I just finished listening to Significant Other so, if my praise seems excessive, keep in mind that it is relative praise.
Slipknot are the relatively rare Nu Metal band that actually pulls off the metal part convincingly. So many of these bands sound like they have adopted riffs because it makes them stand out from other hip hop acts (or because of their skin colour) or sound like they were influenced by metal but don’t actually want to play metal, but got lumped into this genre because nobody knew what else to call them. Well, these guys are a metal band influenced a bit my hip hop, rather than the reverse, which is nice for me, who is a fan of metal.
Imagine Sepultura once they started combining percussion into their sound, only with more of a hip hop influence and with weird costumes and lyrics designed to scare your parents. Actually, it’s closer to Soulfly, I think, though I don’t quite know either band well enough to be confident. But the metal plus percussion thing is the reference point. Now imagine one of those bands, but like a less arty less hardcore-influenced System of a Down, and you get some idea of what Slipknot sounds like. They’re not the equal of any of those bands, but at least they are trying to make contemporary metal. If I wasn’t familiar with any of those touch-points, I might have actually been impressed by the sound.
As somewhat metal somewhat derivative of sounds I like, I like this fine. As compared to the more hip hop-oriented Nu Metal bands, I like it a bit too much. But that’s only because of my personal preference of enjoying metal more than hip hop. I can understand why people who come from the other side might like this significantly less than other Nu Metal. And I can certainly understand why anyone who is a fan of the bands I mentioned before would find this band too derivative. (Also, it’s worth noting that Slipknot were once accused of copying their stage shtick from another band, though I don’t really care about that.)
Anyway, this does what I want a metal album to do. It’s not original enough for me to really care about it, but I enjoy listening to it a lot more than most of the other music categorized as “Nu Metal”.