08 December 2022
Entering the metal scene in 1999 with a mix of death metal, rap, and industrial, Slipknot was lazily labeled "nu-metal." But they've always been more brutal than the limits of that genre allow, not that their relentless ferocity has detracted from their popular appeal. The Iowa Nonets have evolved and grown with every triumph, tragedy and tribulation they have faced during their 27 years of existence. And yet they never lost their wild charm. Here are 20 of the best Slipknot songs.
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20: Custer (from '.5: The Gray Chapter', 2014)
.5: The Gray Chapterwas the first album by a Paul Gray- andjoey jordison-Except Slipknot. One of the most aggressive tracks on the album, Custer is a direct response to anyone who believed the band's heyday was over without bassist Gray (who died in 2010) or drummer Jordison (who was fired in 2013) as primary songwriters. . Named after Civil War hero George Armstrong Custer, the song was, frontman Corey Taylor explained toAgain!, an outburst of “rage against the outside world, the people who on the one hand want to make us martyrs, but at the same time want to make us bastards”.
19: The Chapeltown Rag (de 'The End, So Far', 2022)
Dark themes of war and murder have fueled the fires of heavy metal. And The Chapeltown Rag's speed metal groove is bolstered by a documentary Taylor watched on Netflix about Yorkshire ripper Peter Sutcliffe. But underneath the chaos is a new experimentalism in the singer's vocal approach. He said, "I love the way the chord progression gave it this weird, chromatic, minor vibe that he's never done before."
18: Nero Forte (from 'We're Not Yours', 2019)
Slipknot was never a band that shied away from experimenting with their sound. One of the best Slipknot songs in recent years, Nero Forte is driven by percussion giant Shawn Crahan and layered with a brutal entrance from his bandmates. A contrasting vocal melody (yes, melody) from Taylor adds an extra dimension and serves to highlight how the band's songwriting proficiency has grown over the course of six albums.
17: Dead Memories (de 'All Hope Is Gone', 2008)
The second single of 2008There is no hope, Dead Memories sees Iowa metalheads embracing the tune wholeheartedly. Yes, definitely. It was a purging moment for Taylor: "I had been through a pretty brutal divorce at the time," she said. “That [song] was when I let go of a lot of regrets and cynical feelings. It was very cathartic… I accomplished a lot on that album.” Melodic, perhaps, but still hauntingly macabre.
16: Left Behind (from 'Iowa', 2001)
While it can hardly be described as melodic, Left Behind is one of Slipknot's lighter moments.relentlessly brutal second album, Iowa. As Taylor put it, it was “an old song we played along with before the first album. We disassemble and rebuild. We wanted to have a melodic element somewhere, and Left Behind had a darkness to it that meant it blended well with the other songs.
15: Vermillion (from 'Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses', 2004)
Many of Slipknot's best songs are like movies. That Vermilion appears on the soundtrack of the 2004 horror filmResident Evil: Apocalipsistells you everything you need to know. Taylor said of her sinister, simplified meditation: “For some reason, as soon as I heard it, all I could see was the color red. I love the idea of creating a world from a stalker's point of view. He was trying to recreate that dark urge and desperate need. Anyone who has had that jealous rage knows what that feeling is."
14: Hive Mind (from 'The End, So Far', 2022)
Like a shotgun blast beat, Hive Mind serves as a reminder that, after seven albums and a three-decade career, Slipknot weren't going to mature anytime soon. But even though it feels like all-out war, Hive Mind is still a song of unity. Taylor wrote the lyrics about the connection the audience feels at a concert, saying that the song is about "people coming together to have a beautiful time, but then they scatter like fucking roaches when the house lights come on."
13: The Heretic Anthem (from 'Iowa', 2001)
Slipknot's knee-jerk response to the phenomenal success of their self-titled debut album was to take a more extreme direction for their follow-up,Iowa. This was not a band that was about to compromise their sound for the sake of merchandising. The Heretic Anthem is a product of that defiance, and with its lyric "if you're 555 then I'm 666" it worked as a unifying anthem for fans who felt cut off from mainstream culture.
12: Spit It Out (from 'Slipknot', 1999)
With its sawtooth riffs and frantic rhythms, Spit It Out secured its place among Slipknot's best songs after bringing the group to the attention of Roadrunner Records. If this was nu metal, as DJ Sid Wilson's scratching and sampling and Taylor's rapping vocals would suggest, it also flirted with the fringes of death metal in a way no one had ever heard before. The rest, as they say, is history.
11: Tabaco (de 'All Hope Is Gone', 2008)
A Slipknot-style ballad. That is, Snuff has a slower pace than typical food, but no less poisonous and full of rage. As Taylor once explained toAgain!, “It's about someone who helped me a lot and I thought she felt the same way I did and then she really let me down. At the same time, it was good that she did it, because it was the last push for me to discover myself ”.
