It seems most bizarre to think that a beast as all-conquering of the metal world as Slipknot had yet to take their larger-than-life stage show into Mexico City at any point in their twenty-year existence. Yet, until December 2015, and the .5 – The Grey Chapter’s incarnation of Knotfest, that particular duck had yet to broken. Continue reading
Slipknot have announced their full run of tour dates with Marilyn Manson and Of Mice And Men for this summer in North America. A list of dates is below with an additional date in Virginia Beach, VA to be announced within weeks. Slipknot Fan Club ticket presales will begin March 1st at 12:00 PM local time at this link, followed by Citibank presales on March 2nd, local Live Nation and radio presales on March 3rd and general onsale March 4th at 10:00 AM local time.
Slipknot summer US tour dates w/ Marilyn Manson & Of Mice & Men:
Jun 09: USANA Amphitheatre – Salt Lake City, UT
Jun 11: White River Amphitheatre- Auburn, WA
Jun 13: Concord Pavilion- Concord, CA
Jun 14: The Forum – Inglewood, CA
Jun 15: Sleep Train Amphitheatre- Chula Vista, CA
Jun 17: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino- Las Vegas, NV
Jun 18: Ak-Chin Pavilion – Phoenix, AZ
Jun 19: Isleta Amphitheater – Albuquerque, NM
Jun 21: Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
Jun 24: Austin 360 Amphitheater – Austin, TX
Jun 25: Gexa Energy Pavilion – Dallas, TX
Jun 26: Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman – The Woodlands, TX
Jun 28: Bridgestone Arena – Nashville, TN
Jun 29: Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood- Atlanta, GA
Jul 01: Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre – West Palm Beach, FL
Jul 02: MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds- Tampa, FL
Jul 06: Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
Jul 08: Xfinity Theatre – Hartford, CT
Jul 09: PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
Jul 10: GIANT Center- Hershey, PA
Jul 12: Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH
Jul 13: Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, IN
Jul 15: Rock USA- Oshkosh, WI*
Jul 16: Rock Fest- Cadott, WI *
Jul 17: Chicago Open Air – Bridgeview, IL *
Jul 19: Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
Jul 20: Bell Centre – Montreal, QC
Jul 21: Videotron Centre- Québec, QC
Jul 23: Lakeview Amphitheater – Syracuse – Syracuse, NY
Jul 24: Saratoga Performing Arts Center- Saratoga Springs, NY
Jul 26: Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, VA
Jul 27: BB&T Pavilion – Camden, NJ
Jul 29: DTE Energy Music Theatre- Clarkston, MI
Jul 30: First Niagara Pavilion- Burgettstown, PA
Aug 02: PNC Music Pavilion- Charlotte, NC
Aug 04: Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre – Maryland Heights, MO
Aug 05: Wells Fargo Arena – Des Moines, IA
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Slipknot has booked another expansive summertime tour for the USA. Dates are pending, but the entire tour itinerary is below, and is generally a good gauge of tour routing. Marilyn Manson and Of Mice And Men will open all dates. Slipknot’s new single ‘Goodbye’ is currently at radio and streaming services, as is .5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner) the bands’ album from 2014 they continue to support.
Slipknot summer US tour dates, with Marilyn Manson and Of Mice And Men
(All Dates TBD in the coming weeks)
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles, CA
San Diego, CA
Las Vegas, NV
West Palm Beach, FL
Saratoga Springs, NY
Virginia Beach, VA
St. Louis, MO
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“The Summer’s Last Stand Tour” has been going from town to town across the country playing to amphitheaters and to big crowds. In many ways this explosive tour matching up Slipknot with Lamb of God essentially helped to kill off Mayhem Fest, at least in part. Not only are they two of the most potent live bands in American metal, each brings their own fans and unique vibe to the proceedings. Slipknot of course are the modern-day Kiss and Motley Crüe, dealing in pure sensory overload. Only the likes of Rob Zombie, Rammstein and Tool come close to the visual orgy that The Knot can bring. They have been killing it live all over the world since last year’s release of .5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner). Audiences in America are naturally hungry for a Lamb of God show, eager to finally hear new songs off of the just released VII: Sturm Und Drang (Epic) album. If that wasn’t enough, this tour also has Bullet For My Valentine and Motionless In White (not pictured) to round out a bill that is truly diverse and heavy enough for everyone. Shot here for Ghost Cult by Evil Robb Photography, you can feel a sense of the epic scale of the première concert tour of 2015 so far.
