Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Slipknot’s ‘The Chapeltown Rag’ is a crushing tour de force of their greatest strengths

Nu Metal legends, Slipknot, are back with the new single ‘The Chapeltown Rag’.

The first release from the band since the release of their sixth studio album, ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ in 2019, the track is full of that signature Slipknot energy, a staple that fans have come to expect from the band. 

What stands out is the stylistic homage that the song pays to a lot of the band's earlier material on ‘Slipknot’ and ‘Iowa’. With a scratchy, industrially tinged intro punctuated by Sid Wilson’s classic disc jockeying and Corey Taylor’s eerie, whispered delivery, it’s something that wouldn’t sound out of place on their self-titled debut. The nostalgia trip continues as the band launches into a sonic assault. 

The technical skill of drummer Jay Weinberg must be noted as he gives a truly fantastic display. The blast beats on the bridge paired with breakneck tremolo picking gives the track this black metal flavouring that once again shows just how broad Slipknot can go stylistically. Outside of that, the drumming is just unrelenting; this punishing constant that just doesn’t let up. It’s the sort of drumming that would drive a live show into a frenzy. 

The chorus is less harsh but not at all lacking in energy. It’s this haunting, layered chant that bears more of the hallmarks of albums like ‘The Gray Chapter’, with a much more imposing sound supported by chilling vocal harmonies and beautifully constructed guitar melodies that soar and crash onto a backdrop of equally intense percussion. 

Thematically, the song digs into a lot of dark but relevant topics as it critiques the toxic nature of the internet alongside references to the murders of the Yorkshire Ripper, events that took place in the Chapeltown area of Leeds. 

It’s a track that’s full of obvious fury as Taylor screams “Everything is God online and it's as evil as it gets”, raging about the desire for hits over facts in the digital day and age. However, there’s a less obvious, almost mournful quality that the song has as he laments, “Oh, how I missed your honesty”

So once again, Slipknot have returned in full force to grace us with more music and potentially another album. With snippets of this most recent song being teased online before being revealed in tandem with a live performance at Knotfest in L.A., we’ll just have to wait and see what comes next from the creative powerhouse that is Slipknot.  

Morgan Springer

Image: The Chapeltown Rag official single cover (PRESS)

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