Seven Deadly Sins: settling the argument between born bad and damaged good, Corey Taylor, Da Capo Press, 2011.
I like Slipknot, I like Stone Sour, I like Corey Taylor. Simply put, I’m a fan. Based on the many interviews featuring Taylor I’ve seen over the years, I found him to be fascinating enough to buy his first book, Seven Deadly Sins. The premise behind the book intrigued me —and being something of a music-related books addict— I wanted to read what was in the mind of Slipknot’s notorious frontman.
If you’re expecting something like your average rock autobiography, you’ll be disappointed. The book works as a behind the scenes extra on a DVD rather than the main feature. There are stories of excess and decadence along with the occasional musical reference, but a straightforward autobiography it is not. No, Corey Taylor doesn’t give you all the ins and outs of his musical projects such as Slipknot and Stone Sour. This is his take on the seven deadly sin and what they mean today—hence the book’s title. It also serves as an excuse for Taylor to drop f-bombs, controversial opinions and speak his mind because as he says, “l’m Corey F******* Taylor.” Welcome to Seven Deadly Sins.
Taylor’s psyche is essentially “I don’t want to be saved, I just don’t want to burn.” He proposes that the seven deadly sins we have come to know —lust, sloth, wrath, envy, gluttony, greed, and envy— are outdated and seem distant in our age. He expresses his thoughts and feelings about various human emotions such as rage, using colourful personal experiences to make points relating to sins.
In a nutshell, Seven Deadly Sins is Corey Taylor being Corey Taylor, speaking his mind and generating opinions. Ever outspoken, the frontman formulates his anger towards certain groups of people and general moments in life. Some of it is warranted, while some little more than good ol’ fashioned venting—and it happens a lot.
Take for instance this segment:
“It seems California has cornered the market on buffoonery. Almost everyone there has a lifetime contract for retardation, so it is not my fault if they end up maimed or limping from a collision with a Chevy, know what l mean? F*** them…”
Some of the content is excessive. I’m not against profanity and was expecting this sort of language here, but claiming that girls he slept with are whores and that everyone makes him mad is just too much. Corey makes some good, albeit very obvious points, but then proceeds to devalue his words by blaming everyone else for his behaviour. I’m not sure some of his preaching is warranted since he finds every outlet possible to blame in order to cover up his own actions and feelings.
The premise of the book is an interesting one. Deconstructing the seven deadly sins is in theory, a wonderful idea. After reading the tome, I’m just not convinced Corey Taylor was the man for the job. The format offers it’s author a lot of room (maybe too much) which turns into excessive navel-gazing and self-congratulatory pats on the back. It’s his book and he clearly owns it and he reminds us at every possible instance which gets very annoying. Examples including: “You make me angry. You make me a sinner. Go f*** yourself” and “I’m going to take a break to suck on my wife’s toe. Oh yeah did l mention my wife is hot?”.
To his credit, Taylor possesses a wide vocabulary of which he makes rather good use (until he feels the need to curse someone, something or the reader itself). I was surprised at the array of words used in Seven Deadly Sins. When he desires, Taylor can come across as a well-spoken, smart individual. Yet being a smart person doesn’t necessarily mean you’re fit to write a book.He later offers his take on what should constitute the sins in our modern age such as murder and rape, but by that point the interest has faded.
Seven Deadly Sins ends up being a little on the short side and lacking in valuable content. It is really just the singer of two bands you love voicing his opinions and rambling on while simultaneously trying to justify his own actions. It was fun for a few chapters but by the end it became more of a chore to finish the book. Just because you’re a fan of someone’s musical talent or vocal abilities does not mean you will enjoy their book. 2/5 stars.