Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
Review by Adam on August 21, 2002.
Many fans regard "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat." as Slipknot’s actual debut album. The band would be quick to disagree dismissing this album as more of a demo of sorts. Basically, this was not the way they wanted to be introduced into the metal world, which is a shame since this record is pretty good!
This album features some familiar faces or masks if you think about it that way. Joey is still the awesome drummer we all know him to be with the newer Slipknot albums. Bass player Paul is actually a part of the music. His talent shines through on this album especially on the stand out track 'Confessions'. Shawn the percussionist has a few moments here and there, but he is still essentially useless much like the sampler Craig who actually started in the band as a guitarist. This record includes Slipknot’s original vocalist Anders and its two original guitarists Josh and Donny. Josh actually played on the majority of the band’s self-titled album but left before it was finished. He can now be found in the band Stone Sour which also features new Slipknot singer Corey and the guitarist who replaced him, James.
Now that we got all that settled let’s talk about the music. This is one very eclectic metal offering! There are no dj scratches to be heard or as many of those annoying f-words. The vocalist has a greater screaming range than Slipknot’s new vocalist does. God this guy goes deep! His more melodic screaming reminds me of Pantera’s Phil Anselmo. The guitarists are very impressive as well. Here we are treated to a couple nice solos which newer material unfortunately neglects. Other musical genres show up on this record as well. Both jazz and funk are incorporated into the song 'Do Nothing/Bitch Slap' while on the track 'Confessions', the singer’s soulful voice is backed by an extremely catchy bass line and funk styled guitar hooks.
Some of the songs on here should also sound familiar as they were later rerecorded for Slipknot’s label albums. The song 'Slipknot' later became the track '(sic)' which was faster but felt empty without the awesome guitar solo from the original. 'Only One' was also rerecorded as was 'Tattered And Torn'. Both sound pretty much the same so not much to talk about there. However, the track 'Gently' on this record was completely ruined on Slipknot’s "Iowa" record where the clean guitar intro was replaced with noise and the tracks’ lead riff was replaced with... well its basically gone! Another song entitled 'Killers Are Quiet' later became 'Iowa'. Both songs are long and boring however the original version has a really funny hidden track attached to it by the name of 'Dogfish Rising'; therefore, the original prevails.
Overall, this record is pretty awesome. Some people think it is more “metal” than Slipknot’s newer material. The music here is far less intense; however, it steers clear of many of the nu-metal cliches the band have added to its sound on their label releases. However, if a couple Korn sounding riffs and dj scratches make something less metal then fine. To be honest I would much rather listen to the more aggressive material as of late, but it boils down to preference. If you are the kind of person who would say something like what I stated in the second sentence of this paragraph, then you would probably like this a lot more than Slipknot’s newer stuff. The main thing I like about this album is the fact that it forgets about boundaries. This is something Slipknot have always done, but the diversity the band display with this record is enough for any metal fan to want to turn around and take a listen. I never would have imagined I would hear a funk breakdown in a metal song, but Slipknot pull it off. For that kind of diversity alone, this rarity is worth trying to hunt down and hear for yourself!
Bottom Line: Find this if you are a Slipknot fan! Those of you who don't like new Slipknot will probably like this as well. Its worth trying to track down!
Categorical Rating Breakdown
Rating: 7.2 out of 10