As singer for Slipknot and Stone Sour, Corey Taylor has been able to develop his prodigious vocal chops across a wide range of styles: from incredibly melodic to extremely deranged depending on the song. His signature growl helped elevate Slipknot to their stadium-filling (and shaking) stature — expertly equaling out the instrumental army with crushing vocals that morph between singalong choruses, blazing quick raps and guttural screams. With Stone Sour, he's been able to add more hard-rock fire into his voice and straight-up sing in a way that doesn't work in Slipknot's context. In celebration of Slipknot's latest single "All Out Life," we asked you the following question: What is Corey Taylor's single greatest vocal performance. See your pick in the ranked list below.
The eight-minute "Scissors" on Slipknot's self-titled album is a journey that shows the band's full potential instrumentally, and Corey Taylor's full range as a singer, especially on the harsher end of the spectrum. He easily twists between disturbed, almost spoken-word confessionals to intense harsh vocals. He's an unpredictable element on the song — abruptly switching back and forth between styles, unleashing pure screams of rage and growing more and more disturbed (and out-there) until the song's conclusion.
As part of the Ronnie James Dio tribute album Ronnie James Dio: This Is Your Life, Corey Taylor took on the classic Dio track "Rainbow in the Dark." Taylor and Dio obviously have extremely different voices, but Taylor paid respects through singing in a much higher register than usual. He knocks it out of the park, and delivers real fire and heat during his parts that turn his version into an ultimate testament to Dio's memory.
Corey Taylor can sing, scream and croon. He showcases his skills in the latter on Stone Sour's "Bother" — a slowed-down song that's mostly just an acoustic guitar and his voice. He sounds utterly determined in his delivery, rolling harmonies off with ease, and delivering a completely different song than most everything else in his discography.
Who knows what the fuck got into Slipknot on November 1, 2002 at the London Dockland Arena — but it worked. Every member of the band is at the peak of their game, none more so than Corey Taylor. The setlist is pretty much only heaviness, pulling from Iowa and their self-titled. Cuts like "Eyeless" have Taylor screaming his lungs out, able to hit a machine-gun rhythm of verses and words, taken to a totally insane degree. After pushing his voice to the limit throughout the set, he still has the capacity to sing the melodic end of "Wait and Bleed," a true testament to the power of his instrument.
On its own, Slipknot's "Snuff" may be the band's most delicate and emotionally charged song, thanks, in no small part to Taylor's emotive vocals. During a solo tour not long after the death of Paul Gray, Corey Taylor sang "Snuff" in dedication to his fallen bandmate. The results of that 2010 Baltimore performance were stunning, and may very well rank as Taylor's best-ever version of the song. Midway through the performance, he gets completely lost in the song and starts to break down. He still powers through and puts everything he has into it, creating a truly rare, raw and vulnerable moment.