SLIPKNOT: First Glimpse At New Masks

Des Moines, Iowa-based metal giants SLIPKNOT have offered the first glimpse (sort of) at the new series of masks which the band will don on the upcoming Rockstar Energy Mayhem festival, set to kick off July 9 at the White River Amphitheatre in Seattle.

Check out the new "shadowy" photo on the splash page of the band's official web site.

When asked if the oversized, Easter Islandlooking masks were in fact an April Fools' Day joke, an unnamed executive at the band's record label, Roadrunner Records, assured BLABBERMOUTH.NET that it is "100% real."

According to HMV.co.uk, Roadrunner Records has set an August 11 UK release date (one day later in the U.S.) for the much-anticipated new SLIPKNOT album. The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2004's "Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)" is being recorded with producer Dave Fortman, who has previously worked with MUDVAYNE and EVANESCENCE.

Joining SLIPKNOT and DISTURBED on the main stage of the first-ever Rockstar Energy Mayhem festival will be DRAGONFORCE and MASTODON. In addition, the tour will have two second stages: one sponsored by Jgermeister and featuring AIRBOURNE, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, 36 CRAZYFISTS and the Jgermeister Battle of The Bands Winner. An additional second stage will feature MACHINE HEAD, BLACK TIDE, SUICIDE SILENCE, THE RED CHORD, and WALLS OF JERICHO.

SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan recently told Revolver magazine that the masked nine-piece from Iowa is coming from a "different place" as it prepares to record its fourth major label album. When asked what has changed since "Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)", Crahan replied, "I can't stress enough that we're going into this from a different place. When we did (2001 album) 'Iowa', we hated each other. We hated the world; the world hated us. The next record ('Vol. 3') was like rehabilitation. We had all this healing that needed to happen. Now, everything feels good because we feel good."

SLIPKNOT went on hiatus at the end of 2005, when it finished touring in support of "Vol. 3". Since then the band members have worked on various other projects, including a second album from singer Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root's STONE SOUR.

Crahan said, "These breaks that we take, they get our appetites going. They let our brains slow down and then speed up again. We gotta decompress for a little bit just to feel human if we're going to be forced to be here in this reality."

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