Slipknot vs. GWAR

The battle to be most terrifying

Slipknot vs. GWAR
Slipknot headlines Spokane Arena October 20.

Perhaps your parents were right when they told you that heavy metal music is of the devil — sometimes it can be downright frightening, especially when played terribly. In the case of the metal acts GWAR and Slipknot, both coming through Spokane in the coming days, masks and outfits only add to their horrifying mystique. To decide which band is ultimately the most scream-inducing, Inlander culture writers (Chey Scott, Dan Nailen, Mike Bookey and Max Carter; denoted by initials below) took a (not) very scientific look at how these costumes might affect our night's sleep. Here are some of the choice observations from that analysis. Each photo was scored on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being so scary you just peed a little. (LAURA JOHNSON)

Beefcake the Mighty, GWAR (bass)

This outfit is very prehistoric, almost cute and cuddly. (DN)

Honestly, this outfit makes me laugh a little. (MC)

It reminds me of the 1980s He-Man movie, the live action one. I won't have any bad dreams because that movie is f---ing boss. (MB)

I imagine this outfit impedes his ability to headbang well. (LJ)

Total scary ranking: 18

Shawn Crahan, Slipknot (percussion, backing vocals)

No. Just say "no" to clowns. If I saw this in a haunted house, I would be gone. (CS)

There's a dash of serial killer John Wayne Gacy in there — very scary. This could definitely cause me nightmares. (DN)

Imagine a clown nightmare, and then imagine if the clown started melting your face with rock. Yes, I could very possibly have a nightmare from this. (MC)

The inside of that thing has to be sweatier than Patrick Ewing's armpit. (MB)

Total scary ranking: 37

Balsac the Jaws of Death, GWAR (guitar, backing vocals)

I wouldn't want to get caught in those Jaws of Death, in dreams or reality. (LJ)

The GWAR guys look like a set of Dungeons & Dragons characters. I think they may have been scary in the 1980s, but then again, so was Iron Maiden. (MC)

I'm, like, 80 percent sure those aren't his real abs. (MB)

Nice hooves? (CS)

Total scary ranking: 12

Craig Jones, Slipknot Shawn Crahan, Slipknot (keyboards)

I find this confusing. How does he hug any of his loved ones? Does he have any loved ones? (DN)

The real worry is not how he can see in this mask, but how long his bandmates have eyes. (CS)

OK. That's pretty terrifying. I'm experiencing some repressed childhood memories. (MB)

I hope his friends call him Spike. (LJ)

Total scary ranking: 37

Corey Taylor, Slipknot (lead vocals)

That mask looks made of human skin. I'm disturbed. I do not want to meet that guy and end up part of his next mask. (DN)

Taylor's mask is the most realistic of the six masks/outfits, which I think is the reason I find it to be the most scary. (MC)

He looks like one of the War Boys from Mad Max! (CS)

Total scary ranking: 35

Blothar, GWAR (lead vocals)

He's scary mostly because of those man udders. Take those away, and he might just be a friendly Jägermeister dealer. (DN)

I worry very much about the mental health of all of these musicians. I would call my emotions when I saw those udders "maximum discomfort." (MC)

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! (LJ)

Total scary ranking: 35

Inside GWAR

It takes real guts to attend a GWAR show. Fans never know what they'll be sprayed with from the stage (fake blood, sweat, barf, slime and tears). Things like crazy ball/udders and beheadings cannot be unseen and may haunt dreams forever. But for those willing to wander into the unknown, this shock rock band has continued to put on riotous shows for the past 30 years — even in the wake of their fearless leader Dave "Oderus Urungus" Brockie's death in 2014. Remember, though, everything with GWAR is tongue in cheek, if not a joke. They claim to be aliens, trying to take over the human race with their extreme metal music. They refer to themselves as the scumdogs of the universe. And they're not wrong.


GWAR, Born of Osiris, Battlecross and Helldorado • Sat, Oct. 17, at 8 pm • $20 • All-ages • Knitting Factory • 919 W. Sprague • • 244-3279

Band stats

• Formed in 1984 in Richmond, Virginia (although they claim to live in Antarctica)

• 7 current members

• 13 studio albums

• More than 370,000 Facebook fans

• 2 Grammy nominations

• Previous Spokane appearance: Nov. 2014, Knitting Factory

• Number of band deaths: 2. Guitarist Cory "Flattus Maximus" Smoot was found dead on the band's tour bus in 2012; frontman Dave "Oderus Urungus" Brockie died of a heroin overdose in 2014

• Number of times the band has tried to take over the world: Every single day


Even in a genre like metal, where (almost) anything goes, the meteoric rise of Slipknot was a shock when the band blew up at the turn of the millennium. They were from Iowa, of all places, the members wore horror-inspired masks, and they had nine guys on stage bashing away between dives into mosh pits or climbs to the rafters. Slipknot's manic style of thrash metal and chaotic live performances made them instant favorites at festivals like Ozzfest, and 20 years after their formation and 16 years after releasing their self-titled debut, which went double platinum, the band is still going strong. In 2014, they released their fifth album, .5: The Gray Chapter, and were nominated for a Grammy for the eighth time. Things seem as scary offstage as on, as guitarist Mick Thomson was injured in a knife fight with his brother earlier this year. Clearly, Slipknot's guys take everything to the extreme.


Slipknot with Suicidal Tendencies and Beartooth • Tue, Oct. 20, at 7 pm • $35/$45 • All-ages • Spokane Arena • 720 W. Mallon • • 279-7000

Band stats

• Formed in 1995 in Des Moines, Iowa

• 9 current members

• 5 studio albums, 1 live album

• 18 million-plus Facebook fans

• 8 Grammy nominations, 1 win for "Best Metal Performance" in 2006 for the song "Before I Forget"

• Previous Spokane appearance: Oct. 2009, Star Theatre

• Number of band deaths: 1, by apparently accidental overdose; bass player Paul Gray in 2010

• Number of times the band has tried to take over the world: 0, unless you count numerous world tours

Richard Marx @ Northern Quest Resort & Casino

Thu., Feb. 9, 7:30 p.m.
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