Design By Humans
Published On: Tue, Oct 28th, 2014

Slipknot: .5 The Gray Chapter

.5 The Gray Chapter
(Roadrunner Records)

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After the death of bassist Paul Gray and departure of drummer Joey Jordison, .5 The Gray Chapter has all the emotion expected from a band mourning the loss of a founding member with throwback songs, industrial ingredients and twisted guitars telling the tales of inner torment and pushing forward.

“This song is not for the living, this song is for the dead,” solemnly spoken by Corey Taylor opens “XIX”’s somber bagpipe-like beginning, introducing the mood before he starts yelling out the first bit of their collective pain. “Sarcastrophe”’s Fear Factory-ish beginning slammed by guitars says they’re back and fucking pissed off. With “Get This” speed and vocal harmonies, “AOV” slows mid-way, taking turns with stylistic military march pacing. “The Devil In I” hints at “Heretic Anthem” with its creepy Hannibal-style/girl self-torturing video about one’s own addictions and personal darkness coming out in productive ways. “Killpop” is a heavy love ballad with a unique, dark, and desolate NIN-flavoring and grooves. The repeated heavy boot to the head of “Skeptic” is a definitive tribute to Gray. (The world will never see another crazy motherfucker like you.) “Lech” says “I know why Judas wept, motherfucker” with a dangerous anger and dirty feelings in the guitars injected by industrial effects. “Goodbye” is a subdued musical funeral with a soft-sung reminiscing homage to history.

“Nomadic”’s mix of fresh throwback brings the best of heaviness, groove and melody the Knot’s known for. “The One that Kills the Least” intertwines pain-stricken vocals with guitars grieving agony. “Custer” carries their signature anger and aggression as “The Negative One” is torn out from places within. The shard-like melancholy drops of “If Rain is What You Want” pours over the Danzig black winged darkness of “Overide.”

A mixture of all albums, .5 The Gray Chapter is an outpouring of what they’ve been through. They’ve reached into dark places and wrenched out personal, private emotion that’s been played out in the public eye and will be played out on stage. What Taylor can’t scream or sing, the guitars bash out. This is probably not the album they thought they’d make, but the album they needed to make.

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Slipknot: .5 The Gray Chapter