It's been a whirlwind 24 hours to be a Slipknot fan. Yesterday (June 7th) started off with co-founding percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan announcing that he was taking an indefinite leave of absence from the band's live shows due to his wife's health issues.
Next, dropped the bombshell: Slipknot parted ways with spiky-masked keyboardist and sampler Craig Jones, who had been in the group for the last 27 years. The news came in the form of a terse social media post that was then confusingly deleted from the band's pages in less than an hour.
Shortly thereafter — right around the time the band kicked off their performance at Nova Rock festival in Nickelsdorf, Austria — Slipknot posted a cryptic photo of a mystery masked person, who may or may not have been the new guy who was onstage with the 'Knot in Austria.
Our knee-jerk reaction to all of this was, "What the fuck is going on?!" And now, things have only gotten stranger. This morning (June 8th), Slipknot posted a creepy teaser video on their socials that directed people to the website, "youcantkillme.com."
Once there, fans discovered a YouTube link to what appears to be a brand new Slipknot song titled "Death March" — a foreboding instrumental that feels like an intro or an interlude, or at least a part of a bigger whole. A whole what exactly? We don't know, and the accompanying video raises more questions than answers.
The visual depicts nine dummy humans — all unmasked, and seemingly representative of the members of Slipknot — lined up against a wall in what looks like a torture room from one of the Saw movies. The camera flashes to the creepily motionless figures, which look like they're made out of clay or paper machete. We see a brief shot of an individual sitting in a chair, and then footage of the bodies exploding and shattering in slow-motion.
Notably, the caption of the video is, "watch me as my blood runs cold," which are lyrics from the song "Adderall" from Slipknot's 2022 album, The End, So Far.
Watch and listen to whatever the hell "Death March" is above via YouTube.
Slipknot just released their most recent full-length album in fall 2022, but "Death March" is already the second new track they've dropped this year. Back in February, they suddenly unveiled a new tune called "Bone Church," which Clown revealed was first imagined during the sessions for 2014's .5: The Gray Chapter.
At first, the single seemed like Slipknot dropping a random B-side, but now the existence of "Death March" raises the question: Are Slipknot slowly trickling out a new project of some kind? According to Clown, the existence of a whole new 'Knot album in 2023 is entirely possible.
At the top of the year, Clown revealed that the band's long-lost "Radiohead vibe" album, Look Outside Your Window — recorded during the All Hope is Gone sessions back in the 2000s — could finally see the light of day sometime this year.
"It's an amazing body of work," Clown said of the much-mythologized 11-song project during a recent interview. "You will never hear another Corey Taylor like this. The music and the words … It's one of the best things I've ever done in my life."
"We wouldn't want Slipknot to hurt Look Outside Your Window, and we wouldn't want Look Outside Your Window to be a little irritation to Slipknot," he continued. "Why? Because it's beautiful God art and people deserve it. The good news is that six months from now, April Fool's Day 2023, we're off the label.
"There are no plans to immediately release something, and we haven't talked about it, but I would imagine it'll probably come very soon afterwards. There's nothing else to do, and it's ready to go. It'll be worth the wait."
Now that April Fool's Day is more than two months behind us, that "very soon" could be right now, and "Death March" might be the beginning of the album's rollout. Or not. You can never tell what Slipknot are really up to, but if the deluge of new information from the last 24 hours continues flowing, then we'll surely know more soon enough.