|.5: The Gray Chapter|
|Released||October 17, 2014|
|Recorded||March 1 – July 28, 2014|
|Antennas to Hell||.5: The Gray Chapter||None|
.5: The Gray Chapter is the fifth major label studio album by American heavy metal band Slipknot. It was released in Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands on October 17, 2014, the UK on October 20, 2014 and in North America on October 21, 2014. It is the first studio album by the band in six years and the first to not feature founding bassist Paul Gray and long time drummer Joey Jordison due to the death of Gray in 2010 (the title of the album being a reference to his name), and the departure of Jordison in late 2013. A standard and deluxe edition of the album was released. The deluxe edition features two listed bonus tracks and 3 unlisted bonus tracks, as well as another special edition featuring a T-shirt of the album cover has been released. It is the second Slipknot album to feature Donnie Steele and the first where he performs bass as opposed to guitar on Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat and the first to feature their current undisclosed drummer.
Six years after the release of All Hope is Gone, Slipknot had plans to make another album. Since former bassist #2's passing in 2010, each of the band members handled it differently. In mid-to-late 2013, there were talks about writing a new album.
In December 2013, drummer #1, Joey Jordison, was very unexpectedly ousted from the group. The remaining members of Slipknot and #1 have yet to provide further details, though hints have been dropped since then, with nothing specific as of yet, due to "legal reasons". It is widely believed that Jordison was fired from the band due to the demands for time in his side project, Scar the Martyr. #4, Jim Root, was similarly fired from Stone Sour due to schedule frustrations.
Slipknot announced in March that they were going to begin recording for the new album, unnamed at the time and referred to as simply as "Vol. 5". Over time, hype was built as the band's main pages were blacked out. The band then announced in May that there would be another Knotfest. The first announcement was for a November Knotfest in Japan. Later, another Knotfest indicated an October festival in California, United States. Meanwhile, Slipknot's main page directory added "/negative", and over the following weeks, snippets and teasers for a new music video were released.
These snippets came together in a full music video for Slipknot's first full song since 2008, "The Negative One". Reception was wildly positive and fans were largely excited. However, the music video, notably, did not show any of the band members. No details of the identities of the replacement drummer and bassist were given. At the end of the video, a new "S" logo was shown. It should be noted that the tribal "S" was designed by Joey Jordison, which is likely the reason for the new logo. A new nonogram was also shown. Instead of three superimposed triangles, the new circle is a nine-pointed star.
The band then revealed a number of tours. Soon enough, a new song, "The Devil In I", was released with its own music video. In the video, the band, with new costumes and new masks, were shown with "Human Maggots", and also featured their old masks in personae. In October, the audio for the song "Custer" was also released. Reception was nearly unanimously positive. Since the release of "The Devil In I", the band has announced a number of tours, the first being the "Prepare for Hell" tour with Korn and King 810. After this tour, the band will travel to Japan for the Knotfest there.
Before the All Hope Is Gone album title was revealed, Slipknot's fourth album was called "Vol. 4". The band is currently on tour in support of their fourth release, but the band members are already thinking about recording a next Slipknot album. I decided to call that record "Vol. 5", because obviously it will be the the fifth release from the 9 (R.I.P Paul) masked musicians from Des Moines, Iowa.
With every previous album release there were some rumors that it could be the band's last record. Each band member has their own feelings about this and have commented occasionally on the prospect of making another album.
Clown:"We have four distinct canvases that we have painted and they all belong to different realms. None of them are derivative or contrived of each other. That speaks a lot to me… that we just have sincerity in our music. The integrity is something that we hold and the art form. So I think that we are getting better in allowing ourselves to trust ourselves more. Everyone in the band is really pushing themselves to be the best that they can be." Even before All Hope Is Gone had its premiere, Corey Taylor mentioned in an interview that "the journey's not over yet" and that "Slipknot will definitely be making a fifth album."
All Hope Is Gone has been the most collaborative record Slipknot came up with so far. When asked if All Hope Is Gone was the record that Slipknot was born to make, Clown answered: "As far as that statement goes, to be brutally honest with you, I feel just the opposite for this one. I feel like this record is a bridge into the future. I believe that the last record was a lot of rehabilitating our friendship and coming together, and some people realizing that there are all kinds of people in this band with something to say and something to do. We did get into a mindset for this record with everyone being allowed to be themselves. We have a saying that, “The pieces are only as good as a whole.” That means that you could be real selfish in this band, but it’s really the band that matters. Know your place, know what matters. Don’t try to set yourself apart and make yourself more important. Realize that Slipknot is an entity. It's nine guys making up a whole. In this band it’s getting more important to allow everyone their ability to bring something musical to the band, and I believe that that’s getting better."
