Since Iowa's favorite extreme-metal sons arose from the Midwest in the late Nineties, they've been known as much for their extremely heavy music as they are for their insanely theatrical live shows and conceptual masked characters. Along with new songs and ideas, each new record brings a new iteration of horror-inspired masks that mix in familiar cinematic references with each band member's own particular aesthetic sensibilities.
Over the past few months, in advance of their forthcoming as-yet-untitled new album, frontman Corey Taylor has been teasing the design of his new mask, which he's developing with horror special-effects master Tom Savini. As we all wait for the unveiling of Taylor and Co.'s new creations we posed the question to our faithful readers: what is the greatest Slipknot mask — any member, any era? You cast your votes, we tallied the results. See what you chose in the ranked list below.
When it comes to Slipknot masks, the band's imagination seems to be the only limit for what they can accomplish. For All Hope Is Gone, Sid Wilson's mask was a fully automated monstrosity capable of moving different parts of its face to mimic expressions, effectively making it the Daft Punk helmet of Slipknot gear. Who knows what other new tech will find its way onto their next headgear.
What makes Mick Thomson's masks memorable is the fact that he pretty much sticks to a similar design in each new era, giving him one of the most consistent and iconic looks in the Slipknot family. For Iowa, his hockey mask from hell went full-on sheet metal, looking like a cross between something that could be made in a Des Moines chop shop ... or by a brutal blacksmith in some dark medieval age.
All Hope Is Gone–era Joey Jordison's masked visage looks like that of an institutionalized homicidal maniac escaped and roaming the woods for fresh blood. The staples holding together the mouth in permanent silence belie the stories surely contained inside that fucked-up, cracking skull, and the blackened eyes hint at a weathered horror begging for eternal rest.
What the fuck, right? As if Shawn Crahan's usual creepy clown aesthetic wasn't gnarly enough, he took things a step beyond with his choice in Iowa mask. The gear looks as though he took the flesh from an already demented clown, slashed in a pentagram for demon points, and then lopped off part of the skull for good measure, exposing his brain to the world.
Taylor's Vol. 3 mask is a horrifying semblance of a face disfigured, burned and rotting, then stitched back together and slapped onto the singer's skull for an ultra-hellish sight sure to haunt your nightmares. Fans who voted for this overall favorite are true connoisseurs of the macabre.