Since 2008, the release of the last Slipknot record ‘All Hope Is Gone’, the band’s popularity has continued to soar. A globally respected and loved band, to say that Slipknot are probably the most important modern metal band in the world is a well-deserved, respected title. Having been through the highest of highs to the lowest of lows throughout their career, most significantly the passing of #2, original member and bassist Paul Gray in May 2010 and the departure of drummer Joey Jordison in December of last year, the forthcoming Slipknot record, “.5: The Gray Chapter” will be one of the most interesting, emotional and heaviest metal albums of the 21st century. On August 1st, the metal community got a brutal insight into the next chapter for the Iowa-based band, with the absolute raging anthem ‘The Negative One’, which catalysed mad reactions throughout the world making the hungry Slipknot family wanting more and more. Next, we got the first proper single from The Gray Chapter (a really touching tribute to Paul), ‘The Devil In I’ which had a different vibe to The Negative One but nevertheless still had the monstrous brutality. With constant teasing from frontman and all-round legend, Corey Taylor, the wait for one of the most important records in recent time is almost over. With the album set for release on October 20th (my birthday, in fact!) via Roadrunner Records, here’s 10 things I really want to see from the new album!!
1) Slipknot being Slipknot. Screaming, drop-tuned guitars, sheer brutality.
That’s what we all love about Slipknot. They’re distinctive, they’re unique, they’re special. Just take the self-titled debut record, the first five tracks (sic, Eyeless, Wait and Bleed, Surfacing, Spit It Out) are all absolute sledgehammers to the brain. I remember first hearing Slipknot and almost being a little bit frightened but in a good sense. I remember thinking that they were a band with a totally new substance and had a real, gnarly edge which was shown in the music. That exactly is what I love about Slipknot, just them having that uniqueness and that ferocity that creates a mighty frightening structure.
2) A bone-chilling intro followed by a monstrous opening track.
All 4 Slipknot records are almost like soundtracks for films, they take you on different journeys dashing through various avenues of chaotic madness. But, they all start with a mysterious intro which create suspense in the listener’s quest of the album and after a substantial build-up, the band kick into the monstrous opening track which can only be described as a perfect beginning to any record.
3) Songs that will feel monolithic in a live environment.
If anyone was at Sonisphere 2011, no doubt you’d not only notice that Slipknot are one of the greatest live bands of all time but the music sounds absolutely huge in a live environment. For example, one of the most bone-chilling moments of a Slipknot set has to be the audience participation of ‘Duality’. When Corey softly speaks; “I push my fingers into my..” and when the huge crowds take the next line all to themselves, the “eyes.. It’s the only thing that slowly stops the ache..” is guaranteed to be one of the greatest live moments you will ever witness. If we get some songs like Duality on The Gray Chapter, no doubt will Slipknot continue to be an important, reliable live act within the world of rock and metal.
4) A song like Snuff.
A lot of people will probably disagree but the fact that Slipknot can create a song like Snuff and still make it sound just as heavy as the majority of the self-titled album is absolutely mind-blowing. The songs themselves sound quite different but yet they still provide such a dark and meaningful edge that is instantly noticeable and prominent in Slipknot.
5) Big choruses.
Isn’t this obvious?! Eyeless, The Blister Exists, Duality, Before I Forget, I could go on and on, the list of huge Slipknot choruses is absolutely endless. Slipknot have this ability with their songs of creating just the most memorable choruses that, even on first listen, permeate the brain of the listener.
6) A new look, new masks etc.
People may think the masks are a gimmick and weirdly enough, I feel that the look that Slipknot bring with a specific album almost completely alters the perspective of the listener. If you’ve seen the video for The Negative One, there’s certainly a dark and ‘eery’ feel, whether this will be shown more so as we delve into the album, we don’t know. Either way, the new look will play a significant role in the new drive and sound of The Gray Chapter.
7) A killer new drummer.
As a drummer myself, hearing about the departure of Joey was one of shock and to be honest, sadness. Not only did Joey Jordison bring a heavy, hard-hitting drum sound to Slipknot, but the visionary of Joey was key in the never-ending development of Slipknot. What Joey brought to the Slipknot process was incredibly unique and aside from Corey and Clown, I think it’s fair to say that Joey brought something to Slipknot that sadly we won’t have anymore. Whilst it might be fair to say that the new drummer won’t bring the same, distinct style that was so prominent in Joey, hopefully the new drummer will absolutely rip the drums throughout the album so much that the departure of Joey won’t be as bad as we initially thought. By the sound of the two tracks thus far, the drums sound HUGE!
8) A mix of all their albums. “Iowa meets Vol. 3”
All the Slipknot albums have shown their diverse range of influences with hints of nu-metal and some electronics thrown in, I’d absolutely love it if The Gray Chapter showed everything that Slipknot have done in the past but this time ’round, actually brought it all together to create a brand new monster. Corey Taylor has said that the album will combine the melodies of Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses with the brutality of Iowa which to me, sounds like the perfect combination!
I like riffs. You probably like riffs too. In fact, I LOVE riffs. Hearing that grinding, bludgeoning opening riff in The Negative One, Slipknot clearly indicate that there will be plenty of crushing, crunching riffs in the new record. Jim Root and Mick Thomson do not disappoint.
10) A touching tribute to Paul.
Sometimes, it seems that with metal bands, it’s the singer that’s the central figure, or the drummer or the guitarist. With a lot of bands, we can overlook the bass player. But in the case of Slipknot, Paul Gray was, in a sense, the essence of Slipknot. The co-founder of the band and a main songwriter, what he brought, not just to Slipknot, but to metal will forever remain in the memory of metal and rock fans alike. I think the fact that Slipknot have titled the new album “.5: The Gray Chapter” is so amazing and very touching. The fact that this album will showcase the legacy that Paul Gray left could be the most exciting part of the album for me. This album will be a tribute for Paul and will encapsulate everything that was so brilliant and important about his contributions to Slipknot and to music as a whole.
So that’s it!
Slipknot, .5:The Gray Chapter
20th October, Roadrunner Records
Headline Download 2015, yeah?
SLIPKNOT ARE BACK!