“Usually, it’s like with [2001’s] Iowa: ‘OK, 12 songs, we hate each other, we’re done,’” says Jordison of the typical Slipknot recording experience. “With [2004’s] Vol. 3, we didn’t talk to each other for three months; we just sat there wasting money in the fucking Houdini mansion. This one, we got to work right away; we’ve all been on time every day and we’ve written over 30 songs. I have to say that the band is at its peak; everyone—I mean everyone—is now completely involved in the writing process, and it’s a beautiful thing. Everybody’s bringing stuff to the table that hasn’t been there before.”
All Hope Is Gone was a new card in Slipknot's history. Some band members were really proud of the final outcome, but some felt a bit like All Hope Is Gone was not as experimental and they were not satisfied about working with Dave Fortman. Jim:"My Favourite Slipknot record is probably "The Subliminal Veres" still. We came together as a band, as nine people, and we all experimented with music in a way that we haven't done previously up to, or since. Because of that we were able to create some really cerebral music along with what we would normally create anyway. So to me that album is a lot closer to an experimental record which is what I like to do with music. I'm not trying to take anything away from All Hope Is Gone, but I haven't had a chance to let it sink in yet. The way we recorded it was very unorthodox from the way we normally record. Maybe I'll change my mind but for now, "Subliminal Verses" is my favorite one." The band members spent a lot of time creating new music during the recordings of All Hope Is Gone. When asked about the most memorable experience from making All Hope Is Gone Jimsaid: "Just being able to create and write the music at the house that didn't make it to the record. Honestly. I spent 3 and a half months every day at the studio, completely immersed in creating and writing, and of course that's what I'm going to remember because that's what I did." For sure each band member already has some new ideas for songs, new riffs and lyrics.
There were songs recorded during the All Hope Is Gone recording session that didn't make it to the 2008 album release. Songs, like “Dirge” and the tentatively titled “Moth” are beautifully rendered, deeply disturbing works that fall somewhere in the cosmic canon between Radiohead, early-’70s Pink Floyd, and The Silence of the Lambs; others, like “Chapter One, The Eleventh March,” are more fragmentary but equally creepy—basically, it’s the stuff of cough syrup nightmares".
Will we hear these songs (and other ones that didn't make it on All Hope Is Gone) on Vol. 5, or will Slipknot release them earlier? The answer to this question is still unknown. But maybe we already heard "Chapter Eleven...", "Dirge" or "Moth" just under different names? Moth turned in to Gehenna.
“Some of that stuff, I’m not necessarily sure it’s Slipknot,” says Taylor, “But from my point of view, I hear at least four songs that would definitely fit right in [on All Hope Is Gone].” Jordison, who hasn’t been involved with this side project, seems mildly annoyed when the subject is broached. “It remains to be seen if any of it actually turns up on the record,” he declares. “To say that we’re moving in an artier direction is a definite misconception. There’s always gonna be that arty element in Slipknot, but that’s not the way for our fans to look at [the new album] before it comes out.”
So it looks like there are still songs that some band members would like the Maggots to hear, it just hasn't been said if these songs will be released on a special edition of All Hope Is Gone, or on a completely new record.
What are Slipknot working on for the future? Jim: "Were just going to tour our asses off, and then we are going to figure out how to sneak out some of the music that we created, that didn't make it to the record."
It looks like most (if not all) of the unreleased songs, that could be included on the next Slipknot release were written by Corey, Jim, Sid (keyboards) and Clown, who played on the full drum kit. These 4 members worked with Matt Sepanic (separately from the rest of the 9), creating more experimental and more different songs. One sonic experiment even involved sticking Taylor halfway down an old well on the Sound Farm property. (“There was this gnarly fucking natural reverb to it that was just intense,” Taylor enthuses.) “I’ve been in here almost every day,” says Root of Sepanic’s home studio. “I’ve always wanted to make music like this.”
