreme bands can claim). Antennas To Hell will hopefully give people a chance to go back and judge the band purely on the music they have produced in the last thirteen years rather than the ridiculous circus that has been played out in the press in that time.