Broootally Honest: .5: The Gray Chapter Review; So Much Feels Brah

Slipknot-The-Gray-Chapter(Do I know what’s going on in this album cover? No. I don’t)

Okay, for those of you still wondering what the actual fuck the title of this article means I’ll say it clearly. Even I don’t know what to make of this mishmosh. Never has English failed me so much, and never have I failed in English to such an extent (considering that I did fail in English once in high school for turning my paper into a complete laugh riot…and apparently teachers don’t like that). Yeah, so to make things simpler, the American metal band Slipknot recently released ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’ (first studio album since 2008’s ‘All Hope is Gone’) and yours truly here is gonna give a Broootally Honest view on the album.

See, to me Slipknot is a pretty important band. It was the first metal band that I came across (not considering Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park) and I turned into a maggot (Slipknot fan) at the age of 12, and eight years later I’m still a maggot. The masks, the uniforms, the names of each and every band member (all nine of them) were just so different than what was being offered in the music industry at that time. I still remember watching them live on TV and being completely awestruck. As far as I remember Slipknot inspired me to pick up a guitar and start playing music. And well yes, a lot of metalheads will give you tons of butthurt because you still follow Slipknot, or think that Slipknot is metal, but fuck it man, it’s my choice in music and I like it. Also, besides all the shock-and-awe aspect of the band the reason I’ve been really attached to Slipknot is that their music helped me through a really tough time (high school, poopsies! Never thought I could sound so emo o.O) and as my depression spiraled deeper and deeper I only had Slipknot to turn to (as I was yet to discover Lamb of God, Alice in Chains, Tool, RATM, Primus or Karnivool).

LKEBgCf(NEW MASKS! NEW MASKS!! NEW MASKS!!!)

It’s pretty funny that Slipknot’s recent release coincides with another time when I’m dealing with my ‘Duality’ (fucking Bipolarity, oh and that’s a Slipknot reference :|). So as I queue this album I only hope I’m saved (OH FUCK! THAT’S LIKE…GAYYYYYYY!). Okay…moving ahead Slipknot is nine guys that I’m not naming…because, well…I’m not. And earlier this year they parted ways (read fired) with legendary drummer Joey Jordison, also the good-guy bassist Paul Gray passed away a few years back (yeah the album’s somewhat a tribute to him) so Slipknot have hired a new drummer and bassist whose identities haven’t been revealed yet. Yeah…so…A warning before I start. The album has 19 tracks, so this is gonna be a long trip down depression lane (for me at least) because I’ll be covering each and every one of them.

1) XIX:
The album starts off with ‘XIX’ (pun at the number of tracks?) which starts off with the “Clown” saying a pretty awesome line (i.e. This song is not for the living/This song is for the dead) and has a pretty cool post apocalyptic feel to it and reminds me of ‘Circle’ from ‘Vol 3: (The Subliminal Verses)’ and that is a good sign. A pretty solid start to the album I’d say.

2) Sarcastrophe:
If you look past the lyrics as something important, this is some good shit brah…but something’s seriously shitty about the chorus. Needles to say the guitars, percussions, turntables and vocals are great. I simply love the pre chorus verses.

3)AOV:
It’s short for Approaching Original Violence. The galloping verse riff is really really good, but then again, what’s up with the hook? Again, the chorus turn too radio friendly (code for ‘shit’) but as a saving grace, the breakdown is simply beautiful. This is actually a pretty good one and I can definitely see myself listening to this pretty often…reminds me of ‘Psychosocial’ from “All Hope is Gone’

4) The Devil in I:
This song is somewhat difficult to explain. I love how it starts, the triplets are awesome, so is the tremolo, the drums and the mellow verse riff, and the haunting vocals do just what they’re meant to (that is kick some serious ass). This was released as a single a few weeks back and I hated it, but now I’m getting used to this, it’s one of the best songs on the album. Oh don’t forget that video above bro…too BROOOTAL! Whoever the new drummer is, he is pretty good on this track.

5)Killpop:
It starts off with an awesome offbeat drum intro and the verse is really good but then comes the downfall. As all other members are doing a good job, the chorus lyrics ruin it completely. This isn’t the first time this year that a band known for its awesome lyrics let me down (case in point, Mastodon’s ‘Once More ’Round the Sun’).

6)Skeptic:
This is an obvious tribute to late Paul Gray; it’s a catchy song but really didn’t make much sense mainly only because of the lyrics (and I’m basically talking about the chorus). I mean won’t you get uneasy when a really awesome band sings “The world will never see another crazy motherfucker like you/The world will never know another man as amazing as you”…all funny/kickass shit aside, this chorus sucks big time!