Is there any music Slipknot can save for the next album? Sid: "Yeah, I'm not sure what's being done with all of it, all I know is that there's some other music that was created within the band, members of the band."
Here's what Sid said about the future plans of Slipknot: "Yeah, hopefully another album, man. We'll just tour until we feel we've gotten the new stuff out to as many people as we possibly can. Yeah, I mean, there's stuff on the back burner, so, I mean, we've got plenty of material to work with. I guess it just depends... what I always say is, just having so many people in the band, you know, statistically if we're all still here when there's time to write another album, then yeah, we'll have another one. but it's hard to keep 9 people alvie on this planet, in this world today."
Clown: "I look towards the future where it’s going to be even more of allowing everyone what they have to get out and that’s the real trick in this band. It’s going to take time. We have been together ten years and we have only put out four records, and take a lot of time in between records. But we look at bands that started at the same time as us, and they’ll have seven records, and over half of them are crap! They just wanted to get off their whole fundamental idea of what they thought they had to get out, put it on their resume and have control. Slipknot has never been that way, we just want to put out art that we believe in, and if takes three years to do it…well, that’s a good problem to have."
Is this Slipknot's last album and last tour? Corey: "No, no, probably not. I know I've been one of the guys that has been more vocal about the bad times and what not, and the band's descension, but actually we're in a really good phase right now, man. Look, we're all getting along, we're all talking about a lot of good stuff to be honest, I mean me and Clown are specially have been bouncing about some ideas of each other and just trying to come up with something that we can get started now ahead of the game for the next album, and it's actually fairly exciting, it's something that will tie a lot of mass media to, it'll take a wholly different direction, it won't just be an album and a tour, it'll be something that is like a moment in time for us, you know. It'll be a lot of things included, we don't know that hell it's gonna be yet, we get a lot of good ideas for it, but right now at least we're talking about it, it's always best to talk about something like that like 3-4 years before it actually happens, so.."
Is that 'cause you guys are so busy? Corey: "Yeah, that and the fact that everything worth doing is worth over doing, you know, and if we're gonna do something what we're discussing, it's gonna kinda tap into every type of media outlet in the world basically, and it's gonna be a huge event, so we'll see what happens, I have huge hopes, and I'm very excited about it, so even if it comes out like a tenth of what I think it will, it'll still be amazing."
Here's what Clown said about a song he worked on during the All Hope Is Gone sessions, in which he beat a huge drum. Clown: "There was a whole second record made. We dug ourselves up in to this little house of the guy who owned the studio for All Hope Is Gone, and we made brilliant music. I can't remember what song it is... I believe it's a song called "In Reverse" and hopefully one day the world will get to partake in this music."
But we all have to remember that with every new recording session the band members enter the studio with a different mindset, with some new ideas, so it's very possible that none of the unreleased songs off of the All Hope Is Gone recording sessions will be included on the fifth record, and we will get some completely new songs.
Before this album, the band has been going through some tough times. Not only the death of Gray, but now Jordison has quit. Taylor refuses to give information as to why Jordison has quit, but promises to give it as soon as possible.
On August 1st, 2014, after a series of five trailers in the past few weeks, the first single of the new album, The Negative One, was released., Four days later, the music video for said single was released, At one point of the video you can see the number 9 on a goat's head. That has led to speculation that Donnie Steele has returned Full time, this time as the bassist.
Since Corey has time and time again confirmed that the new album will be a hybrid between "Iowa" and "Subliminal Verses", it is safe to assume that the tracklist will include a song of epic proportions; something along the lines of the 15 minute 'Iowa' or the 8 minute 'Scissors'.
On August 24th, the tracklist, along with the new single "The Devil In I" was unleashed. It is speculated that the music video for this single will finally reveal who replaced Joey, and if Donnie will continue bass duties with Slipknot. The Album Title, 5: The Gray Chapter, was also revealed too.
- XIX - 3:10
- Sarcastrophe - 5:06
- AOV - 5:32
- The Devil in I - 5:42
- Killpop - 3:45
- Skeptic - 4:46
- Lech - 4:50
- Goodbye - 4:35
- Nomadic - 4:18
- The One the Kills the Least - 4:11
- Custer - 4:14
- Be Prepared for Hell - 1:57
- The Negative One - 5:25
- If Rain Is What You Want - 6:20