Album Review: Slipknot - Antennas To Hell

2 August 2012 | 9:56 am | Tom Hersey

For all their complaints about [producer] Rubin, the lauded svengali undoubtedly extracted some of the band’s finest material.

More Slipknot More Slipknot

A decade-plus on, four studio records in and tragically down one bassist, Iowa's (only?) cultural export Slipknot are taking stock of their career so far with Antennas To Hell, a new best-of compilation. The one-disc offering (there's a deluxe edition with an additional live album if you're feeling saucy) sticks to the hits, proving Slipknot are a band that can dispense with whatever gimmicks (masks, jumpsuits, rotating drum risers, superfluous percussionists et cetera) people might accuse them of relying on and still capture and communicate the frustrations of their audience in an honest, and commercially viable, way.

Arguably the biggest metal band of the last decade, listening back to some of these choice Slipknot nuggets is an enjoyable exercise in nostalgia; one that makes you realise how shrewdly they've spent their career coyly following whatever was trendy in heavy metal at the time. Unless you're listening closely, you don't realise that the band morphed the turntable-heavy Jumpdafuckup-styled nu-metal of numbers like Wait And Bleed and Spit It Out into the catchy metalcore of latter-day cuts like Pyschosocial.

But the jewel in the 'Knot's crown has always been their 2004 effort, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), and perhaps one of the most gratifying aspects of Antennas... is how it compares the band's material from albums like Iowa and Slipknot to Vol. 3. In the light of public remarks made by Corey Taylor and co heaping shit on Vol. 3 producer Rick Rubin, the tracks taken from the album stand out as the best on the entire compilation. For all their complaints about Rubin, the lauded svengali undoubtedly extracted some of the band's finest material.