The big news this week is that Slipknot's fifth full length album, ".5: The Gray Chapter" dropped this week and I very diligently picked up my copy on release day. This is a controversial album for many die hard fans, as we see the first line up change since their self titled 1999 album. As many of you may know, Slipknot's bassist, Paul Gray tragically passed away in 2010 (Hence the album title) and since then fans have been wondering will the band go their separate ways, or release another album. However Gray was not the only change made the Nu Metal band's line up as legendary drummer, Joey Jordison was asked to leave the band by his fellow band mates in December 2013. The band cited personal reasons and to why they asked Jordison to leave. No one knows for sure who the new band members are, but there is a lot of speculation as to who it may or may not be, but I will leave the speculation up to the speculators.
On top of the new band members, and the new album, Slipknot now all have new masks! Many claim this is a gimmick but since their first album, the band have taken to wearing disconcerting and evil looking masks on stage. The release of the new masks is always a very exciting part of a new Slipknot album for me, because I love to see what the band has come up with, and while some masks look practically identical (I'm looking at you Mick) some masks like Front man, Corey Taylor's are brand new.
The album itself is reminiscent of their older musical styles that could be found in their self titled album and the 2001 album "Iowa". Taylor has gone back to his faster almost rap-esque vocal style in many of their new songs. However it's quite noticeable that Taylor's voice can't do what it used to. The album also shows off more of the turn table tricks we know and love that were lacking in their last album which I enjoyed a lot. The drumming is underwhelming without Jordison but as he is one of the world's best metal drummers, that isn't surprising.
Overall, it seems that the band did listen to the fans and changed the direction in which the band seemed to be going in after their 2008 album "All Hope is Gone" which divided fans (I really liked it though). However, backwards is never a good direction for any band to take.
WARNING: THIS PART MAY CONTAIN OPINIONS
In my personal opinion, this is Slipknot's worst album to date, but I want to make it perfectly clear that that doesn't mean this is a bad album, it contains many fantastic tracks such as the two singles, "The Devil in I" and "Negative One" and other great tunes like, "Killpop" and my favourite song off the album "If It's Rain You Want". Overall, this is a good album, an entertaining hour of metal, but it honestly doesn't do anything special and at some points, it borders on out right boring with most of the first half of the album being kind of uninteresting. One nice surprise a friend of mine pointed out was the album length, as many bands seem to be producing albums under an hour run time now-a-days. Lastly, the album unfortunately sports one of the worst album covers I've seen this year. It's uninspired, a bit silly and kinda boring, (like the album itself?)
Finally onto more Mastodon news. This week, to follow the release of their new music video, the band has announced their European Tour, I've provided a link to the dates so you can check out if they're playing near you. I'm super excited to see Mastodon, will I see any of you at the Manchester show?
So tell me what you think of .5: The Gray Chapter. Have you heard it? Did you like it? I want to know.
Leave any suggestions, recommentations or hate mail in the comment section and I'll be back next week.
Thanks for reading,