I didn’t think they would, but Slipknot have finally managed to put together a new album after the crushing loss of their bassist/founding member Paul Gray in 2010. Although the band released a song, “The Negative One,” as a gift to fans at the beginning of the month (it was later issued as a download single), the new tune “The Devil In I” is considered to be the band’s first official single since the All Hope Is Gone‘s “Snuff.” While the new song, in my opinion, is nothing terribly special to write home about, it came along with an announcement of a fifth (sixth if you ask me) full-length album, titled .5: The Gray Chapter, a fitting tribute to Paul Gray.
It makes sense that the band would call “The Negative One” a ‘gift’ and “The Devil In I” a single. Where I found “The Negative One” to be a very promising homage to the band’s self-titled 1999 album (a record they have failed to top, in my opinion), “The Devil In I” is more your run of the mill safety metal radio single, a la Stone Sour, not that I don’t like Stone Sour but the line between the two bands used to be a lot more clear-cut. The song features mostly clean vocals from lead singer Corey Taylor and doesn’t really include a lot of the bells and whistles that made Slipknot what it was in eras past. True, the band have experienced a major loss in Gray’s passing, and are also missing long time drummer Joey Jordison, but one must wonder why they decided to lose the whole ‘listen to all this sh*t happening at once!’ sound that made them utterly unique. That being said, I think “The Devil In I” is a decent enough, if straight-forward mainstream metal track.
Hoping for more throwbacks to the hip-hop inflected metal of the band’s early work, I am looking forward to .5: The Gray Chapter. I wasn’t really a fan of the groove metal direction the band went in for All Hope Is Gone, and there seems to be a lot of it in “The Devil In I,” however, since I didn’t even think we’d have another record, I believe my expectations can safely be thrown out the window… it’s miracle enough that the band is continuing at all. If you are a big Slipknot fan like I am and you are disappointed by “The Devil In I,” I STRONGLY URGE YOU to check out “The Negative One,” (included below for your benefit!) which is the closest the band have come to capturing the awesome of their 1999 configuration. More like that one on the record and I’m 100% sold! It’ll be a bit of a wait for the album’s October release, until then, give “The Devil In I” (and “The Negative One”) a listen and let us know what you think!
RYAN SMITH spends a great deal of his time under troll bridges shaking his fist and hollering obscenities at the mainstream, but occasionally finds himself on the side of a pop act that the underground has disowned. A schizoid fan for the 21st century? Although he has a diverse musical taste that runs the gamut from black metal to country to most forms of jazz, Ryan’s first love will always be progressive music.