Slipknot News

Slipknot .5: The Gray Chapter Review: Track-By-Track First Impressions From Metal Injection

Metal Injection posted a track-by-track review of Slipknot‘s upcoming album .5: The Gray Chapter. Below you can read an excerpt from the review.

Since the first teaser for Slipknot’s .5: The Gray Chapter went up on July 15, speculative postings and supposed “insider knowledge” has been running amok. Who was going to take the place of recently fired drummer Joey Jordison? Who would fill the mighty shoes of the late, great Paul Gray? Would the band still be able to bring it like they used to after six years of silence? While the answers for the first two questions have been all but confirmed across the great expanse of the Internet, I personally can answer the last question- Slipknot can bring it just as hard as they used to and then some, but with the acrid grace and brutal maturity of musicians who know how to sharpen their proverbial knives and efficiently kill with them just as well.

This review is pretty straight forward in terms of layout. I’m going to go track by track in the order they appear in on the album, excluding the two bonus tracks considering I don’t have them, and then give my overall impression of the album at the bottom. Deal? Deal.

Let’s get to it!

1) XIX

“XIX” opens up with a distorted bagpipe-sounding keyboard patch, a glockenspiel and an acoustic guitar in the background. Corey Taylor’s vocals come in over the eerie soundscape alongside muted drums quietly keeping the beat and Taylor’s voice just sounds strained in a fed up, pissed off way. “XIX” is interesting because it keeps building on a lot of additional instrumentation, volume increases and layered vocal harmonies seeping into frame. The main scratchy, sickening soundscape remains constant and you can almost feel Taylor glaring at you. It seems like Slipknot is trying to make you feel uneasy and scared with this track.

The song builds and builds, edging toward total paranoia, and finally arrives at… nothing. Everything falls apart and you’re left with the original soundscape in extreme disrepair. It’s you’re expecting something to jump out at you from behind a curtain. You reach toward it and there’s nothing behind it, but you’re pretty sure there’s someone breathing down the back of your neck now.

2) Sarcastrophe

“Sarcastrophe” picks up where “XIX” left off in terms of mood. There’s light percussion, effected clean guitars and a bubbling static noise. Things pick up with the addition of cymbals and distorted guitars. Then, out of nowhere, a drum fill and you’re thrown into the midst of Corey Taylor growling his fucking face off. The heaviness arrives in the same way the band did heaviness on their debut record- plenty of heft in terms of a traditional metal band, but with more percussion going on and the added madness of DJ electronically adding layers of insanity.

It’s immediately noticeably that this is not the Slipknot you think you’re getting. This is a Slipknot that is righteously pissed off. There’s blasts, there’s tremolo-picked riffs and there’s non-conventional breakdowns that include sampling and keyboard work and aren’t drum centric. There’s a strange, airy quality to the heaviness of this song. It’s not this laser-focused precision that’s cut and dry. It’s haunting, terrifying and larger than life. It’s as if Slipknot were this spectral being here to kill you, but slowly… painfully.

3) AOV

“AOV” is driving in the same way the members of Amon Amarth are just kind of vikings. The combination of double bass and percussive attacks on the downbeats give the song a militaristic stomping quality while guitars simply drive like tanks through your speakers and keyboards sound the air raid sirens as if it were the end of days. There’s a big hooky chorus that pops up between the bursts of violence that’s going to get stuck in your head, and that’s just the first half of the song. What surprised me was the interlude toward the middle of the track.

During the interlude, the majority of the band fades off and featured prominently, providing the melody aside from a tinkling piano and dreamy, swirling guitars, is the bassist. I’d go as far as calling this a bass solo. It’s melodious and has a sense of direction in that it touches on what the guitars are doing in the background but doesn’t stick to them. With the band still mourning former bassist Paul Gray, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be Slipknot’s …And Justice For All.

It is not.

Read more at Metal Injection.

