All Hope Is Gone - Style and Themes

Style and Themes

Musically, the album has an absence of their nu metal sound and features a more standard metal sound. It also has a lot groove metal charcteristics. The album also features death metal and thrash metal characteristics. Prior to the album's release, Slipknot's members displayed interest in making All Hope Is Gone their heaviest album, which Joey Jordison affirmed saying, "It's going to be heavier than Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), but just as weird and as experimental." Corey Taylor reiterated this, describing All Hope Is Gone as a "very dark" combination of the band's two previous studio albums, Iowa and Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). In All Hope Is Gone, Slipknot expands on their use of traditional song structures, acoustics, and solos that they introduced on their previous album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). The song "Snuff" is led by acoustic guitars and has been dubbed as Slipknot's "attempt at a power ballad", though it remains "dark and ominous". In an interview with Artistdirect, Shawn Crahan stated, "Everyone can feel the pain that's in there. It's not forced upon you. You have it in there innately." Slipknot also retained a metal edge reminiscent of their earlier work. Stephen Erlewine of Allmusic wrote "Gematria (The Killing Name)" goes from "a cluster of cacophony" to "an onslaught of densely dark intricate riffs". Crahan compared it to the song "(sic)" from their debut album, explaining, "The technique and the style are very reminiscent of the old, brutal shit that we've done." Jim Kaz of IGN stated that the "swaggering, cock-rock groove and an anthemic chorus" of "Psychosocial" gives Slipknot the potential to reach out to new fans "without sacrificing a lick of intensity". Crahan stated he "loves" his parts of "Psychosocial", in which the band incorporates snare drums, reminiscent of "Before I Forget". He also cited "This Cold Black" as one of his favorite songs, saying that it has a "driving tempo and a lot of attitude". The track "Gehenna" incorporates elements of Slipknot's slower, more cerebral edge reminiscent of "Prosthetics" and "Purity" from their debut album, and "Skin Ticket" from Iowa. Crahan called it a "trippy song", explaining, "It's just somewhere we go."

Corey Taylor explained that the phrase "All Hope Is Gone" is aimed at the fans' expectations of the band, further elaborating, "Just when you thought you had us figured out, give up all hope because you're never, ever going to." Throughout the album, Taylor incorporates a focus on politics in his lyrics, compared to Slipknot's previous albums. The opening track, ".execute.", features Taylor's response to former United States Vice President Spiro Agnew’s speech targeted at Vietnam War protesters. and the second track "Gematria (The Killing Name)" follows in the same vein. During an interview with Kerrang!, Taylor discussed the song's lyrical content, explaining, "There are a lot of people who are disguising politics as religion and dictating taste and turning it into policy. And that hurts me." Reviewing for IGN, Jim Kaz said that lyrically, "Gematria (The Killing Name)" gives the listener a "heaping dose of Corey Taylor's caustic bravado". On the track "Wherein Lies Continue", Taylor offers a "dressing down of the world as we know it", explaining, "It kinda goes up against any civilization that takes themselves way too seriously and where the 'leaders' are so pretentious that they think they are deemed to speak for the people." He also proclaimed, "It wouldn't be a Slipknot album if I didn't rag on the recording industry." On "Butcher's Hook", Taylor specifically targets "all those little emo boys", commenting, "People give us shit for wearing outfits, but all of those guys look exactly the same."

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