Greatest hits collections are an odd thing, on the one hand they make great entry points for people just discovering bands, but on the other hand they usually offer very little in the way of value for long term fans of a band.
With “Antennas to Hell” Slipknot have attempted to appeal to both schools of thought, by presenting a collection of their biggest songs in chronological order, showcasing both a lasting representation of the band’s legacy, as well as providing a fitting epitaph to the Paul Gray era of the band, the band has also included a few other little treats for the maggots in the package as well in the form of a bonus live CD and a DVD as well.
The bulk of the collection is made up of 19 tracks spanning the band’s journey from ‘(sic)’ all the way to ‘Snuff’, covering all the major points in between from the crushing heaviness of ‘People = Shit’, and the ‘Heretic Anthem’ from the bands sophomore release “Iowa” all the way down to the emotive melancholy of ‘Vermillion’ from “Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses” and the heartbreakingly sombre ‘Snuff’ as featured on the bands last release “All Hope Is Gone”.
Every single song featured here has a purpose and in some way shape or form is its own living breathing entity, a scarred fractious snapshot that represents a moment in the bands history, each one an anthem in its own right. There is something about the band allowing the songs to be laid out chronologically that helps the listener to really see the evolution and maturity of the band unfold before their hits, its also allows for moments of pause and reflection instead of just being pounded into oblivion with all the bands heaviest songs.
Slipknot are a world class band,one that has shaped millions of lives the world over, as well as penning some of my generations greatest anthems. There was a time when many thought, or in some cases hoped, that Slipknot would always just remain the ‘Wait and Bleed’ band and just fade away, but it says a lot that as time has gone by that songs like ‘Duality’ and ‘Psychosocial’ have gone on to become far bigger and more well known club dance floor staples, proving that the band still has plenty of mileage left in them as well as proving without question why they are one the most important and versatile metal bands in the world today.
“Antennas to Hell” serves as not only a great entry point for anyone looking to get into Slipknot, but also acts as a fitting tribute to their fallen brother Paul Gray, without whom most, if not all, of this would have been at all possible. As the band and their fans get set to move into the next phase of their career, we can hold this album along side their studio albums as a constant reminder of all the blood, sweat and puke we have sacrificed over the years for each other, and how this music has stood alongside all of us to comfort us in our darkest times and even unite us during our greatest triumphs.
Disc 2 features an audio CD capturing the bands spectacular live show at Download Festival in 2009, that was filmed for the ‘(Sic)nesses DVD’, whilst not quite as potent as the DVD itself or even coming close to the feeling of actually being there in the trenches, it does serve as a nice companion piece to the DVD, and it’s better than most live CDs you are likely to hear from bands nowadays.
The bonus DVD that accompanies and rounds out the package includes all of the bands music videos to date as well as 10 short films shot and arranged by Shawn Crahan.
If you are a Slipknot fan, obsessive or newbie there is something for everyone to be found and enjoyed in this package, even if you own all the songs already, then the bonus material will be more than enough to warrant the double dip. If you’re a new fan then this is the perfect first step in getting into the band. Either way you slice it or dice it, “Antennas to Hell” is a must purchase package and will tide you over until the band unleashes its fifth studio album in the future.