RockSverige.se conducted an interview with Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor at this year’s Copenhell festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. Excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). You can watch the video at this link or below:
On the immediate future of Slipknot and plans for the next record:
“Well, I mean, we’re gonna finish touring and then we’re gonna take a couple of years off again to, kind of, let everything chill. I’m gonna go do my thing, [and] everybody else’s gonna go, kind of, do their thing. I know Clown‘s [percussion] got movies that he wants to make, which is very cool. He just wrapped his first feature a couple of months ago, which I’m pretty stoked for him about. So everybody is gonna, kind of, do their thing, and then, in a couple of years, we’ll get back together and see what happens again. Kind of what we used to do… Before we lost [SLIPKNOT bassist] Paul [Gray], that’s what we would do: we would go [pursue other projects] for a while and then we would get back together after a couple of years and say, like, ‘All right. What have we got now?’ So I think that’s what we’re gonna do.”
Slipknot’s “Summer’s Last Stand” tour Kicks Off On July 24 In West Palm Beach, Florida, Wrapping Up Six Weeks Later On September 5 In Dallas. Joining Slipknot on The Road Trip Will Be Lamb Of God, Bullet For My Valentine and Motionless In White.
After weeks of teasing it in their social media networks, Slipknot released their video for ‘Killpop’ today. Watch the video at this link and below:
Directed by their own Shawn ‘Clown” Crahan, ‘Killpop’ is the third video/single from .5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner) following treatments for ‘The Negative One’ and ‘The Devil In I’. Slipknot will be on tour with the “Summer’s Last Stand Tour” in the USA with Lamb of God, Bullet For My Valentine and Motionless In White:
Slipknot has returned to the road to overload the senses of their frenzied fans with their typical ambitious stage shows. While storming cities on their short Prepare For Hell Tour with special guests Hatebreed, the band is sharpening their steel for what looks to be a busy rest of 2015. Still supporting the stellar .5: The Gray Chapter album (Roadrunner), the band will next be seen on stages all over the world headlining some festivals such as Download, Rock Am Ring, Grasspop, and Hellfest. Then they will embark on the Summer’s Last Stand tour with Lamb of God, Bullet For My Valentine, and Motionless In White in the US again. Brent Butterworth of Brent B Photography shared these photos with us, that he shot at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater in Birmingham, AL. Thanks Brent!
Getting close! The Very Best of the The Very Best of 2014 as brought to you by Ghost Cult. Coming up are albums ranked 5, 4, 3, 2 in the Official Ghost Cult Albums of the Year… You’ll have to wait just a little longer for the unveiling of our number one!
5. SóLSTAFIR – Ótta (Season of Mist)
Shaking off any last vestige of Black Metal from their sound, Sólstafir somehow managed to take 2011’s incredible Svartir Sandar and improve on it. Vocalist Aðalbjörn “Addi” Tryggvason has stepped up to join the rest of the band at the level they’d previously set and, with elements of Wild West flirting in and out of their gorgeous Sigur Ros flecked post-rock, Ótta is simply a wondrous album. Taking beautiful emotive post-metal, folk, goth and intelligent indie-rock and telling the story of the changing moods and emotions of the different phases of the day, Sólstafir take their place as one of the modern day leaders of great music.
