Too Heavy to Hug [#598]

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Too Heavy to Hug [#598]

Welcome to THTH, Forte’s premier source of all things heavy, hard, fast and metal.
No more dicking around, here’s THTH’s ultimate review of Slipknot’s .5: The Gray Chapter.
Five albums in, there’s honestly nothing much to say about Slipknot’s latest effort. As a follow-up to 2008’s All Hope is Gone, .5: The Gray Chapter sits quite nicely, but in the whole scheme of things, since after Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), the band has toned down their maniacal, frenzied and hectic sound, tightened up their scattered and sporadic arrangements and wrapped their tracks up in nice neat little accessible packages. Where Corey’s screams and growls would have been in the past been replaced with, like, proper singing, song structures of old have been replaced with friendlier softer/heavier alternating verses and choruses and what may have sounded overwhelmingly heavy and like an impenetrable assault on older albums now sounds like easy listening.
There are a couple of pretty heavy tracks on .5: The Gray Chapter but there are also a lot of tracks that just aren’t terribly heavy by Slipknot’s own standards they set with their first three albums, all of which were pretty varied. .5: The Gray Chapter and All Hope is Gone are pretty similar and could easily have been a double album except for the six- year gap between them.
Where Slipknot’s songwriting is strongest on the album is their moodier, slower and somewhat haunting closer ‘If Rain is What You Want’. Once upon a time the band would never have left so much space in a song but here the restraint and building of mood works: if the focus is on creating a more progressive and moodier set of tracks then the maturation of the band will be complete.
As it sounds now, it’s almost as if they’re too old, lacking the necessary fight and anger to create their trademark sound. They need to move forth and evolve or else we’re going to be stuck with a bunch of rich guys acting poorly like pissy-pants teenagers when in fact they’ve got the chops to evolve into their next iteration.
In other news…
Dream Deceivers, the 1992 documentary about the Judas Priest suicide trial, has finally been released on DVD and digital download.
Ne Obliviscaris will release their new album, Citadel, on Friday, November 7. They also kick off their national Citadel tour in Melbourne at 170 Russell on Friday, November 21.
Machine Head will release their new album, Bloodstone & Diamonds, on Friday, November 7.
Gorguts plus special guests Portal will play the Northcote Social Club on Friday, November 14.
Hand of Mercy, Hellions and Void of Vision will play The Evelyn Hotel on Thursday, November 13. An all-ages show takes place at the Phoenix Youth Centre on Friday, November 14.
Toxic Holocaust and Iron Reagan will be at The Reverence in Footscray on Sunday, November 16.
Prong will play The Hi-Fi on Friday, November 21.
Primordial are slated to release their new album, Where Greater Men Have Fallen, on Friday, November 21.
Trivium and In Flames will be at 170 Russell on Sunday, November 23 and Monday, November 24.
Thy Art is Murder and Psycroptic will play The Hi-Fi on Saturday, December 13 and Ringwood OLP on Sunday, December 14.
Marduk with special guests Inquisition will tear the Northcote Social Club to shreds on Wednesday, January 14.
The 2015 Melbourne Soundwave festival will be held on Saturday, February 21 and Sunday, February 22.
If you have any news about local metal bands, shows or albums, let THTH know by emailing to [email protected] or get in touch via Twitter at @TooHeavyToHug
Paul S Taylor