7)Lech:
And after that heavy dose of bad lyrics comes ‘Lech’. A complete savior, this track is a relief. What’s awesome besides the obviously awesome music is the fact that the verse is recited like a poem. Yes, like a poem (Po’s Poems Pwn Posers, Yo :P). I can’t put my finger on it but this song defo reminds me of some previous kickass Slipknot song.

8)Goodbye:
Now this song is a complete surprise, because the first half of the song is typical soft side of Slipknot and the second half is the heavy mainstream Slipknot. I’m confused; this sounds more like a Stone Sour song. It’s still kickass though.

9) Nomadic:
After ‘Goodbye’ we’re lead directly into ‘Nomadic’, which is the Slipknot I’m actually used to, the chorus is a bit choppy, but I can work with that…Oh DAMN! That guitar solo is gonna melt your face!!! I feel the actual party’s getting started now!

10) The One That Kills The Least:
This song too can be easily confused for a Stone Sour song (basically around the radio friendly chorus), but this is a good moshpit starter, and oh the guitar solos keep getting better and better, and even the turntable guy (Sid Wilson) makes his presence felt (so what if it’s for 3 seconds???).

11) Custer:
Already being touted as Slipknot’s heaviest song ever ‘Custer’ starts with an intro riff that sounds too familiar (I’ll have to look in my original compositions folder now. Ohhh…Thank you guys for putting out a riff I might’ve used sometime). Oh and I still find ‘People = Shit’ and ‘Disasterpiece’ to be way heavier than this shit-chorus-waving-as-overhyped-as-Jennifer Lawrence of a song. Though it’ll most probably fuck some serious shit in the pit.

12) Be Prepared For Hell:
Okay, I simply love the next two songs ‘Be Prepared For hell’ and ‘The Negative One’. The alien voice at the beginning of ‘Be Prepared For Hell’, the maniacal laughter at the end along with the creepy keys, I only have one word…Well done Slipknot (Oh wait…that’s three words :|).

13) The Negative One:
Yeah, so….’The Negative One’ has been my favorite off of this album ever since it was released back in August. This is the track where the Slipknot is at its finest, the guitars are just awesome, and the drums are simply great (especially near the chorus). Godammn the chorus is just another level of kickass and the breakdown screams “HAIL SLIPKNOT”. And even the music video is trademark Slipknot i.e. can’t be understood. But hey, I like all things occult and shit (partly because of Slipknot) and well have a look yourself and well…those ladies are…pretty (Yeah, who doesn’t love a deranged hottie?).

slipknotnegative_608x376(Yes sugar, gimme some lovin’)

14) If Rain Is What You Want:
This song is all I could ask from Slipknot. Now this is a good metal ballad! After ‘Child of Burning Time’ and ‘Snuff’ from ‘All Hope is Gone’ I’m really glad this one is ends the standard version of the album.

The Bonus Tracks:
The first of the 5 bonus tracks is ‘Override’ and this is a good one really, slow, then fast, then slow, then fast again (As Rob Halford of Judas Priest likes his songs). But somewhere around the 3:00 mark the song turns into something else entirely but comes back to the trademark Slipknot sound. Next is ‘The Burden’ and it has this sweet keys/guitar hook that is just sweet! But this one’s a pretty solid metal track. A complete 5 and a half minutes of ‘just what you need when you’re down’. The next three tracks are ‘Silent’, ‘Talk’ and ‘Funny’, all segues apparently put at the very end of the album (:|). ‘Silent’ is 2 minutes of silence…(listening to Tool lately?). ‘Talk’ starts off with a beautiful instrumental and then it’s a recording of a guy talking to the band looking for a job, this is really funny (listening to Tool too much?). The very last track ‘Funny’ is the best thing I’ve heard all day, it’s basically Corey Taylor (the vocalist) singing “Until next time/Don’t wait until next time/Goodbye”. It’s like the perfect end to a French movie (think Amélie).

Slipknot-2014(Ah, nothing’s better than a classical family portrait)

So, the bottomline you ask? Honestly, listening to this album was a good idea. Slipknot’s been through some tough shit and it’s reflected through their songs and maybe that’s why most maggots remain maggots for life. No other band in the world has a more dedicated following than Slipknot. After the demise of brother-like bassist and the ousting of their drummer, Slipknot have risen again from their ashes and this time they’re defo a much scarier, much stronger nine headed phoenix. The album is a great comeback, it has a few troughs but the crests break the boundaries of the graph. An 8.666/10 for ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’.

Best tracks:
XIX
Sarcastrophe
The Devil in I
Killpop
Lech
Goodbye
The One That Kills The Least
Be Prepared For Hell
The Negative One
If Rain Is What You Want
The Burden
Funny

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