Slipknot
.5: The Gray Chapter


2.5
average

Review

by Jordan M. STAFF
October 20th, 2014 | 944 replies


Release Date: 10/20/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An identity crisis: conflicting maturity with juvenile nu-metal roots

Slipknot has never been the easiest band to like. Under Shawn Crahan’s totalitarian reign there’s been documented questionable decisions such as masked identities, a fanbase referred to as ‘Maggots’ and camel shit fragrance. Expectedly, this has all worked against any progression towards maturity. The band cannot be faulted for it- it’s clearly working in their favour- however, .5: The Gray Chapter feels like a wider symptom of an identity crisis, conflicting maturity with juvenile nu-metal roots.

Context looms high over the shoulder of .5. Implicit tensions resulting from Paul Gray’s passing, Joey Jordison’s ejection and Jim Root’s departure from Stone Sour have all dogged the album’s release. On a publicity level, it’s going to help rocket the album to the top of the charts, because the songwriting certainly isn’t as focused or attention-grabbing as said headlines. That’s apparent in both of the questionably chosen lead singles. Commercial Stone Sour-isms prevalent on “The Devil In I” are forgivable when aided with a mildly memorable hook, however, the regressive core-chug modified upon standard Slipknot generics that is “The Negative One” prove that songwriting has improved little over 6-years of incubation. The sense of immaturity prevails throughout, with blastbeats and breakdowns awkwardly muscling their way into “Sarcastrophe”, an unsatisfying hate anthem that will likely rally battle cries across high schools globally. It’s not just the musical backdrop that’s disappointing, either; Taylor is hardly Sartre with his existentialist prose, declaring rather crudely (among others), “I know why Judas wept, motherfucker!” (“Lech”). Caught somewhere between Stone Sour and Iowa-era Slipknot, it seems the band aren’t keen on any cohesion, juxtaposing spastic grind (“Nomadic”, “Custer”) with Foo Fighters-aping stadium anthems (“Goodbye”, “The One that Kills the Least”). Make no mistakes, .5 is not a career-encompassing panorama in the ilk of All Hope is Gone. Rather, it's a difficult gluttony that’s hardly going to satisfy the appetite of every last Maggot on the market.

You can’t deny the cold, hard facts; no matter how flawed, stifled and confused .5 is an album, it’s going to succeed massively. However unsure of whether it’s about getting back to roots or maturation, .5 is one of the most frustrating and inarticulate Slipknot albums yet. Hopefully, 6-years won’t pass before these mistakes manifest themselves further.



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user ratings (1110)
Chart.
3.1
good
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
BMDrummer
October 19th 2014


14440 Comments


don't know if i'll check this, don't want to sit through an hour of slipknot lol

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2014


18058 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review, pretty much agree with everything you said

Digging: Opeth - Garden of the Titans

deathschool
October 19th 2014


23267 Comments


Good review, buuuuud. I decided I don't really like this much, but it isn't terrible. Probably their worst album. AHIG is just slightly better than this.

Digging: The Spirit Of The Beehive - Pleasure Suck

ExplosiveOranges
October 19th 2014


4408 Comments


Under Shawn Crahan’s totalitarian reign there’s been documented questionable decisions such as masked identities, a fanbase referred to as ‘Maggots’ and camel shit fragrance.

Sentence feels really long and kinda clunky. How about something like: "Under Shawn Crahan's totalitarian reign, there's been plenty of strange, awkward, and downright questionable decisions. These include masked identities, a fanbase referred to as 'Maggots', and camel shit fragrance." Idk, just an idea worth considering. "Documented questionable decisions" is a really weird phrase, though.

however .5: The Gray Chapter

Throw in a comma after "however".

however the regressive core-chug modified upon standard Slipknot generics that is “The Negative One” prove that songwriting has improved little over 6-years of incubation.

BIG SENTENCES. In all seriousness, "standard Slipknot generics" is kinda..... Eh. Try rewording that. Also, throw in a comma after "however".

Make no mistakes, .5 is not a career-encompassing panorama in the ilk of All Hope is Gone, instead a difficult gluttony that’s hardly going to satisfy the appetite of every last Maggot on the market.

BIG SENTENCES [2]. Place a period after "All Hope Is Gone", then start off with "Rather, it's....." or another transitional phrase, because that's definitely a glaring run-on.

cold-hard facts

*cold, hard

Overall, good review. Second paragraph feels really long compared to the others, but I can understand why.

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 19th 2014


18058 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah this is around a 2.5

VinVal
October 19th 2014


1167 Comments


"You can’t deny the cold-hard facts; no matter how flawed, stifled and confused .5 is an album, it’s going to succeed massively"

This sentence reads awkwardly, maybe you meant to say 'it's an album that's going to succeed massively'.

DjentyNerdo
October 19th 2014


258 Comments


Agree 100%. Great review.

SomeGuyDude
October 20th 2014


374 Comments


"questionable decisions such as masked identities, a fanbase referred to as ‘Maggots’"

Both of these things being MASSIVELY beneficial toward their early popularity. Their visual image was huge in gaining them support in the early days, and the "maggots" thing turned into a calling card for them. People LOVED it.

It's kinda weird to start off a review by slagging on a guy for doing the very things that made the band big.

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Emeritus
October 20th 2014


6681 Comments


^agreed, though later in the paragraph he points out that it did indeed work in their favour. he was just trying to use it to set up how it might have been detrimental to their maturity over time

chug73
October 20th 2014


3794 Comments



Worst album cover I have seen in a long time.


someguest
October 20th 2014


29892 Comments


I enjoy "The Devil In I", and the video for it is excellent. I don't expect to check out the rest.

Digging: Earth - Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version

TalonsOfFire
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2014


18058 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I think most people will agree at the surprise of how good "Killpop" was. Probably my favorite on here tbh

deathschool
October 20th 2014


23267 Comments


The Devil in I is one of the weaker tracks here, Guest. You might like this.

someguest
October 20th 2014


29892 Comments


Ugh.

Okay, I'll give it a spin sometime this week and come back with some thoughts on it.

someguest
October 20th 2014


29892 Comments


It can't be any worse than that Weezer release.

deathschool
October 20th 2014


23267 Comments


I mean yeah. But I'm just surprised that guest enjoyed that track

someguest
October 20th 2014


29892 Comments


Musically, the song is nothing special save for that blip of blastbeats. But lyrically and visually the video was really good to me.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2014


11661 Comments


great review man.

Digging: Windswept - The Onlooker

FlakMT
October 20th 2014


244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

what is corey doing? his cleans sound like he trys hard on american idol. bring some dirt god damn

PortalofPerfection
October 20th 2014


1991 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah this is pretty not good. They found some kind of nu-metal magic and really hit a loveable exciting sweet spot for me with Vol. 3.



But that was then and this is now, and right now band is meh.



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