While Slipknot isn't exactly a metal band, their importance to the scene is undeniable. The great thing about them is that they never try to be something other than Slipknot; there's a real genuine quality to everything they do. Their self-titled debut and follow-up effort, Iowa, were both great, heavy, fast records, while Vol. 3 introduced more influences and experimentation. All Hope Is Gone keeps the train moving. Glimpses of their old thrashy-style sections are more prominent here than on Vol. 3, but so are the radio rock choruses. Comparisons to Taylor's other band, Stone Sour, seem to be abundant but, I find, without particular merit as this album is still Slipknot through and through. Being their most accessible album, this is a great starting point for anyone looking to get into this iconic group. Being a long time fan, I can say that the 4 year wait between albums was definitely worth it. The bonus content is excellent as well, with 3 excellent, cleaner songs as well as a very artistic making-of segment directed by Slipknot's brilliant Shawn Crahan. Not to mention the fact that this special edition is cheaper than the standard edition (at the time of my purchase and review)! The bottom line is that anyone and everyone needs to own this record.