Album: .5: The Gray Chapter
Genre: Nu Metal / Alternative Metal
Release Date: October 20th 2014
The Maggots are back with their first album in six years. It’s called “.5: The Gray Chapter” and it is the first one to not feature Paul Gray. Slipknot try to digest his passing away on this album. And it’s darker than ever. After their a little more melodic “All Hope is Gone” (which I really enjoyed) they’re going back to their roots, straight forward Nu Metal. There’s not only a new bassist, but also a new drummer. Joey Jordison was kicked out of the band in December 2013. So, all eyes are on the two new guys. Who are the new guys? Well, the bassist’s name is Alessandro Venturella, a British guy who worked as a guitar tech for Mastodon‘s Brent Hinds previously. The identity of the drummer wasn’t unveiled, but he is rumored to be the former Against Me! and Madball drummer Jay Weinberg. Alright let’s start with the musical part.
The first single to be released was “The Negative One”, the second “The Devil In I” and the third “Custer”. All extremely aggressive, in your face Nu Metal songs. A lot of blastbeats and Corey screams. Completely different from what we’ve heard on their previous albums. After hearing the singles I was afraid that the melodies would be neglected and it would become a brutal album without brain. Luckily it didn’t turn out that way. I can tell you already that I really enjoyed listening to this album. It starts out with a somewhat melancholic track with a lot of bagpipes. Bagpipes? Yes, at least it sounds like distorted bagpipes. A great way to start the album. As the album proceeds you can tell it’s a lot heavier than everything you lately heard from them. It gets heavier with every single song. You can hear a fairly loud bass and there seems to be faster and more aggressive drumming with every song, while still being catchy. The album is getting heavier and more aggressive with every song until the eighth song “Goodbye”. A great ballad with a lot of heartache. In order to build up atmosphere creepy synths are used. While the first half of the song is a real ballad, in the second part they speed things up a bit and bring on the screams. Great guitarwork, even some soloing. The song “Nomadic” could be right off the “Iowa” album. Extremely catchy stop and go Nu Metal song. Next is a mid paced anthemic song, called “The One That Kills The Least”. The album ends in the best way possible: A slow song with a, I don’t know how to call it, dullness in it. In a good way.
Overall this is an extremely well produced, well written album. You can tell a lot of heart has been put into this. To everybody who says this sounds like Stone Sour, I can only tell you go and listen to it again. I recommend this to everybody who enjoyed their previous records and even to those who hated Slipknot. This is the ultimate opportunity to change your mind! They retained the classic Slipknot signature and added a couple of new, exciting elements. My favorite tracks are: “The Devil in I”, “XIX” and “Goodbye”.
Overall Rating: 9/10
4. The Devil in I
10. The One That Kills the Least
12. Be Prepared for Hell
13. The Negative One
14. If Rain Is What You Want
Total Playing Time: 63:51