Review: 5: The Gray Chapter

Now, I think I can speak for all Slipknot fans when I say I was extremely excited when the band announced a fifth album, following the death of previous bassist Paul Gray which made the Iowa band’s future extremely uncertain.

Since August of this year we’ve been teased with songs and music videos for The Negative One and The Devil in I – the video for which accidentally revealed the identity of Slipknot’s replacement bassist, Alessandro Venturella, due to his unique hand tattoos.

The band have since created a website where their entire fifth album, entitled 5: The Gray Chapter, is available to stream for free, and on first impressions I can safely say that Slipknot are back on top form and better than ever before.

As always, Slipknot are still combining thundering percussion, heavy riffs, electronic elements and vocalist Corey Taylor’s unique voice to create something uniquely Slipknot, as is evident starting from the first full-length track Sarcastrophe and continuing throughout the rest of the album.

The pace is fast and unrelenting – this is certainly not an album to relax to, but one where, if you close your eyes, you could imagine being surrounded by metal heads in the moshpit at a show or festival.  Listening to this album at full blast, I could practically feel my heart beating in time to the bass pedal.

Whilst the tracks fit together well as a package, even on first listen it’s easy to distinguish between individual songs which demonstrates the time and hard work which has gone into The Gray Chapter.

Slipknot’s latest offering combines music stylised similarly to their earlier albums Iowa and Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses with vocals more closely related to those from All Hope Is Gone – this creates an album which, whilst clearly penned from the same hands, is not quite like any of their previous albums.

In case you hadn’t worked it out already, I absolutely love this album, and in my humble opinion, Slipknot can do no wrong.  Let’s hope I can get tickets to their Prepare For Hell tour next year!

Highlights: AOV, Killpop, Nomadic, If Rain Is What You Want


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