Review: Slipknot – Antennas To Hell

A blistering, beautiful testament to the power of the band's early work, this is a must-own for Slipknot fans.

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

Slipknot is like no other band the rock scene has ever encountered, and to celebrate two decades of game-changing existence, the masked monsters have released Antennas to Hell, a "best of" collection documenting their unique and inimitable career. The time is right for such a collection from the band, as it captures fan favorites, live classics as well as well-known radio hits from the first chapter of Slipknot – a chapter where they’ve gone from unknown to the one of the biggest rock bands in the world, all on their own terms, outlasting the fickle trends of nu metal, metalcore and the like. 

Without calm or quarter, a blistering run through "(sic)", "Eyeless", "Wait and Bleed", "Spit It Out", and "Surfacing" serves as a reminder of the jet fuel potency Slipknot possessed from the moment they stepped on the scene. The trajectory is evident here, from the spastic insanity of the early material, laced with dynamically powerful & chaotic musicianship that's evolved as the band has moved to the forefront of rock and metal's shadowy consciousness.

Pulled from Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, "Pulse of the Maggots" brings us back to breathless fury, while "Duality" proves devastating in its boiling ferocity beneath a disturbingly calm vocal and "Vermilion" snaps your heart over its knee. Closing on the acoustic unrequited love letter "Snuff," there is a sense of beautiful tranquility. If you aren't familiar with Slipknot, this is an incredible foundation. If you're an OG fan, the sequencing and flow provides a beautiful testimony of the band's first act.

The Special Edition of Antennas to Hell contains two bonus DVDs, beginning with (sic)nesses: Live At The Download Festival 2009. The band's entire set is included, covering all of the songs mentioned above as well as "Get This,” "The Blister Exists" and "Everything Ends." Check out this preview:

The second bonus DVD contains the band's entire video library, beginning with their first music video “Spit it Out” and featuring three versions of “Wait and Bleed,” the most interesting of which being a supremely creepy animated film depicting the band members as nightmare puppets:

The greatest hits album that was launched in 2010 wasn't bad. It served its purpose, but it wasn't a screaming transcendent representation of all that the band had accomplished to that point. For that, we now have Antennas To Hell. It depicts the span of evolution of the band, incorporating their highs, lows and incredible dynamics in a live capacity. 

Slipknot has chosen to soldier on in the wake of the loss of one of their brothers, and continue as a band. This containment of early work and tribute to fallen bassist Paul Gray is a fitting way to celebrate how far they’ve come, what they’ve survived and why they remain such an incredible force in music today.