Slipknot: .5 The Gray Chapter review

Finally, after a long wait and numerous devastations along the way, Slipknot are back and stronger than ever. It’s been a long and dark road for the band after losing two band members. At one point the future of the band was in question and after adding two replacements for late bassist Paul Gray and dismissed drummer Joey Jordison, fans of the band weren’t sure what to expect but with their latest album, .5: The Gray Chapter, fans can finally breathe and rejoice in the fact that Slipknot have put together one of their darkest albums to-date. The album opens up with “XIX,” an eerie and dramatic intro with which frontman Corey Taylor screams a spoken word piece that’s all-but-symbolic of where the band is at personally and emotionally after all they’ve been through and lays their emotions out in the open for all to see. From there we kick into “Sarcastrophe,” which is solid proof up front that Slipknot are more pissed off and angry than ever and showcases the Slipknot brutality at its best. “AOV” has that speed metal vibe reminiscent of “People=Shit” and will make any fan of Iowa rest peacefully at night whereas lead single “The Devil In I” goes back to the Vol. 3 roots in the vein of “Duality” and “Before I Forget” but has an lead in similar to “Disasterpiece.” “Killpop” has an almost pop-metal feel to it and shows some of the darkest lyrics on the record while “Skeptic” features the twisted DJ skills of Craig Jones and Sid Wilson from the beginning and has a drum line similar to “Pulse of the Maggots.” The majority of the album is exactly what the band told us to expect months ago- Iowa meets Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. It’s very clear Slipknot still have a lot of anger, rage and emotion inside of them from everything that’s transpired and rightly so. However, they don’t get vocal about the details of anything on this record and there are no shots fired anywhere, no begging for sympathy and no apologies made. This is a Slipknot album through and though and it’s exactly what Maggots everywhere have been hoping for, waiting for and asking for ever since the band went on their last hiatus. With .5: The Gray Chapter, we don’t just see an album title that’s a dedication to one of the most creative, inspirational and vital members of Slipknot, but we also see a title symbolic of where the band has been mentally and emotionally over the last four years- gray and bleak. If you’re a longtime Slipknot fan, pick this album up. If you’re just discovering Slipknot and want to see what they’re all about, this is the perfect album to start with. After listening to .5: The Gray Chapter it’s clear that Slipknot aren’t back, they’re back with more fury and vengeance than they’ve ever had. Rating: 10/10 -Reggie Edwards