The thing about Slipknot is that they've never released a bad album. Iowa's masked mavens have been pumping out some of the heaviest, scariest, catchiest and most technically impressive nu-metal for over 25 years, and each of their six records has enough obvious standouts to rival any of their fellow heavy-music titans in a one-to-one. Every loyal maggot has their favorite era, but there's so much gold in the band's catalog that some of it has undoubtedly gotten buried over time. Below, we chose to highlight 10 phenomenal cuts from the Slipknot archives that rarely get the shine they deserve.
"Purity" was written for 1999's, Slipknot, after Corey Taylor read an online tale about a girl who was kidnapped and buried alive — but it had to be removed upon the album's release after the author sued for copyright infringement. The track eventually made it onto a later reissue of the record, and its gruesome lyrics ("I am in a buried kennel/I have never felt so final") remain some of the band's most harrowing.
Many fans rightly revere 2001's, Iowa, for the sheer heaviness and overwhelming intensity of apoplectic classics like "People=Shit" and "The Heretic Anthem." However, one of the most impressive aspects of that record is how even a sludgy side-B cut like "Skin Ticket" still manages to maintain that unparalleled aggression despite moving at half the speed.
After finding chart-topping success with 2004's melodic, Vol. 3, the band swung in the opposite direction on 2008's, All Hope Is Gone. "This Cold Black" is one of the tracks where they dipped their toes into pulverizing thrash metal, and it features searing riffage and epic gang vocals that are severely underappreciated considering how fucking heavy they are.
Superior maggots know that this Iowa outlier first appeared on the band's 1996 EP, Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., but the average Slipknot fan probably isn't hip to this fascinating iteration of the creepy staple. The original version notably features a long acoustic intro, and when the distortion finally kicks in, the guitars and vocals (which are handled by Corey Taylor's predecessor, Anders Colsefni) have an obvious Pantera influence that doesn't really shine through on their later material.
This deep cut from the band's 2019 record, We Are Not Your Kind, is one of the weirdest tunes in the Slipknot catalog. Over a suspenseful keyboard line that's undoubtedly influenced by horror auteur John Carpenter, and a rhythm that could easily double as the beat for a metallic rap song, Taylor coos a nursery rhyme-style hook about creepy-crawly spiders while handclaps sound off in the background. It's a stretch outside their wheelhouse, but they somehow make it work.
Although it doesn't feel right to call "Three Nil" a deep cut given that it's the third track on Vol. 3, this scorcher has the unfortunate luck of being sandwiched between two of the best songs on the record, "The Blister Exists" and "Duality." Therefore, it feels fair to say that the gnarly lead riff and insurmountably heavy groove on this early-era throwback are a bit overlooked. Change that.
For as heavy as the band got on All Hope Is Gone, there's also the slithering and atmospheric outlier "Gehenna." This seven-minute cut features rare falsetto vocals from Taylor, a steamy guitar solo and some bizarre instrumental passages that veer into proggy, jazzy territory for the first time since Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat..
There's nothing particularly unique or outlandish about "Nomadic" — it's just a really great, underrated Slipknot song. Arriving in the middle of 2014's, .5: The Gray Chapter, this heater is replete with glitchy effects and a groove that returns to the punishing Iowa years, while also featuring a stadium-sized chorus from Taylor.
Back in the CD days, fans had to either wait or skip through eight minutes of silence and nonsensical chatter before they could hear this death-metal ripper at the tail-end of Slipknot. Eventually released as a stand-alone track for the album's 10th anniversary edition, the ballistic "Eeyore" is one of the fastest, meanest and shortest gems in the Slipknot discography.
There's a strong argument to be made that the penultimate track on Vol. 3 is Slipknot's scariest song. For this psychotic serial killer soundtrack, Taylor mutters terrifying lyrics like, "I can see you but you can't see me," with a muffled effect over his voice, eventually building into violent screams while a spine-tingling guitar lick skitters up and down the rear of the mix. The music is haunting, but the most disturbing factor is that Taylor makes the lines, "I wanna wear your face/I wanna burn your soul," sound convincing.