It has been six years since Slipknot released their album All Hope is Gone and since then the band have been rocked by both a death, and a departure. The burden and scars these events have inflicted can clearly be felt in the brutally cathartic and honest statement that is .5: The Gray Chapter. For fans of the band, this is a welcome return to the likes of Iowa where the sound is thick and packed with a sense of destructive self–disregard.
The tracks ‘Custer’ as well as ‘Sarcastrophe’ stand testimony that Slipknot are still the band that captured our attention when they made their debut with Iowa. Rough and unapologetic are understatements. Entwined with the likes of ‘AOV’ and ‘Skeptic,’ the raw energy and personal lament that went into this album is all too clear.
Attempting to contrast this album to any other band but themselves is difficult, as Slipknot have always had their own unique sound. Though the sound is more reminiscent of Iowa than All Hope is Gone, the album may come across to some as the band “trying too hard” or “just more of the same”. However if one takes the time to listen to it more than once, those first impressions will quickly be washed away by the unbridled passion within these tracks.