Slipknot .5: The Gray Chapter

Jim Root Interviewed By Music Feeds

Australia’s Music Feeds recently conducted an interview with Jim Root (#4 of Slipknot) about the Slipknot’s new album – .5: The Gray Chapter. Below you can read a couple excerpts from the interview.

Music Feeds: New album, new tours, new members. How’s life in the Slipknot camp at the moment?

Jim Root: Life in the Slipknot camp is pretty damn good right now. I used to be really hesitant and reluctant and resistant to say such things [laughs] Actually, everything’s pretty cool. But I don’t want to jinx it and I don’t want to…. usually when I feel like everything’s going good that’s when something really fucked up happens. So, I’m gonna say it’s all shitty, everything sucks, blah! [laughs]

MF: Corey mentioned how you and Shawn got the ball rolling on the songwriting process. Are you able to elaborate on that and take us behind the scenes a bit?

Jim Root: Sure. We’d been talking about doing a new record for quite some time, we just didn’t really know when. I mean, to give you sort of a whole synopsis, the whole us touring started to see if we could see do it without Paul, continue the healing process and then see what we could do after that, see if that could lead us into doing a record.

And so time went by and we were touring for a while and got to the point where we knew it was time to do a record and we wanted to do a record. So we pushed forward and started thinking about that and talking about that and we kind of had to wait for other bands’ tour cycles to wrap up and all that stuff.

It kept getting pushed back and pushed back and people in the band kept getting a little more antsy and a little more frustrated and a little more like, ‘What the fuck’s going on?’ And then finally I had enough, I was like, ‘This is stupid. We’ve been putting this off for over two years now. It’s time to get back to it and do what it is we’re put on this earth to do.’

And in conversations with Clown and with management and with the record label, it was definitely time. So, in November I sat down and kind of went to work. And then I’d finish arrangements and bounce them down and send them to Clown and that was it, that’s where the ball started rolling. That’s when everything else started to unfold, but basically in November 2013 is when I started demoing and inviting people into my garage.


James Root Slipknot .5: The Gray Chapter

Slipknot .5: The Gray Chapter – ArtistDirect Review

.5: The Gray Chapter is unequivocally and unabashedly a Slipknot album. That means a few things. First of all, it once again sees Iowa’s finest expand the boundaries of heavy metal similar to what they did on the timeless Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. Secondly, brutality abounds. ‘Nuff said.

This is Slipknot at their most incendiary, invasive, and infectious. Moreover, there’s absolutely nothing like .5 – The Gray Chapter in either the band’s catalog or the modern heavy metal canon, period. There will be nothing like it either. Few men can conjure what these gentlemen do once the sonic séance begins. For lifelong fans, it not only meets expectations; it obliterates them. Would you have it any other way though? This is Slipknot after all.

At the same time, .5: The Gray Chapter offers the next phase in a larger body of work. This isn’t Iowa, Slipknot, or All Hope Is Gone. Rather, it’s a powerful, passionate, and potent piece of its own that retains the touchstones of the group’s patented sound, while ushering in a gorgeously chaotic and crushing future.


Slipknot .5: The Gray Chapter

Clown Talks About Camel Shit At Knotfest

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Clown (#6 of Slipknot) about strong>Slipknot’s Knotfest, which will have a very specific smell. And that smell is camel shit.

Boasts the press release, “Knotfest has its own aroma that will infest your brain, body and clothes for days after the festival is over. Personally picked by Slipknot themselves, the smell of Knotfest will permeate the festival grounds. Oil drums will be filled with camel shit… set aflame to last the entire festival.”

“We did the camel dung on the first Knotfest. It was awesome; it was beautiful,” Slipknot percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan tells Rolling Stone. “[Fans] came into the museum and they had to be hit with camel shit. A very distinct smell. You can’t huff it, but it’s got this smell. And it’s not necessarily the most comfortable thing, but its not necessarily the worst thing, it’s just remembering thoughts — it’s gonna be a reoccurring thing.”

Read more at Rolling Stone.

Clown - Slipknot 5.: The Gray Chapter