Earlier this year, Slipknot lead vocalist Corey Taylor appeared on "The Hurt Will Go On," a single from Code Orange, one of the most exciting metal bands in the world. C.O.'s lyrical and aesthetic content include militaristic entreaties to overthrow the powerful and demolish retrograde assumptions, something that was central to Slipknot since they first donned their iconic masks that made 90s-suburban parents reach for their crucifixes.
On "All Out Life," the new single from Slipknot, the Iowa band are clearly aiming to demolish standard expectations for a comeback. The band's last album .5: The Gray Chapter was released in 2014, what feels like centuries ago now, but they've have found new purchase in the culture from a wave of aggressive rappers weaned on their music. Slipknot aren't interested in outreach, or changing their formula, just refining it.
Taylor is more direct than usual, perhaps a result of the Code Orange collab: "Old does not mean dead, new does not mean best," he insists on the catchy hook in his iconic growl. Cynics could peg the lyrics as a desperate grab for relevance, but that would ignore the song's quality, not to mention the timeliness of its release, when patent mediocrity or worse controls the reins of power just about everywhere. Slipknot always summoned its darkness from a broken world, and "All Out Life" does an admirable job summoning an internal hellfire to match the current real-life desolation.