10: The Devil In Me (from '.5: The Gray Chapter', 2014)
A Jekyll and Hyde track with clean vocals contrasted with Taylor's snarl to reflect an internal struggle. As the frontman explained to Pulse Of Radio, “The Devil In I is really about the war within you. Trying not to give in to defeatism, trying not to give in to negativity, trying not to give up, basically. It's a struggle. It's one of the hardest things you can do: give in to that side of yourself." Enhancing his status among Slipknot's best songs, the accompanying video is the stuff of a horror movie, with each band member meeting his gory death in a variety of gruesome ways.
9: The Pulse of the Worms (from 'Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses', 2004)
Much uncertainty surrounded Slipknot throughout 2002 and 2003. Band members focused on various side projects, and there was much speculation that no one had little interest in recording a third album. But their divergence from Slipknot's behemoth intensity inspired renewed vigor when they finally reunited. The pulsating metal anthem Pulse Of The Maggots was written in tribute to Slipknot fans, without whom, Taylor admits, "we'd be a bunch of Iowa idiots, fighting each other in our basements."
8: Unsainted (de 'We Are Not Your Kind', 2019)
Many of Slipknot's lyrics come from a place of depression, a condition Taylor struggled with for a long time. After a painful third divorce in 2017, the singer faced demons head-on. From there came Unsainted, a dichotomy of swirling fury and hallowed choruses, with Taylor's own voice rising above a swirling maelstrom of sizzling guitars and exploding drums. "At first I wasn't sold on the chorus," the vocalist admitted to Loudwire. “But what they did… gave me chills when I first heard it. This song was the perfect punctuation mark for what [we're not your type] he would be. He was that missing element that we needed for the album.”
7: Psicosocial (de 'All Hope Is Gone', 2008)
Except for the typical thrash, Psychosocial is a midtempo that mirrors Slipknot's experiments with more varied sounds on their fourth album.There is no hope. The band themselves have mixed feelings about the album, with guitarist Jim Root saying, "It felt a bit rushed. And I felt like we were trying to do things just to appease a schedule, which I really didn't like." This Grammy-nominated track, however, continues to stand out among Slipknot's best songs.
6: Surface (from 'Slipknot', 1999)
If there was one word to sum up the release of Slipknot's debut album in 1999, it would be "chaos." And if there is a song that sums up this chaos, it would be Surfacing. As bassist Paul Gray once said on the song: “Basically, we dedicate it to the children as their new national anthem. It's our way of saying don't worry about others. Worry only about you. Don't worry about people judging you and attacking you and all that fake crap. Hold on to what you believe in."
5: All Out Life (single, 2018)
As of 2018, Slipknot had not released a new album in four years. But this interim single (also available on the Japanese edition ofwe're not your type, a year later) was a furious reminder that despite lineup changes and public bickering, the Iowa metalheads weren't done yet. A tornado of hard beats and barrages of blasting beats, All Out Life was, Taylor said, "a song that tries to do two things: bring everyone together, but also remind everyone that the past isn't something to be dismissed with disdain." . . A late-period entry among Slipknot's greatest songs, it does just that with snarling vigour.
4: Before I Forget (from 'Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses', 2004)
There's something to be gained from simplicity, even for a band as belligerent as Slipknot. Produced by Rick RubinVol.3: The subliminal verses, Before I Forget comes to life before its verses turn into a machine gun riff and a gang chorus. Taylor said: “Rick Rubin was convinced the chorus wouldn't work. I told him he was crazy. Lo and behold, it's one of our biggest songs and we won a Grammy for it." What would Rick Rubin know?
3: Wait and Bleed (from 'Slipknot', 1999)
Slipknot announced their arrival in 1999 with this, their first single. Anyone who assumed his jumpsuit and mask were mere gimmicks was immediately silenced by this brutal one-track horror show. Still claiming a place among Slipknot's best songs, Wait And Bleed was written from the perspective of a man who has a recurring dream in which he is lying in a bathtub filled with blood from his own slashed wrists. Then one day, he wakes up to the sight as a harsh reality. Slipknot instantly proved that his bark was just as vicious as his bite.
2: People = Shit (from 'Iowa', 2001)
After such an angry debut, some might have thought the anger was too strong to sustain. Still, Slipknot released their second album with a suitably intense style. The anguished howls of Iowa's opening track 515 gave way to the whirlwind of their first proper track, People = Shit, a tumultuous maelstrom of chaotic riffing and thundering percussion that could easily be the aural definition of nonstop turmoil. But what about the calamity?!
1: Duality (from 'Vol.3: The Subliminal Verses', 2004)
Among the most revered songs in the Slipknot canon, complete with the iconic lyric "I push my finger into my eeeeeeyyyyes," Duality is the sound of a man slowly losing his mind. As Taylor explained: “Have you ever had that headache that just won't go away and you end up sticking both your thumb and middle finger in your eyes just to stop the pain? Usually it has to do with making a choice. You get to that point in everyday life where you have to make a decision that you may not want, but you feel pressured to make that decision. At the top of our list of the best Slipknot songs, Duality finally gave teens everywhere the aural equivalent of the teenage phase of smashing things with baseball bats.
Looking for more? Discover the legacy ofThe late Slipknot co-founder Joey Jordison.
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