For as popular as they are (undoubtedly one of the biggest metal bands ever), Slipknot are pretty fucking heavy. It's not easy to throw Nine metalheads in a room together and expect them to come up with something light and fluttery after all, so even Slipknot's hookiest pop-metal bangers and moodiest power ballads have a good bit of meat on their bones.
With a baseline that's already weightier than most, when the 'Knot do decide to go full guns blazing, the results are staggeringly crushing. We combed through their entire catalog and dredged up the 10 heaviest cuts they've ever created — from early-era deep cuts to more recent lapses in sonic civility. Even extreme-metal snobs have to admit these ones are massive.
"All Hope Is Gone"
All Hope Is Gone is such a fascinating record in Slipknot's lineage. In some ways, it's one of their most accessible projects, but it also boasts utterly relentless songs like its title track. Here, the band split the difference between bulky thrash (the guitar solo is mind-scrambling) and bludgeoning metallic hardcore. The way Corey Taylor's shouty vocals soar over the chuggy riffage sounds kind of like Hatebreed crossed with Biohazard, and the gang vocals add a raw gnarliness that doesn't really appear in any other corners of Slipknot's discography.
Many fans consider Slipknot's 2014 album, .5: The Gray Chapter, to be a weak spot in their catalog. There're merits to that point of view, but there's no denying the greatness of "Custer," one of the album's singles that throws back to the riotous chants that defined earlier 'Knot cuts like "People=Shit" and "Spit it Out." Instrumentally, it's the heaviest song on Gray Chapter, but it's the sample of a shrieking goat and the slice-and-dice chorus — "cut, cut, cut me up and fuck, fuck, fuck me up" — that make "Custer" such a perfect soundtrack for lighting an arena ablaze.
Iowa is objectively Slipknot's heaviest album, and it's heavy in so many different ways. Musically, "Disasterpiece" is a total punisher, with oodles of gnashing guitar leads and blasty percussion that makes it sound like it's going to fall apart into a heap of pandemonium at any moment. Amazingly, its lyrics are its most harrowing part, with Corey Taylor kicking off the song by brashly hollering, "I wanna slit your throat and fuck the wound," and concluding with a haunting repetition of the phrase, "I'm not supposed to be here."
At two minutes and 45 seconds, "Eeyore" is one of Slipknot's shortest songs that isn't an interlude, but it'll leave you feeling like you got squashed by a cement mixer. Originally buried as a hidden track, the final cap on Slipknot's 1999 debut is essentially the band in grindcore mode, playing at twice the speed and twice the vigor, but with a punk minimalism that makes it sound like something Earache would've released in the early Nineties. A Slipknot song your train-hopping crust friend could get down with.
There're a lot of stupidly heavy parts on Slipknot's self-titled album. Indeed, you're not gonna find too many 'Knot songs with a breakdown that goes harder than "Eyeless." Sure, Taylor's vocals have a shout-sing dynamic to them on these verses, and he even lets loose a few gloomy cleans during one of the bridges, but the main riff in this thing is fucking savage, and when they bring it back even slower during the chugging finale, it'll make any Maggot worth their salt go feral.
"Gematria (The Killing Name)"
"Gematria (The Killing Name)" is a helluva way to start a record. The six-minute opener on All Hope Is Gone is a titanic beast of pulverizing drums and Slayer-inspired riffs in which Slipknot are as thrashy as they've ever sounded. Right off the bat, it's a stark pivot from the creepy melodicism of their last album, Vol. 3, and it's also one of their most overtly political songs. Corey Taylor barkingly refers to America, then in the midst of the failed Iraq War, as "a killing name" and then directs a question at our country's Christian cohort: "What if God doesn't care?" he snarls over a bashing breakdown.
"The Heretic Anthem"
Anthems aren't usually heavy. Big? Sure. Triumphant? Uh-huh. Palpable in their ability to elicit giant, communal sing-alongs? Of course. But Slipknot's anthem isn't like the other anthems. "The Heretic Anthem" sounds like the hymn for all the damned creatures that seethe behind the walls of Pandora's box. The barbed-wire guitar tones, the writhing groove, and the haggard war cry of a hook, "If you're five-five-five then I'm six-six-six" — sung with the simplicity of a twisted nursery rhyme and the infernal intensity of Satan's army.
Clearly, there're plenty of songs on Iowa that capture Slipknot at their hardest, fastest and most overwhelmingly aggro, but its closer is a whole different type of heavy. One of the most experimental songs in the Nine's catalog, Iowa's title track is 15 minutes of grueling psycho-sludge where the band lose all sense of musical structure and revel in the madness of shrieking feedback and loose percussion. Taylor went the hardest, wailing like an animal while he rolled around naked in the studio and cut himself up with glass shards of a broken candle.
Leave it to Slipknot to make one of their heaviest songs one of their biggest, most memorable anthems. The first full track on Iowa revs up with that iconic DJ scratch and Taylor's immortal words, "Here we go again, motherfucker," immediately launching the listener into the demonic rollercoaster ride that is their second album. It's kind of the easy answer to the question, "What is Slipknot's heaviest song?," but it's never wrong. It's the sound of pure human fury at its most primal and wrathful, and it still fucking slaps.
We Are Not Your Kind was a return to the form that Slipknot locked in on Vol. 3, a cohesive blend of heavy and catchy tracks that pushed their sound forward without leaving anything behind. "Solway Firth" is a perfect example of the heaviest end of that spectrum, smashing Slipknot's full range of moods — creepy, cinematic, pummeling, viscerally catchy — into six minutes of face-mauling excellence. The coolest part are the verses, which stack a Nordic melodeath riff atop motoring double bass for Slipknot's take on At the Gates.