Slipknot - Iowa (2001)
Some albums are affected or narrowed by the time they were written, by the bands’ condition at the time, “Iowa” seems to be one of those, in fact, the album was basically born from the pressure, hate, anger, and disgust the members were dealing with, back at the time. After their self-titled album, Slipknot was under huge pressure, since everybody was expecting much from them. The band faced huge popularity that they weren’t expecting and simply were shocked by it. It seems like the band reflected their shock directly to the fans, with the angry screams, growls, percussion, riffs, by every single detail it has. Members were going through some hard times, as a band and as individuals. After their tiring touring, members were distanced away to deal with their own problems, such as drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and the hate they were carrying against each other, but meanwhile Joey Jordison and Paul Gray still worked on some ideas. Taylor was dealing with alcohol addiction, Root and Thomson separated themselves from the band, and Shawn Crahan shortly summed up the whole scene with these words: "I wanted to kill myself”.
The album had some heavy influences like death metal and hardcore. Yet some songs had melodic elements, like “End of Everything” or “My Plague”, the songs are mostly filled with blasting sounds. In the lyrics, Taylor was basically screaming out about misanthropy, hatred, disgust, and rejection, apparent by the track names “People = Shit”, “Disasterpiece”, “I Am Hated”, and the music is surely carrying those themes too. The writing session was surely hard for the members. Taylor said he was cutting himself, getting sick, vomiting while recording the vocals for the last track “Iowa, " and explained that great outcomes came from those. Disasterpiece was written/ pre-produced in a warehouse in Iowa, while Taylor had a disease and couldn’t sing, and it turned out to be Taylor’s favorite track of the album. The hate and anger the members were feeling among themselves and to everyone was obvious. Crahan explained, 'People = Shit' was our way of saying, 'Fuck off and leave us alone'". This album isn’t a happy one but surely is heavy and made the band develop in their career even more.