Today (Oct. 17) marks the fifth anniversary of the release of .5: The Gray Chapter, Slipknot's fifth overall album and first following the tragic passing of bassist Paul Gray. Reflecting on this date, the band shared an alternate album cover that almost made it to the finish line.

The image was shared on Slipknot's Instagram page, where percussionist Clown wrote, "This cover was a strong contender for the final album artwork, and represents where my head was at during the making of this album." It boasts the same skeletal figure that is the fixture of the original artwork, striking a slightly different pose and set against a geometric backdrop instead of worn wooden boards.

When speaking with Corey Taylor this summer in advance of the release of Slipknot's new record, We Are Not Your Kind, the singer reflected on how the band transitioned from the tumultuous All Hope Is Gone to banding together after tragedy for the next album. "When we did All Hope is Gone we were just really lucky to get an album out of that because of all the turmoil that was going on in the band at the time. There are some great, great songs on that album. But cohesively, it just wasn’t there," he said.

"And then .5 was us going, 'God, do we even want to do this anymore?' It was almost a rediscovery. It didn’t have the same kind of urgency as our earlier albums," Taylor further recalled, adding, "Again, there were great songs, but it didn’t have that same energy that we were trying to capture."

Time has been the album's friend, however, as Taylor went on, "And it’s only in retrospect when you really start listening to stuff back to back that you realize that, 'Yeah, man there was something there.' And maybe it’s because there was a mournful vibe to it that it had that."

Slipknot's .5: The Gray Chapter topped the Billboard 200 Album chart upon its 2014 release. It has since been gold certified in the U.S. for excess of 500,000 units. Five songs charted off the album, including "The Negative One," "The Devil in I," "Custer," "Killpop" and "Goodbye." In addition, three Grammy nominations came during the span of the album, including Best Metal Performance in consecutive years for "The Negative One" and "Custer," while also receiving a Best Rock Album nomination.

Slipknot are currently catching a breather, but will return to the road in late November to finish out the year. Be sure to look into ticketing here.

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