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Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter

Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter

Slipknot - .5: The Gray Chapter  

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Warner Music: Rs 449 (CD)

After bassist and founding member Paul Gray’s death in 2010, it’s difficult to have imagined Slipknot soldiering on with their metal crusade, but four years on, minus another founding member – the band fired drummer Joey Jordison last year – the band has released a heart-wrenching eulogy to Gray. .5: The Gray Chapter is 14 tracks of rage served through vocalist Corey Taylor’s growling, whimpering, turmoil-driven voice.

If you’ve always identified each of the nine band members’ contribution, then you might complain about Jordison’s and Gray’s absence on this record and you can definitely sense something amiss, but Slipknot waste little time reviving their brand of nu-metal meets heavy metal. After a brief intro that sets the regretful tone of Taylor’s lyrics on ‘XIX’, he mourns, “This song is not for the living, the song is for the dead.” After raging through stand-out tracks like ‘Sarcastrophe’ and ‘AOV’, they get the mood right on ‘The Devil In I’, alternating between quiet verses that explode into a massive chorus. They go one up on ‘Skeptic’, the emotions peaking with every time Taylor screams his tribute to Gray: “The world will never know another man amazing as you.” So personal does Taylor make it that he takes the guilt on himself and keeps things most straightforward about his feelings.

It makes The Gray Chapter feel like a very close and personal record, but at the same time, there’s a feeling that Slipknot will not delve on any other subjects, turning around variants of the same topics of death, friendship and loneliness.

This is why songs like ‘Goodbye’, ‘Nomadic’ and ‘The One that Kills the Least’ are a bit weak, or at least need repeated listens to become noticeable in the 14-track album. You can hear a return to roots on ‘Custer’, brooding drums set to Taylor spitting rhymes and a few scratch samples from DJ Sid Wilson. The riffs from Mick Thomson and Jim Root are almost suppressed to give way for the relentless drumming courtesy percussionists Chris Fehn and Shawn Crahan. They shine next and probably for the last time on the album with ‘The Negative One’, which sounds like it was written to be a lead single – heavy and groovy in equal parts.

For the most part, The Gray Chapter will hold any metal fans attention. Slipknot fans in particular will be happy to know the band has channelled their anger and sorrow into a great record that stays true to their sound right up to their nu-metal roots. But if this album was created for closure around Gray’s death, then Slipknot will do equally well to make this their last album, their swan songs, and head into different directions.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 2:30:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/music/beatstreet-slipknot-5-the-gray-chapter/article6611504.ece

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