No other musician accomplished quite as much as Slipknot and Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor did in 2014. That’s just a fact. The year kicked off with Taylor leading Stone Sour on a packed headline tour, fittingly closing out the incredible journey he began with the phenomenal two-part concept album The House of Gold & Bones: Part I and House of Gold & Bones, Pt. 2. The shows remained incendiary, but Taylor kept that fire burning as he retreated to Los Angeles in order to cut what would become Slipknot’s fifth full-length album, .5: The Gray Chapter, and ARTISTdirect.com’s “album of the year”.
For as much as the album is a hard rock masterpiece, .5: The Gray Chapter is high art, witnessing the rise of juggernaut from the darkest period of its career. Not only do these gentlemen keep their heads held high and soldier on after the tragic loss of founding bassist Paul Gray, but they triumph in delivering an album for the ages. Taylor sounds feral at all the right moments, but he also delivers some of his most powerful lyrics and mind-blowing vocal performances. Just listen to “If Rain Is What You Want,” you’ll feel every line.
The record deservedly debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, asserting that rock ‘n’ roll is far from dead. Rather, it’s more alive than ever. That claim continued to be supported by Slipknot’s two-day KNOTFEST in Southern California and their “Prepare For Hell” headline tour of arenas.
In the middle of it, Taylor made his big screen debut alongside none other than the legendary Robert Englund in Fear Clinic—one of the year’s most terrifying films. Moreover, mainstream pundits ranging from Larry King to Chris Hardwick featured him, giving him the recognition he deserves from another angle altogether.
Taylor’s an artist in the truest sense of the word, and there’s no sign that he’s stopping ever. Get ready for an even bigger 2015.