Corey Taylor – CMF2

Corey Taylor – CMF2
BMG – Decibel Cooper Recordings
Release Date: 08/09/23 
Running Time: 51:04
Review by Paul Hutchings

Like him or loathe him, Corey Taylor is unstoppable. The Slipknot frontman has been in our faces as metal fans for well over two decades now, and while his main vehicle has slowed in recent years, Taylor is as hyperactive as ever with his creative juices seemingly flowing as well now as they did in those crazy early days with the Iowa nine. 

CMF2 is Taylor’s second solo album and follows the debut “CMFT” released in 2020. I’ll admit to being pleasantly surprised when I reviewed it for another site back then, complimenting Taylor on the wide scope of sounds and styles he generated. So, having got the latest Slipknot shows out of the way, what do we have in “CMF2”? 

Well, the first thing to note is that Taylor is back with an energised and enthusiastic album. He’s confident. Beyond confident, as befits someone of his stature. “I have no fear when it comes to music. None,” he declares. “It feels so good to really lean into the things that I’ve been chomping at the bit to do. My first solo album was kind of where I was coming from. This album is more where we’re going,” he explains. 

The LP was produced by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Amon Amarth), who produced Stone Sour’s 2017 “Hydrograd” as well as “CMFT” and features several guests including keyboard players Roger Joseph Manning Jr. (Jellyfish, Beck) and Fred Mandel (Alice Cooper, Queen, Pink Floyd), alongside his returning band, guitarist/ background vocalist Christian Martucci, drummer/background vocalist Dustin Robert, and guitarist/ background vocalist Zach Throne along with new bassist/background vocalist Eliot Lorango. And of course, Taylor, who adds mandolin, guitars and piano as well as lead vocals. 

It’s a raucous opening that sees Taylor draw deep on his early days. The dark opener ‘The Box’ begins with mandolin and Taylor’s raw-edged voice, before dive bombing into the ferocity of ‘Post Traumatic Blues’. Never afraid to tackle subjects that have formed and shaped him, this is a song with lyrical echoes of PTSD. The intensity increases dramatically, before the song launches with a jagged punching riff which explodes into a solid, six-minutes of heavy metal with a swagger and Taylor’s aggression harnessed into a Slipknotted frenzy. He repeats it later with the powerful aggression of ‘All I Want is Hate’, a punk-tinged violent explosion designed to purge every emotion in a frenzy of riffing, high intensity pace and anarchic ending. 

Fans will already be familiar with the punk harnessed ‘Talk Sick’, with its sixties vibe [anyone catch The Munster’s theme buried in there?], ‘Post Traumatic Blues’ and ‘Beyond’, all released as singles as part of the drip-feed that is compulsory these days. 

There are of course, anthems galore. It’s something that Taylor, along with Dave Grohl excel at producing. You can sing, dance, punch the air, but there’s always the infectious groove that you decline but find yourself fighting underneath the skin to tap that foot before later humming it without thought. Such is the nature of ‘Starmate’, a true earworm that is the essence of Taylor’s hybrid mixture of Stone Sour and his solo work. He also drops easily into the melancholic vibe. ‘Sorry Me’ is an emotional journey, drawing deep on his personal reflections. He continues the lament on ‘Someday I’ll Change Your Mind’.

The cover Taylor describes as a nod to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Colours so vivid “you can see them from space”. There’s a homage to Prince, a “cavalcade of Coreys” as homage to his myriad of musical lives. “I have this immense career behind me, represented by all these different looks on the album cover. I wanted to pay homage to that,” Taylor explains. “Plus, it gives people a reason to look at the artwork!”

“CMF2” is a decent album in many respects. Chaotic, schizophrenic in style, it represents one of metal’s most influential and divisive character’s latest musical journey. It’s expertly delivered, as one would expect. And if you love the man, then this is surely something else to delight you. If you don’t, well, this is unlikely to change your mind. What is for sure, Corey Taylor has plenty of juice in the tank. He’s only just getting warmed up!

01. The Box
02. Post Traumatic Blues
03. Talk Sick
04. Breath of Fresh Smoke 
05. Beyond
06. We Are the Rest 
07. MIdnight
08. Starmate
09. Sorry Me
10. Punchline
11. Someday, I’ll Change Your Mind
12. All I Want is Hate
13. Dead Flies. 

Corey Taylor – Vocals / Guitar / Piano / Madolin
Christian Martucci  -guitars/ backing Vocals
Dustin Robert – drums / Backing Vocals 
Zach Throne -Guitars / Backing Vocals
Eliot Lorango – Bass / Backing Vocals


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Paul Hutchings and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.