Slipknot: .5: The Gray Chapter

Masked nu-metal bros find new inspiration in real-life grief

Slipknot Credit: Rob Ball/Getty

Slipknot were the craziest, and some might say funniest, band to come out of the early- 2000s nu-metal scene – nine children of the Iowa corn in horror-clown masks, like the demon spawn of Sepultura and the Blue Man Group. They've outlasted many of their peers, and their fifth album, inspired by the OD death of bassist Paul Gray, is quite the heavy-duty emotional enema, funneling the band's grief into speed-dirge explosions ("Custer," "The Negative One") and artier doom-wallows like "XIX," where Shawn "Clown" Crahan tells us, "This song is not for the living/This song is for the dead." It's highly recommended for the living dead too.