A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

  • Axl Rosenberg

Unless you’re a total loser with no friends or any compelling reason to walk the Earth, you are no doubt aware that this morning, after months and months of teases, Slipknot finally released NEW MASKS!!!! (Also, a new song, but no one cares about that.) Since this is inarguably the single most important cultural event of 2019, we thought we’d do a deep dive and take a real close look at the ‘Knot’s new masks to see what we can see. Join us, won’t you?

Sid Wilson (#0)A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: Creepy-looking perv in a hood. It’s fairly recognizable as Wilson; it seems likely it was modeled after his actual face, like the death masks the band sometimes used back in the Subliminal Verses days. Also, there are either multiple versions of the mask, or otherwise it has a great deal of mobility in the mouth, because in some images he seems to be gritting his teeth, while in others he’s open-mouthed and slack-jawed, like he’s baked and in hour seventeen of a Twin Peaks binge.

What the Mask “Says”: “Don’t I look creepy! (Psst, don’t be scared guys, it’s just me, Sid!)”

Analysis: This is the least disguise-y of all the new Slipknot masks, and maybe of any Slipknot mask from any era, period. It’s creepy, sure, but it also says, “Hey, this is what I look like, if you ever see me chillin’ at Quizno’s and wanna take a picture together, that’s cool.”

Jim Root (#4)A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: A slight variation on the same jester design Root has always used. As was the case with his Gray Chapter mask, the lower jaw is cut open, leaving the mouth exposed; as has been the case since at least Subliminal Verses, the right eye has a swirly thinger that connects to his lips.

What the Mask “Says”: “I’m not afraid to be creative, but, I mean, let’s not go nuts here or anything.”

Analysis: If ain’t broke, Root don’t wanna fix it… which is not to say he’s lazy.

Craig  Jones (#5)A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: Pretty much the same Pinhead-Meets-The-Gimp-From-Pulp Fiction mask Jones has always used. There are ever-so-slight variations — the spikes at the top of his head are longer than the ones on the sides, the finish is shinier, etc. — but 99.999% of everyone will never be able to tell the difference.

What the Mask “Says”: “Craig Jones won the fucking lottery and has the best job in the world.”

Analysis: Jones has made a living for two decades basically standing still and hitting buttons every so often, and he seems to spend roughly eight, maybe ten seconds tops redesigning his mask each album cycle. This man basically retired at 27. Good for him.

Shawn “Clown” Crahan (#6)A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: It’s a metallic clown. Duh.

What the Mask “Says”: “Look, fuckers, there are only so many ways you can re-design a clown.” Only it’s Clown saying it, so it would probably come out more like, “How do you revolutionize the ultimate entertainer? I am everything and nothing. I am the alpha and the omega. Clowns have to look a certain way but a certain way they must also look. My nose is the center of the universe, known or unknown. We’re gonna burn the very idea of music to the ground until we build it back up again.” Or something.

Analysis: Look, I get that there are only so many ways you can re-design a clown. But surely, there are cooler options than this. What if the nose had beady eyes and big teeth, like a Killer Tomato or something? And that’s just off the top of my head!A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

Mick Thomson (#7)A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: More or less the same iron hockey mask from Hell design Mick always uses.

What the Mask “Says”:I’ve been stabbed in the head by my own brother. Have you ever been stabbed in the head by your own brother? Have you ever been stabbed in the head at all? No? Then fuck off, lil’ miss. I ain’t changin’ shit.”

Analysis: I have never been stabbed in the head, so I do not feel qualified to offer Mr. Thomson any criticism, positive or otherwise. (Mick please don’t hurt me.)

Corey Taylor  (#8)A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New MasksA Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New MasksA Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks A Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: It’s got the open nose and mouth of the All Hope is Gone-era Corey mask, the Daryl Hannah-in-Blade Runner black strip of paint over the eyes, and Corey now appears to be favoring a haircut modeled after Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

What the Mask “Says”: “Pobody’s nerfect.”

Analysis: Taylor hired legendary make-up artist Tom Savini to design to this mask, and his money could not have been more wasted. This isn’t the least creative update of the bunch (see: Craig Jones and Mick Thomson), but it’s certainly the most anti-climactic. I’m always loathe to criticize Corey Taylor, seeing as he is undoubtedly God’s most glorious creation, but this is a real letdown IMO.

Alessandro VenturellaA Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: An eloquent, intricate homage to the Paul Gray masks of yore.

What the Mask “Says”: “On the last album cycle, they didn’t let me do anything cool with my mask. This time, I get the coolest mask. So ppppfffftttt!”

Analysis: The upturned pig nose seems like a clear tribute to Paul Gray, whose masks often had a swiney quality to them, if they weren’t just outright modeled after a pig. But generally speaking, the design calls to mind a samurai warrior mask. Venturella definitely wins this round of the “Coolest Slipknot Mask” sweepstakes.

Jay WeinbergA Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: I’m not even sure how to describe this. It’s like a cross between a Paul Gray Subliminal Verses-era mask (note the similarities in mouths, noses, and finishes) and a Joey Jordison All Hope is Gone-era mask.

What the Mask “Says”: Nothing. The mouth has been stapled shut.

Analysis: This is definitely a step up for Weinberg from his original mask. But it’s no Venturella.

Mystery PercussionistA Detailed Analysis of Slipknot’s New Masks

The Design: It’s very similar to the design Weinberg and Venturella were made to wear when they first joined the band for The Gray Chapter: decaying sackcloth skin, zipper mouth, etc.

What the Mask “Says”: “Hi. I’m sorry, I’m new here… can you tell me where the Human Resources office is?”

Analysis: If whomever this dude is can last until the next album cycle, he will be handsomely rewarded with a waaaaay cooler mask (see: Venturella and Weinberg). Until then… hey, at least he’s not in Mushroomhead!

What do YOU think about the new masks? Head to the comments section to weigh in!

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