Slipknot's We Are Not Your Kind is almost upon us, and as the anticipation reaches a fever pitch, we've been taking a look back at the Nine's stacked back catalog, from their landmark self-titled debut, which turned 20 this year, to 2014's .5: The Gray Chapter. We at Revolver HQ recently ranked all the band's albums (including their demo and live albums), so we asked you to pick what you think is their single best LP, and then we've methodically compiled your votes to produce an alternate, fan-generated ranking. No surprise: It doesn't totally match our ordering, though we do all seem to agree on Album Numero Uno. See the results below.
.5: The Gray Chapter marked a unique and melancholy moment in the group's history, reflecting a sullen, transitional period for them following the death of founding bassist Paul Gray and the group's uncomfortable split with drummer Joey Jordison's firing. That said, the 'Knot have always thrived in darkness, and these dark times spawned a dynamic rager that was perhaps stronger than it had any right to be, considering the band had lost its two main songwriters.
2008's All Hope Is Gone saw the 'Knot largely abandoning the nu-metal elements of previous albums and leaning firmly into a more groove-oriented death-metal style. It's sinister, full of brutal breakdowns and guitar squeals and, as the title suggests, one of the objectively darkest entries in the band's catalog.
After the take-no-prisoners assault of Iowa, Slipknot couldn't get much more brutal so they had little choice but to change things up. And that they did, teaming with Rick Rubin for a diverse, Gothic set of songs that unveiled captivating new shades to the Slipknot sound, nowhere more so than on standout singles "Duality" and "Vermillion."
The 'Knot exploded out of the heartland of America like a dirty bomb with this, their self-titled debut. Cuts like "(sic)," "Eyeless," "Spit It Out" and "Surfacing" spat in the face of the increasingly cheesy, pop-flavored nu-metal scene, while "Wait and Bleed" proved the band had the songwriting chops to reel out a radio-friendly hit or two if that's what it took to expand their cult.
Could any other album really take the top spot here? Raw, ferocious and deliriously unhinged, Iowa still rages like few other records do, grabbing for the jugular and squeezing on mosh-pit feverdreams like "People = Shit" and "The Heretic Anthem." Slipknot have made more artistic albums. They've made more dynamic albums. But they've never made one more viscerally impactful — and they likely never will.