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R.I.P. Slipknot bassist Paul Gray

Bass guitarist Paul Gray performing in metal b...

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The Des Moines Register is reporting that Slipknot bassist Paul Gray has died:

Paul Dedrick Gray, 38, of Johnston was found dead at approximately 10:50 a.m. today by an employee at TownePlace Suites, 8800 Northpark Drive, police said.

There was no evidence of foul play, police said, but the investigation is ongoing.

Gray was one of the last few original members performing in the current Slipknot lineup.

I’m sure to many, Slipknot will forever be tied into the late ’90s/early ’00s nu-metal scene, a genre many critics were happy to dispose of as soon as the next musical trend came along.

But I tend to view Slipknot a little differently. Slipknot and a number of their nu-metal peers were a musical awakening for me. I was in middle school when Slipknot burst out of Iowa, a state that seemed so foreign growing up in the suburbs of D.C. Yet their little-guy-against-the-world attitude and mix of pop-friendly songwriting and orchestral-sized heavy metal really made an impression. Sure, I fit into some “demographic” of fans who record labels expected to fall for this brand of music. But there was something so vital and sincere about Slipknot that I couldn’t find in, say, Limp Bizkit.

At 13, Slipknot just made sense to me. I’ll always thank anyone associated with the band for that caustic music that made me feel at peace.

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