“Ótta, the latest album from Icelandic musical vagabonds Sólstafir is one of the most uncompromising and challenging records that you are likely to hear this year; it is also one of the most compelling. it sounds uniquely Sólstafir and Sólstafir don’t sound like anything else you have heard. Admittedly, you might be able to detect echoes of other bands, of other singers but not delivered with this verve, guile and eccentric charm. Second, Ótta is an aural experience like no other: this is an immersive, emotional and evocative album, multi-layered, nuanced and brimming with pulsating and invigorating ideas; it is music for the head as much as the heart.”
Read MAT DAVIES’ 10/10 review here
4. SLIPKNOT – .5 The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner)
The biggest band in our realm of Metal were up against it. The tragic loss of Paul Gray, the personal decision to part ways with key songwriter and distinctive drummer Joey Jordison, and a scene that had picked the carcass to the bone of everything Slipknot had left them in terms of influence and had moved on in their absence. Yet the Iowa giants didn’t just come back strong, they smashed it out the park with their strongest release since the seminal Iowa. Diverse yet unmistakeably Slipknot at every turn, The Gray Chapter paid tribute to their departed brother in a style he would only have been proud of.
“.5: The Gray Chapter is an album of some significance, a statement of intent, a mountain-strong collection of hate-anthems to stand with Slipknot’s best. All Killer, No Filler, And then some. .5 punches hard, deep and long, undeniably their most consistent album since 2001’s Iowa. The Slipknot sound has long been established, their influence is inherent, but what .5: The Gray Chapter achieves is unity – a pulling together of all the relevant bits of Slipknot into one tribute to their past, and to those that passed. Nine may have become seven, but if you’re five five five, then they’re (still) six six six. As I said before, .5: The Gray Chapter is an album of some significance.”
Read STEVE TOVEY’s 9/10 review here
3. MACHINE HEAD – Bloodstones & Diamonds (Nuclear Blast)
There’s something about Machine Head that it seems like every time every time they come to a new album, they have to prove themselves all over again. And every time they unequivocally deliver. From the moment Through The Ashes Of Empires repaired the damage of the misguided and substandard Supercharger, through The Blackening (all Roadrunner), perhaps the mainstream metal album of this century, this has been a decade long comeback of sensationally high quality, as a post-Adam Duce revitalized fighting machine led by The General, Robb Flynn laying down a marker. Machine Head bring the thrash, the groove, the blood, the sweat, the tears and above all, the songs.
“All the elements the band has been working with for most of the last ten years, as well as their classic sounds are all intact, with a few new twists and turns. Tons of grooves, chill-inducing dynamic shifts, and of course, those head-nodding riffs galore are heard. Many bands have started out hot and fizzled out badly or had trouble staying relevant over time. Machine Head is perhaps the greatest American metal band right now, because they have a sense of purpose about their writing that above all makes you care what they are saying lyrically, and where they can take you musically.”
Read KEITH ‘KEEFY’ CHACHKES’ 9/10 review here
2. MASTODON – Once More ‘round The Sun (Reprise)
A theme of a number of the Ghost Cult Top 50 albums of the year is that of refinement on past excellence. Of a standard and a sound being set by a predecessor before the perfecting of the modus operandi in 2014, and it’s an approach that applies to Mastodon. The Hunter was a great album, a simplifying and a commercializing of the trademark quirk, groove and buffeting the ‘don had unleashed previously. Once More ‘Round The Sun takes The Hunter’s approach, and improves on it. For ‘Curl of the Burl’, read ‘The Motherload’, as anthem after anthem is spat out by the Atlanta quartet who, with this album, defiantly prove they belong at the top.
“When the band said earlier in the year that this album was a continuation of 2012’s The Hunter, they weren’t kidding and there are a ton of catchy prog and stoner grooves on this album to satisfy. The evolution that Mastodon began almost fifteen years ago, continues in 2014 as they prepare to drop their newest album. Along the way there have been few easy roads taken, and any battles won were well-earned on their climb to success. Certainly no one who started out with the band in their early days would have predicted where they would be today as a major international headliner, but this is where they are. As the band has grown they have picked up some new fans along the way who seemed to click with the newer, psychedelic rock vibes of their last few albums. If you have followed their entire oeuvre from the start and stayed, or came in as of late, this album has your name all over it.”
