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Slipknot’s .5: The Gray Chapter – Album Review

Dylan Donine, Staff Writer

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The release of American metal band Slipknot’s fifth album, .5: The Gray Chapter, was a huge deal for the band and their fans. It consisted of 16 new songs, including the hit single “The Devil In I” released a few months before the album. The entire album was released on October 21, 2014, and was their first album in six years.

Six years is a long time for any popular band to not release any new music, but the delay in the creation of Slipknot’s music was caused by the tragic, untimely death of the band’s beloved bassist Paul Gray. He was a very well-known member, as he was part of the original Slipknot lineup, which means that even though the band had some members replaced over the years, he was in it from the start. This entire album is very personal and full of meaning, as it seems to be named after their past bassist and most of the songs are about the struggle and recovery the band endured since their bassist’s death.

Gray was found dead in a hotel room on May 24, 2010, and the cause of death was a drug overdose. Through interviews, lead singer of Slipknot Corey Taylor has made comments stating that in the years following Gray’s death, he has stopped all substance abuse. Even though the death of a friend is terrible to endure, it seems as though Gray’s death influenced Corey Taylor in one positive way–keeping him drug-free. The band has come together and learned from the tragic death, and it all shows through in this album.

Slipknot didn’t just elate their fans with an entire new album; they surprised them with new masks. Slipknot’s trademark is each band member wearing his own custom mask from start to finish during every performance. For this new album, every member got a new mask that was revealed in their music video, “The Devil In I”. Both this album and the new masks represent the death of the old and the birth of the new Slipknot. The death and rebirth of Slipknot is poetically acted out in their music video for “The Devil in I”.  Even though some changes have been made, Slipknot is still the same extremely talented, impactful band, and they still give off the same vibes. If you enjoy heavier music, check out this album. It’s worth it.

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