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Dropping a single on Halloween, Slipknot reaffirm their infectious spontaneity

Returning with the track, 'All Out Life'.

Last week Slipknot surprised the world on Halloween with their first new music since 2014’s landmark .5: The Grey Chapter. Entitled ‘All Out Life’, the song comes from writing and recording sessions for their next record, which are apparently ongoing, making this single more or less a standalone effort – and as far as I know the first time in the band’s career that they have ever released a song in such a fashion. Every other hit that has come before was a part of a complete album, and I mean in this day and age, a metal band releasing a standalone single is fairly common practice – but for The Nine themselves to get on board with the approach feels like a significant shift. Or maybe the album is all recorded, and they’re just playing tricks on us again?
 
Either way, speaking of the new song, vocalist Corey Taylor had a lot to say about the meaning behind it. With the aim to bring minds together, and remind them that the past is not something to be discarded or disdained, he elaborated that “people are so eager to find the Next Big Thing sometimes that they shit all over the bands and artists that have come before, thus making the past feel disposable, like a dirty thing. Fuck that: why should we pay attention to your mediocre future when you can’t be bothered to celebrate an amazing past? I’d rather listen to a guaranteed hit than a forced miss. ‘All Out Life’ is the anthem that reminds people that it’s not the date on the music – it’s the staying power.”
 
The first half of the song is more or less on par with the stomping style of riffage the band embraced on their previous album, and while the song certainly features some raging blast beats and death metal-esque tremolo picking in its second half, many fans were quick to point out that it doesn’t live up to Taylor’s earlier promises that their new record would see the band return to “Iowa levels of heaviness”. He however did not shy away from this, and was quick to shut a smart arse fan down on Twitter by responding to such a call out with “that’s not the song I was talking about. But nice try….”
 
Slipknot is the highest-selling extreme metal band of all time. I mean we could sit there and argue about them being nu-metal (which I’d argue that they completely ascended), but the fact is, no other act that features blast beats and death metal influence has sold as many records as they have. 23 years into their career however, they seem to be entering a period of middle-aged reflection – adopting practices of younger acts, while still declaring their elder statesmanship as a mark of their untouchable superiority. It’s a curious, cynical, and staggeringly confident approach that, with the quality of the song and social media fang considered, they can’t really be fucked with either way. Bring on 2019 and album number six. 
 
“Old does not mean less – new does not mean best – no hard feelings but I’m tired of being right about everything I’ve said.”