Read KEITH ‘KEEFY’ CHACHKES 8.5/10 review here
Compiled and additional words by Steve Tovey
.5: The Gray Chapter (Roadrunner) is an album of some significance.
Not just because this will be the most high-profile heavy release of the year (probably by some distance) from the biggest current relevant band in metal; not just because six years and two months have passed since their last, the under-rated but far from classic All Hope Is Gone; but because this album will have to answer the burning questions over whether Slipknot, this generations’ standard-bearers and the largest and most impactful metal band since Metallica, can still raise the flag and deliver following everything they have had to endure in the intervening period.
So, is The Gray Chapter good enough?
The answer to that, and the questions above, is emphatic. The Gray Chapter is a statement of intent, a mountain-strong collection of hate-anthems to stand with Slipknot’s best.
All Killer, No Filler, And then some. .5 punches hard, deep and long, undeniably their most consistent album since 2001’s Iowa, with ten of the twelve full songs clear and valid options to be elevated to a set list already packed full of classics.
The Gray Chapter explodes to life as the venomous ‘Sarcastrophe’ launches with a roar over a trademark downtuned ‘knot riff, like a rattling rollercoaster with drums and taut percussion slamming under DJ Sid Wilson’s scratching, sirens and whirls as a stomping anthem of violence is spat out. ‘AOV’ follows in the same vein; a spiteful, claustrophobic pounding that opens out into clever hook of a chorus, with impassioned delivery from ringmaster Corey Taylor. Next, the excellent melodic insurrection of ‘The Devil In I’ raises the level of the impressive start to the album, a track to rival a ‘Duality’ or a ‘Left Behind’.
And then there is ‘Killpop’, a milestone track; beautiful, dark, venerable and vulnerable, a song of gravitas and reflection that continues down the left hand path of ‘Vermillion’ and ‘Snuff’, that reminds that, amongst the clatter, this is a band with genuine depth behind it.
Having visited anger and reflection, it seems the band finally reaches acceptance at the midpoint with the songs most clearly about the tragically departed Paul Gray, the melancholy ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Skeptic’, a catchy uptempo riot with Taylor hollering “The world will never see another crazy motherfucker like you, The world will never know another man as amazing as you”. That expressed, it’s like a weight off the mind of the album and things tear off, starting with ‘Nomadic’ and its classic grind-and-click-into-huge-chorus Slipknot.
Reaching the conclusion of their fifth opus the band hit the “moving on” part of the Kübler-Ross curve, delivering two immense slabs of Class A Slipknot. ‘Custer’, with its “Cut cut cut me up, fuck fuck fuck me up!” refrain deals out a pounding that is half Slipknot, half Subliminal Verses, Shawn Crahan showing how important his percussion is to the overall sound by tying their new (as yet unveiled) drummer to the Slipknot groove. Meanwhile there are further daemons shown to be exorcized in ‘The Negative One’, a song that despite protestations has to be about Joey Jordison, and it stomps out a syncopated battery and buzzing migraine of a low-slung riff, before ‘If Rain Is What You Want’, a sombre and pained conclusion.
The Slipknot sound has long been established, their influence is inherent, but what .5: The Gray Chapter achieves is unity – a pulling together of all the relevant bits of Slipknot. It may not have the vitriol and face-ripping point-proving of Iowa but it does amalgamate everything else that is Slipknot into one tribute to their past, and to those that passed. If there is a criticism it is that development seems to have ceased, as this is an collating and re-presenting of their previous endeavours, but the ‘knot still completely and absolutely pwn metal’s mainstream.
Nine may have become seven, but if you’re five five five, then they’re (still) six six six.
As I said before, .5: The Gray Chapter is an album of some significance.