As you might guess, the Slipknot and Stone Sour singer, Corey Taylor, knows a thing or two about sins, and sinning. But that’s not the point of this book, first published in 2011, and now available in paperback with a new chapter. Taylor wants to get you to think about sin in an entirely different way — that the seven deadly sins (anger, lust, vanity, sloth, envy, greed, and gluttony, in case you’ve forgotten) aren’t really sins at all.
He does this by arguing that these “sins” were so designated as a means to control others, and that they’re less sins than “character flaws.” That something like lust, for example, isn’t a sin in itself (it can lead to propagation of the species), though it can lead to sinning (like sexual assault). He further suggests that we should have a new, updated list of sins, truly deadly ones: murder, child abuse, rape, torture, theft, lying, — and bad music (while admitting that what constitutes bad music is a matter of opinion, he insists “Bad music is a form of murder to the true art of music in general …bad music is just fucking bad.”).
Interspersed with Taylor’s thoughts on sin are reminiscences of his life, including a truly wretched childhood (in the new chapter, he writes that on publication the book made his grandmother cry and sent his mother into denial). Taylor’s writing is engaging and fun; he has a way of sounding personable that makes his story interesting even if you’re not familiar with him or his work. It almost makes you wish he’d written two books, one on sins, and one an autobiography. Certainly, if he needs a break from music, Taylor could do quite well as a comedy writer.