Review Summary: Nothing to see here
“Die and f---ing love me,” shatters the airwaves as “Killpop” spirals into chaos. .5: The Gray Chapter
was hyped with videos of the group molting into darker creatures. They destroyed their All Hope is Gone
egos and festered into disgusting minions of malice. All it takes is listening to “Custer” to see the elephant in the room.
breaks the 6-year silence of Slipknot. With promises of melding the melodies of Subliminal Verses
with the brutality of Iowa
, Slipknot constructs one of their most awkward albums to date.
There really isn’t a lot going for Gray Chapter
if looking for aggression. “Approaching Original Violence (AOV)” is arguably the best track that resembles such quality. Pummeling drums and fast riffs blast listeners into the olden days of Slipknot. As the song mellows into an ultra-melodic chorus, “AOV” kicks back into its abrasive groove until the end.
“Sarcastrophe” continues into another gritty number from Gray Chapter
. The eerie opening explodes into a maniacal storm of chugs and bends. The grating hooks and tortured shrieks add to Gray Chapter’s
Aside from “AOV” and “Sarcastrophe,” there are very few aggressive moments from Slipknot. Most songs hold back and rely on melodramatic lyrics and melodic vocals. Slipknot ironically emphasizes a very pop oriented style that feels out of place.
“Killpop” falls victim to this early on. Although it represents frontman Corey Taylor’s dysfunctional relationship with the music industry, the overall tone clashes with itself constantly. The lyrics take a self-harming narrative and turns into a possessive relationship toward the end. “She's sticking needles in her skin/I turn with an ugly grin/Her canvas doesn't leave a lot to fantasy,” twists into the song. “Maybe I should let her go/But only when she loves me.”
“Custer” is the low point of Gray Chapter
. The cringe-fest chorus “Cut, cut, cut me up and f--k, f--k, f--k me up,” satires itself. “Custer” banks on its “angry and brave” songwriting; however, it comes across as immature and tasteless.
Masochism and shock value can’t save Gray Chapter
. A majority of the records 14 tracks are useless filler that sound similar to each other. Given the few standouts mentioned, most Slipknot fans will overlook the record and possibly forget its release. I believe the mainstream attention was given due to the small nu-metal revival movement that spurred from 2013-2015.
Regardless, Gray Chapter
remains Slipknot’s least inspired work and doesn’t accomplish anything new. Although the return to raw aggressive sound is welcome, Slipknot hasn’t found their groove. Slipknot only works as a free ranged beast that wastes all in their path. It’s time they escape the cage and run wild.