Friday, August 26, 2022

Slipknot Commit an Almighty Sacrifice with ‘Yen’

Slipknot are back! The metal band from Iowa, US released their new single, ‘Yen,’ a few weeks ago for their upcoming album, ‘The End, So Far’, and the track features the dark, cryptic themes of prior work.

‘Yen’ tells the story of someone experiencing the end of the world and finding their ‘yen’ (yearning) by bringing meaning to the end of existence by taking their own life. Ending things in their own way.


The story within ‘Yen’ is tragic, with the end of the world and life itself, but highlights the choice of how we react to that knowledge. ‘Yen’s’ protagonist makes their choice, ending their life in their own way, instead of however the world intends for them to go. ‘Yen’ is far darker and almost defeatist compared to older works by Slipknot, and especially the other singles released alongside this track.


The single is different in a lot of ways from the band’s previous tracks but still feels conventionally Slipknot. The transitions that lead singer, Corey Taylor, displays highlight his incredible range in all its glory here. These transitions are highlighted through the chorus’ shouts of anguish: “As the knife goes in / cut across my skin / when my death begins / I wanna know that I was dying for you / I died for you” as the hard guitar riffs Slipknot are so iconically known for hit their peak and accentuates the pain and loss. The transition is complete when the melancholic vocals are seamlessly brought back into play. The guitar is calm, melodic. Taylor has calmed, just slightly, and the transition back to the verse is smooth. 


Along with the release of ‘Yen’ are other singles, ‘The Dying Song (Time To Sing)’ and ‘The Chapeltown Rag’. While these other tracks bring that traditional bombastic Slipknot style and aesthetic to them, ‘Yen’ feels different. ‘Yen’ feels like a culmination of over twenty years of songwriting. A combination of styles from both of the bands Taylor has been a part of, as both Slipknot’s heaviness and the soft, pensive side of Stone Sour join together for this beautifully harrowing track.


‘The End, So Far’ releases on September 30th 2022.


George Spearing


Image: ‘Yen’ Official Single Cover



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