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Slipknot – .5: The Grey Chapter (Album Review)

Slipknot returned to its heavy roots with its fifth studio album that released in 2014, and first after the passing of their bassist, Paul Grey.




“Skeptic” is energetic and wild, a wonderful sendoff for Grey.

While Paul Grey got a eulogy in the introductory song “XIX,” “Skeptic” is another tribute to the band’s fallen friend. The lyrics call out what he was to them with lines like “The world will never see another crazy motherf***er like you!” and more. The song itself is what you’d expect from Slipknot and that’s not a bad thing.

Between the tribute and the music itself, “Skeptic” is one of the best tracks from the album.




The band’s first single for the album, “The Negative One” reminds you that Slipknot is far from over.

“The Negative One” is an experimental song from Slipknot and a surprise to fans. It relies on the band’s DJ’s, Sid Wilson, skills to make weird screeching noises that work well with the tone of the song and the other instrument pounding sounds. I know I mentioned the passing of Paul Grey, but there was a second member who also left, Joey Jordison. He had to leave due to a medical condition, leaving him unable to play. Those are two founding members of the group gone between albums. But Slipknot brought in another bassist and another drummer and they proved their skills here.




Melodic and eerie, “Killpop” will give you creepy vibes.

Okay, so I generally prefer Slipknot when they are at their heaviest, but the vocalist, Corey Taylor, knocks it out of the park with this one. You listen to him scream and growl so much, you forget he can sing, too. You can’t forget the percussionists who make up the bulk of this song either. Lyrically, it honestly kind of gives off stalker vibes, but Corey has come out and said that it is actually about the music industry.




Slipknot makes a quick stop in the 90s to take some inspiration from their self-titled first album for “Custer.”

“Custer” is an unapologetic headbanger! Their forceful, explosive sound and aggressive vocals is what I love to see from Slipknot. It reminds me of their older tracks when they were fresh on the scene twenty years ago. But no matter how much time has gone or bandmates have left, they are still Slipknot at their core: Still wearing the masks, still jumping of the scaffold into the crowd, still doing the craziest s**t on stage.

If it weren’t for the fact, I love how well they did the next song, this would be number one.




“The Devil In I” gives you a look into what Slipknot truly is and a look into the evil in yourself.

The second single for the album, “The Devil In I,” blends all of Slipknot’s elements for the best song from this era of the band. I know, I said I prefer Slipknot when they are at their heaviest, but Corey Taylor does the vocals so well I can’t help but love it. According to drummer and director of the music video, Shawn “Clown” Crahan, it is about ignoring the negativity inside, letting it be a part of you, and then getting rid of it. And you can see that in the lyrics “Step inside, see the Devil in I” and “You’ll realize I’m not your Devil anymore”.

If someone wanted to hear what Slipknot is like, know what they do, their motivation in their music, this is the song I would show them. The video too, since it’s a mini horror movie.


1. XIX (4/5)

2. Sarcastrophe (4/5)

3. AOV (4/5)

4. The Devil In I (5/5)

5. Killpop (4/5)

6. Skeptic (4/5)

7. Lech (3/5)

8. Goodbye (3/5)

9. Nomadic (4/5)

10. The One That Kills The Least (3/5)

11. Custer (5/5)

12. Be Prepared For Hell (3/5)

13. The Negative One (4/5)

14. If Rain Is What You Want (3/5)

15. Override (3/5)

16. The Burden (4/5)




This album, in particular, was sort of a revival for the band, which is why it might be my favorite album of theirs. Fans were worried what was going to happen to the band with the loss of two band members, so when this came out, it was a reassurance that, while things have changed, they weren’t going anywhere. It seems like it was also something the band themselves needed. Getting those awful feelings of grief out and say goodbye to a dear friend.

The music itself is on another level. Combining everything they are and everything they have been into something new. It set the precedent for their next album in 2019. Which I still think .5: The Grey Chapter is better than but that’s another story. I do wish it had more songs as heavy as “Custer” instead of the more slower ones. But that’s my only complaint.

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