Archive for November, 2014

Slipknot: .5 The Grey Chapter

Posted in Album Reviews on November 10, 2014 by lukesreviews1014

What might be the most highly anticipated release of the year (next to Tool…when the hell is that album coming out?!) has finally been unleashed to the public. Heavy metal titans Slipknot have recently released an extremely raw and painfully personal album dealing with the death of their friend and band mate as well as the inner turmoil within the band during those turbulent times.

Since the death of Paul Grey and the release of this album, the band also parted ways with drummer Joey Jordison, another integral member of the band whose departure sent shock waves through the metal community. There was much speculation as to what would become of these holes within the band. Would they add a new bassist? Would he wear a mask? Would they play on stage or behind a curtain? and so on… It was finally announced that there would be replacement members for both Joey and Paul that would feature slightly altered masks based on the original designs.

The band never publicly revealed who became the new members of the band, but when the band released the first single, “The Negative One,” there was a lot of speculation that Chris Adler of Lamb of God had filled in, despite his inability to recollect ever recording the tracks. When the second single, “The Devil In I” was released, it became easier for fans to determine who the new members were based on the music video that was released along with the single. embarrassingly enough, fans were able to identify the new bassist as Alessandro Venturella by his wrist/hand tattoos that were briefly highlighted during the music video for “The Devil In I.” At this point in time, the new drummer has not been revealed, but there is much speculation suggesting that the new drummer is Jay Weinberg, son of Bruce Springsteen‘s drummer, Max Weinberg.

Well, now that we’ve discussed that drama, let’s talk about the album. Obviously, the shadow of Paul Grey hangs heavily over the album. This is a very introspective record in which every member, especially Corey Taylor, gets the opportunity to grieve and clean out their respective closets in order to provide some sort of closure to this tragedy. It’s not only chillingly honest, but the songs themselves are reminiscent of those on Iowa, another very dark record. The album starts off with an opening track that features some drones, soundscapes and Corey screaming all by himself; basically serving as an introduction to the whole record. This feeds in nicely to “Sarcastrophe” and “AOV,” two absolute bangers that get the album started on a very high note.

“The Devil in I” is on a different level in my opinion as far as Slipknot songs go and while it’s a little slower, it still packs all the rage and aggression of any other track found on the album. I also firmly believe that it’s one of the greatest songs the band have ever written. From there we have tracks like “Killpop,” “Skeptic,” “Nomadic,” and “The One That Kills the Least,” each of which don’t have a ¬†single dull moment and really solidify the cohesion of the record.

Overall, I think that this was not ¬†only an absolutely stellar record in the wake of some skepticism had by some around the material found on All Hope is Gone, it was the album that this band needed to make. It’s extremely reminiscent of the older material (especially Iowa) and really reminded me of why I became a fan of the band in the first place. I simply can’t speak highly enough of this record, so please take the time now to go check it out. Thanks.

Luke Helker