Hello my fellow maggots and non-maggots alike. Today, it is the release of the new album by slipknot entitled.5: The Gray Chapter. It is the bands first studio effort in six years and this is my second look at it.
In my last entry on this album, I took a very very basic look at it and I only mention things that stood out for me on the first listen. This time, I’m going to take a much more in-depth look at the album and all the songs because, this marks the new chapter in the band because they lost two key members since All Hope Is Gone was released in August 2008: Paul Gray passed away on May 24, 2010 and Joey Jordison had parted ways with the band last December. There has been no official word on why he is now out of the band but there have been comments on the Internet about it and I will not mention him here because, I wish to respect both the band and Joey. Thanks to both Paul Gray and Joey Jordison for their hard work in the band over the past many many years. You are missed by the fans worldwide.
Okay, let’s begin talking about the new album. Shall we?
Slipknot have always started their albums with a song that is usually played not by the band but as a recording during some of their shows before the band goes on stage. The very first song 742617000027 off the first album is a prime example of this. It has been used many times before the song Sic has been played, whether it is a show opener or as an encore. I can envision the track Xix being the former.
This leads into the track Sarcastrophe, which starts out deceivingly creepy and rather quiet at first but eventually becomes the slipknot potential show opener that it probably will be on the Prepare For Hell tour and the rest of the touring cycle for this record. My theory is that the band will not actually start playing the song until it actually kicks in. Is a very good song as a Second track on a Slipknot album and as I said, will be a great show opener for the band to play. The crowd will no doubt get into the song right away, as it is a potential Slipknot anthem in waiting. It is also one of the two songs played in the key of A natural. The other being The Devil And I, which I will get into later on.
The track AOV is another appropriately sequence song on the album. I say that because it not only showcases the same aggression that Sarcastrophe does, with blast beats and screaming and growled vocals from Corey Taylor but it also gives us a real melodic chorus as well. It reminds me of a song like Sulfur from All Hope Is Gone, as it has the potential to be released as a possible single down the road. however, due to the sound of the song itself it may be limited in success as a single and could be another potential fan favorite.
The Devil And I is track 4 and of course, the first radio single off the album. As you may have noticed throughout Slipknots career, track 4 has always been a single off each album: wait And Bleed from Slipknot, My Plague from Iowa, Duality from Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, Psycho Social from All Hope Is Gone and of course, The Devil And I from.5: The Gray Chapter are all track 4 off of their respective albums and singles. In some cases the same is true with Corey Taylor’s other band Stone Sour in that, Say You’ll Haunt me and Sillyworld are both track 4 off of their respective albums as well. In the case of The Devil and I, it is a good radio single but it presents a challenge because of the blast beats which occur just before the final two chorus’s of the song. However, I like the song as it is and it should be left alone.
Killpop is the fifth track on the album and I wouldn’t consider it a balid as such. I would consider it a slower creepier song for slipknot. No, it is not a slow Dirgie creepy song like Skin Ticket or Gehenna. I would consider it there attempt at writing a love song but in a darker vain along the lines of Snuff. this song also has the potential to be released as a single but because of the screaming at the end of it there could be a problem. So, I’m sure that if the song is chosen, I think there could be a way to get the song released as a single and not have it being a challenge. Then again, this is Slipknot and they will do what feels right for them.
Skeptic is the sixth track on the album and is a song which showcases the albums live feel. The song begins with someone in the band (probably Clown) saying the word “test” then the song starts after a count in by the drummer. I don’t have much to say about the song because it is a typical Slipknot song in that it is aggressive and and anthemic.
Lech is track 7 and is both a tippical Slipknot song and has a slow creepy side to it, like Skin Ticket and Gehenna. I don’t know if it will be a potential live favourite but there is always a possibility of it being played. After all, Skin Ticket was played for the first time on the Vol. 3 tour.
Goodby starts out quiet and ominous, much like the song Blue Smoke from House Of Golden BonesPt. 2 and it starts in the same key of E flat minor. However the song starts out this way and builds, while changing key to the more common be natural. This song reminds me a lot of Gently from Iowa, in that they both start out quiet and they both build to an aggressive climax. The difference here is that the song goes right into the next one.
Nomadic is track number nine on the album and could be a potential single in that the chorus is very strong. But, there is also the problem of the song being possibly too aggressive for radio. Well, I’m sure there are a couple of horror movies that could use a song or two. This song reminds me a lot of My Plague from Iowa in that the verses are aggressive and the chorus is melodic. I really hope this song gets a chance, much like the next one.
The One That Kills The Least is track 10 on the album and much like nomadic it deserves a chance to be a potential single. Once again, the verses are aggressive and the chorus is melodic. I really really hope that this song and Nomadic get their chance to be potential singles, either for radio or just a plain single.
Custer on the other hand, may not be a single. In fact, I expected to be a live favorite for both the band and the fans. The chorus is meant for audience participation much like We Will Rock You. Then again, much like Surfacing it could be released as a promotional single. Actually, I think it is. Will it usurp Surfacing as a potential show closer? No I don’t think so, however it could be a real fun song for both the band and the maggots. The song starts out with Clown leading the band into the song by vocalizing the main riff. All I can say is, cool!
You Must Prepare For hell is the 12th track on the album and could also be a show opener. This song is much more of the avant-garde side of Slipknot in that, the song could also be used as something to play for the fans while changing masks or taking a break before going on for an encore. I don’t know but i’m sure they have ideas. This song is not sung by Corey Taylor and I think that Clown does the vocals on this track.
The Negative One is the very first single off the album and is a much more traditional Slipknot song. This song could’ve easily fit as track 2 but for some reason they decided to put it at track 13. Well, at least it was released as the first single to the fans.
If Rain Is What You Want is the final track on the standard version of the album. It is a much slower song and as in the case with all closing or near closing songs on Slipknot albums, it is emotional.
On the first album, the track, scissors is featured and it is very very emotionally disturbing, period. Iowa amps it up tenfold and ends the album Iowa leaving you feeling like you’ve just left a gravesite transformed into a very haunted house.
In the case of Vol. 3, The songs The Virus Of Life and Danger Keep Away are both emotional. The former is frightening and the latter is just plain sad.
All Hope Is Gone ends with three emotional songs: Where In Lies Continue, Snuff and All Hope Is Gone. The first is politically charged, the second is an attempt at a dark power ballad and the third is an aggressive angry song.
In the case of If Rain Is What You Want, the song is just plain dark. It is slow, trippy and well, emotional in that it is full of hopelessness, anger and sadness. The last words of the song our “my sad eyes never sleep again.”
The bonus track Override is a great song and could also easily fit on a Stone Sour album too. Musically, it sounds like it could have fit somewhere on either House Of Golden Bones Pt. 1 or 2. I’m not sure that it would have fit with the rest of The songs lyrically. don’t forget, those two albums are made up of a specific story.
The Burden is the last song and once again, it is emotional and full of anger. I can’t say much about it because I had to digested lyrically first. However I will say this, it ends with Corey Taylor saying “we have suffered enough.”
As for other facets of the album, the guitar solos are still there and a lot of vocal melodies are present as well. If you are a new Slipknot fan, I highly recommend that you buy it today and if you are an old-school Slipknot fan like myself, you should have it already. I pre-ordered it on iTunes and well, how else could I have written about this album?
I give this album 10 out of 10 for being a Slipknot album. This is a great record and a great addition to the Slipknot catalog. Well done by all and I hope it goes to number one, again.
Well, that’s it. If you either agree or disagree with me, you can reply here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you.