As the end of October draws near, the anticipation for Halloween heightens. There are few bands that capture the terror, shock and creepiness of Halloween outside of Slipknot, the heavy metal seven person band from Des Moines, Iowa.
The group lost its founding bassist Paul Gray in 2010 to an accidental morphine overdose, throwing the group into limbo. The band debated whether or not to create a new album. Tensions rose, and founding drummer Joey Jordison was fired in 2013. Since then, the band wrote what is arguably its heaviest album yet.
One would expect Slipknot to have a heavy sound on “The Gray Chapter.” Slipknot’s sound on this album is much more than just heavy. It is blisteringly powerful, arguably creepy and perfect for Halloween. Songs like “Killpop,” primarily use electronic sounds to create elements of terror and fear, while others, like the intro song “XIV,” can be best described as just downright creepy.
“XIV” stands out from the entire album and is a great introductory song. The track is over three minutes long, but hooks the listener with its opening lines: “This song is not for the living/ This song is for the dead” and keeps the listener enticed until its conclusion leads into the fast-paced, thrashing song “Sarcastrophe.” In short, Slipknot did an impressive job with “XIV.”
Many of the album’s songs are primarily fast-paced and hard-hitting, but do have creepy elements. While there are times that the songs get repetitive, each song on the album does enough to separate itself from the others.
Even though “Sarcastrophe” is the best example of the majority of songs’ sounds on the album, the second single on the album, “The Devil in I,” does a better job of incorporating the album’s most prominent sounds. The song begins with a moody guitar riff, which leads into a heart pumping beat before going back to an eerie sound, all before the first verse.
This pattern repeats for the majority of the song. The second chorus leads to a lightning fast solo and returns to one final chorus before a spooky outro. The song balances uncanny and heavy sounds, making it an excellent addition to Slipknot’s repertoire.
This album showcases basic instruments such as drums, guitars and a bass. However, it also incorporates the electronic sounds of a turntable player and a sampler, playing sounds from a computer. These lesser known instruments add a distinct flavor to Slipknot that not many other bands in their genre have.
“.5: The Gray Chapter” by Slipknot is ideal for the Halloween season. The album was released at the perfect time of the year, when creepy things are in style.
Editor’s Note: Information from Nydailynews.com was used in this article.