We at HooM! have our weaknesses, the most immediately distressing being our love of producers -- y'know, the faceless guys paid to crack the whip in the studio and iron out (or at least contextualize) the many, many questionable tendencies of egomaniacal musicians. It's a bit simplistic to say producers make bands better; a more accurate description would be that good producers help bands transition: from live to recording, from enthusiastic to measured, from disorganized art to essential product.
Our long-standing policy at HooM! has been automatic purchase of albums helmed by master producer Colin Richardson. There've been some vetoes (Bullet For My Valentine, The Exploited, Sugarcoma) but mostly kudos (Carcass' Necroticism, Napalm Death's Diatribes) and even some nice surprises, like whinecore wimps Funeral For A Friend's debut and the short-lived and roundly hated Scat Opera (the band who, at Milwaukee Metalfest in 1992, got booed only slightly less than Rikki Rachtman and Keanu Reeves' Dogstar).
Count it as encouraging that Slipknot has Richardson on board (ha) to mix their forthcoming album, Fuck Your Yankee Blue Jeans.* This album might actually sound good, a first for the Iowa nonet.
UPDATE: Though Slipknot plans to unveil their new masks next week, sources have cleared HooM! to reveal two of the nine, the masks worn by drummer Joey Jordison and singer Corey Taylor.
*May not be actual title