“Iowa” is the second studio album by Slipknot, released by Roadrunner Records on August 28, 2001.
Produced by Ross Robinson and Slipknot but it’s Mike Fraser as the Engineer who deserves a special mention here. The guitars are downtuned a lot and somehow they don’t end up sounding muddled. Which gets me thinking that the placement of the microphones to record the guitars was pretty spot on for Andy Wallace in the mix department to give all 8 members space to do their thing.
The 1999 self-titled debut album took the Charts by surprise, so the pressure to deliver a worthy follow-up was at an all-time high.
Production for the album started with drummer Joey Jordison (RIP) and bassist Paul Gray (RIP) in October 2000. Most of the material was written during this time, while other members took a break after the extensive touring that had followed their debut.
By January 17, 2001, the whole band arrived and basically war was declared between each other. Fatigue was killing Jordison and Gray, while alcoholism and drug dependency was affecting Corey Taylor and the other members. On top of that they had management problems and a party culture full of women and narcotics.
Taylor even resorted to cutting himself with broken glass to achieve the desperation and doom in the vocal growls he wanted.
So if you don’t know Slipknot, they wear masks which obscure their faces and they are referenced with numbers.
(#8) is Corey Taylor on vocals, (#7) is Mick Thomson on guitars, (#6) is Shawn Crahan on percussion, backing vocals, editing, (#5) is Craig Jones on samplers, media, (#4) is Jim Root on guitars, (#3) is Chris Fehn on percussion, backing vocals, (#2) is Paul Gray on bass, backing vocals, (#1) is Joey Jordison on drums and (#0) is Sid Wilson on turntables.
Basically the album is a result of guys who hated each other, the world and the world hated them back. Welcome to “Iowa”.
People = Shit
Great title and a great way of the band saying to people “F off and leave us alone”.
Press play to hear the head banging intro.
“My Plague” and “Everything Ends” I normally skip.
The Heretic Anthem
The 6-6-6 chant in the song is reminiscent of other songs from notable acts.
Track 7, I skip.
The best song on the album for me, because of the clean tone vocals. Who knew that Corey Taylor could sing that good back in 2001, as Stone Sour was a few years away from releasing their debut.
Tracks 9 to 13, I skip.
The closer at 15 minutes. It’s a Tool like dirge through desolation, doom and darkness. At some stages, it feels like the music if a demented soul.
I tried to like this album because of just how popular it became around the world. Gold Certifications in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan and Netherlands. Platinum certifications in Canada, the UK and the US.
Apart from “Left Behind” and “Iowa” there was nothing else here for me to grasp onto.
But, I did find the lyrics refreshing and totally different from what I was used to, which is a big reason why I kept giving Slipknot a chance.
If you like hard rock music then you won’t like this, as it borders on death and thrash metal with nu-metal influences.