‘I was 22 years old, a hard-on with a pulse: wretched, vice-ridden, too much to burn and not enough minutes in a hour to do so’.
The action begins in West Des Moines, Iowa, where Corey Taylor, frontman of heavy metal bands Slipknot and Stone Sour, systematically set about committing each of the Seven Deadly Sins. He has picked fights with douche bags openly brandishing guns. He has set himself on fire at parties and woken up in dumpsters after cocaine binges. He lost his virginity at eleven. He got rich and famous and immersed himself in booze, women, and chaos until one day he realised, suddenly, that he didn’t need any of that at all.
Now updated with a brand new chapter, Seven Deadly Sins is a brutally honest look at ‘a life that could have gone horribly wrong at any turn’, and the soul-searching and self-discovery it took to set it right.
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
For those who don’t know me, or who aren’t familiar with my music reviews as this wanders into this realm. Yes, I am a Corey Taylor fan. Yes, I think his music is fantastic with both Slipknot and Stone Sour. I believe this man has talent oozing from his pours. But, everyone who knows me knows when it comes to critiquing anything be it book, album, gig, widget(!) I’m honest in my opinion as I see it. If I like it, I like it. If I don’t I will say so! I’ve slated music by some of my favourites in the past because they’ve banged their heads and written something in a coma and if I had read this and felt the same about this book and Corey Taylor I would say so. Overall though I didn’t, did I agree with everything he said? No, but what he did was to create a lot of food for thought, and that I liked.
I’ve had this book on my shelf since around the time it was released, I went through a phase of buying every heavy metal biography that came out at that time and I got a bit sick of them and stopped reading them. That there was my first mistake as this is not a bio. I repeat this is not a biography, auto or otherwise!
Yes there are autobiographical moments in there, snippets of Corey Taylor’s life to support what he is saying, to give an example. But they are anecdotes to add flavour and show that this man has experience in what he is talking about, the seven deadly sins.
In this book Corey Taylor takes the Seven Deadly Sins, namely Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, and Pride, and he explains in his own unique way firstly why he doesn’t believe they are deadly and secondly why he doesn’t believe they are ‘true’ sins.
Now, I was brought up under Christian doctrine, I was brought up to believe in the the seven deadly sins, to go to church and so on. But because of how my life unravelled, through childhood and into adulthood. Not because of my mental illness but because of things that happened to me abuse, rape and so on.
I seriously doubted what I was taught to believe. I have huge issues with Christian teachings, I like the ethos, but when you get into details, that is where I have problems, as I read further into this book I started feeling a kinship with Corey Taylor, finding he was verbalising many of the issues I have with religion.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a bible bashing book, but it questions organised religion, the hypocrisy, something which I question daily when I watch the news and see the awful things people do to each other in the name of religion.
Other things that come up in this book are focused on politics, the financial crash, fake celebrities (I’m proud to say I had no idea who some of the one’s mentioned were and I resisted the urge to Google their names deciding being in the dark was a safer place).
At the end of the book Corey Taylor discusses what he feels the seven deadly sins should be, I can’t say I disagree with him, even when he puts bad music in at number 7! He knows he’ll get some stick for this but when you read his reasons why, which I absolutely agree with you’ll understand! The others though are no brainers and make so much more sense, they are there because they are despicable acts against other human beings. Unforgivable acts that deserve the worst punishments known to man.
This book is part rant, part food for thought. Corey Taylor is a passionate man and this comes through in his writing. He is funny and he has lived. He is not afraid to tell sordid stories, and if he shocks you all the better for it.
Some of this book is funny, some sad, at moments I wished someone around me had read, was reading so I could discuss it with them. It’s a book that makes you want to talk. Whether you agree or disagree with what Corey Taylor is saying…he’s got something of value to say.
About Corey Taylor:
Corey Taylor has got a lot to say, which is precisely why millions affectionately know him as ‘The Great Big Mouth.’
The Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman never minces words either on record or on stage, and that’s what’s solidified him as one of hard rock’s most important singers. Corey’s words have helped carry Slipknot and Stone Sour to multi-platinum status, solidifying both bands as veritable pop culture presences. From Slipknot’s Grammy-winning ‘Before I Forget’ to radio hits such as Stone Sour’s ‘Through Glass’, his voice and lyrics continue to resonate with fans worldwide. However, he’s only begun to truly say what’s on his mind.
Iowa stays in his heart. Born and raised in Des Moines, in many ways, Corey’s never left. He started Stone Sour at 19, and the band grew to become a local favourite. However, Slipknot soon came calling. Approached at his night job by the nine-man metal maelstrom, Corey joined Slipknot. Combining a cathartic, chaotic growl with an undeniable and unforgettable melodic sensibility, he created a sound that the world had never heard. Oscillating like a guillotine from guttural growls to infectiously invasive choruses, Corey instantly clicked with a generation on Slipknot’s now legendary 1999 self-titled début. Songs like ‘(sic)’ and ‘Surfacing’ became anthems of disillusionment, while ‘Wait and Bleed’ and ‘Purity’ showed just how much range Corey has. The album swept hard rock by storm, quickly reaching platinum status and scaring the world into belief. Performing blistering sets on Tattoo the Earth 2000 and OZZfest 2001, Corey and Slipknot’s second record, Iowa, ripped through the Billboard Charts and reinforced the phenomenon.