Slipknot made its name singing about self-destruction, self-loathing and other melancholy topics.
But only in losing one of their own have the bandmember's sinister masks come off.
"There is really nothing more to say than that it's very important that everybody, outside of us, understands that Paul Gray was the essence of the band Slipknot," said percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan at a press conference at Wells Fargo Arena in the band's native stomping grounds of Des Moines, Iowa. Crahan helped found the band with Gray back in 1995.
Gray's widow, Brenna, and brother Tony joined the guys onstage.
"Yesterday we lost our brother, and the world seems a little smaller because of it," frontman Corey Taylor said. "He was everything that was wonderful about this band and this group of people. The only way I can sum up Paul is 'love.'"
Gray, 38, was found dead Monday in a hotel room in a Des Moines suburb. An autopsy performed today was deemed inconclusive pending, as per usual, the results of toxicology tests.
"It's very hard for me right now," added drummer Joey Jordison, another one of Slipknot's original members. "I just want to say that I love you, Paul, very much. You'll be sorely missed by the world over."
Pay tribute to the other celebs we've lost this year in our Fallen Stars gallery.