We haven't been defeated by nu-metal just yet - the show must go on!
The third album that's managed to land in the green in this series... honestly isn't a polarizing one.
Slipknot have an image that precedes them: living breathing gimmicks. They're basically sweaty white guys in costumes that have barely more impact on their edginess than Jared Leto's joker. But, unlike Jared Leto, they at least have musical talent to make up for the really shitty look they give themselves. Though Slipknot are basically the face of teenage angst, most people end up coming back to their first two albums, and get to the realization that "maybe they were actually kinda good". Even Melon Mantano admits to still liking Iowa. Unlike Korn they never really sold out and managed to stay somewhat relevant within the dying scene of music they had the displeasure of being a part of.
And it's albums like Iowa that show why Slipknot gets looked back on with more respect than the rest of their contemporaries.
Iowa's the breathing definition of angsty: every track is dominated by guttural, deep screams and pained, frustrated vocals with edgy lyricism about death and such (as is common with nu-metal). However, despite the lyrics reading much like a slightly disturbed highschooler's diary, the angst on this album never feels forced or put on. When Corey Taylor screams it feels manic, like an animal being let free from its cage. The downtuned guitars have a wall of crunchy distortion that creates a sea of angry, intense and bitter noise. This comes together exactly how you'd expect it to, violent fucking metal with an unbridled rage. Songs like People = Shit and Heretic anthem are perfect examples of just how well all of this comes together. The intensity and the energy felt on songs like these just do not stop either. The album is so incredibly consistent in how it unleashes its pure rage - which is exactly what separates it from its contemporaries.
Even if this album's consistency ends up kneecapping it a bit, it definitely stands as a message to the rest of nu-metal: they are the real thing. Past the stupid fucking costumes, Slipknot are an angry band with some destruction to deliver - and I'm all here for it.
NOTE: Let this review serve as a reminder to check over your writing, otherwise you'd end up like me and accidentally praise Corey Feldman for his ability to scream like an animal.