All Hope Is Gone is Slipknot's fourth studio album. Noted to have begun preparation in October 2007, recording was due to begin in January 2008, but was pushed back to February. It will be the band's first studio release since 2004's Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), making All Hope Is Gone their fourth studio album, as well as the first musical output from the band since Corey Taylor and Jim Root's mainstream success with Stone Sour, Joey Jordison's stints with Korn, Ministry and 3 Inches of Blood, Shawn Crahan's side project Dirty Little Rabbits and Sid Wilson's solo project - DJ Starscream. All Hope Is Gone is also the band's first studio album on a major label to be recorded in their homestate of Iowa. It was recorded at the Sound Farm, located in Jamaica, Iowa (not far from Slipknot's home town of Des Moines).
The album was published in two versions: the standard album in a Compact Disc case and a special edition packaged in a six-fold digipak containing three bonus tracks, a 40 page booklet, and a bonus DVD with a documentary of the album’s recording.
All Hope Is Gone is considered the band’s most eclectic-sounding album, incorporating elements from their previous three. All Hope Is Gone includes their “brutal” edge, such as the track “All Hope Is Gone”, reminiscent of songs such as “(Sic)” from their debut self-titled album; slow burning, “trippy” elements such as “Gehenna”, reminiscent of “Skin Ticket” from their second album Iowa; and acoustics (“Snuff”) and guitar solos (all songs), which were first introduced on Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses).
Lyrically, All Hope Is Gone centers on themes such as anger, disaffection, obsession, and the music industry. The album name also features a more prominent focus on politics than their previous albums. Slipknot promoted All Hope Is Gone on a world tour and at the Mayhem Festival. All Hope Is Gone album reached the top position on nine record charts worldwide, including the Billboard 200 - the first Slipknot album to do so.
After a negative experience with producer Rick Rubin on 2004's Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), the band announced that their fourth studio album would be produced by Dave Fortman who also worked with Mudvayne and Evanescence. Unlike past releases, all of the members were on time every day and became involved in the writing process. The band wrote over thirty songs for the album, and Corey Taylor had over 200 pages of lyrics written before the whole song-writing process begun.
When questioned about the production of the album, vocalist Corey Taylor explained that the cycle was not met without conflict. He went on to add that every Slipknot album has been met with conflict and that they embrace this as they realize it is what brings out their creativity. However, he also enjoyed the writing process explaining that all band members were getting involved, adding that it was the first time he had ever brought in a whole track in, that track being "Snuff".
Below are some images of the studio where the CD was recorded. Click the image for a bigger view.
Beginning on April 1, 2008, Slipknot's official website began to display splash teasers to promote All Hope Is Gone. During the process there had been around 18 splash teasers, the first nine displayed the band in their new large masks, however the last seemingly shows dark figures with what seems like ordinary size heads. Slipknot premiered their new masks on July 1, 2008 through AOL Music's Spinner.com; 8 million people logged onto the site to view the masks on the first day!
On June 15 a 30-second sample and cover art from the album's title track, "All Hope Is Gone", was available on Amazon.com, the sample circulated throughout the internet but was removed from Amazon and user submitted content websites such as YouTube by the next day due to a copyright claim from Roadrunner Records. However, on June 16 a full version of the song was leaked throughout the internet via Peer-to-peer programs and spread throughout user submitted content websites; again, by the next day the song had been removed due to a copyright claim by Roadrunner Records.