Feature: The Top 20 Slipknot Songs on ARTISTdirect.com
Thu, 20 Dec 2012 12:35:49
Slipknot are hands-down the metal band of this century. There's no question about that.
Their return to stages in the U.S. this summer headlining the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival and at their inaugural KNOTFEST stood out as the most triumphant live moments of the entire year. It was everything that a live show should be in both instances—and more.
However, there's nothing quite like listening to the band's timeless four albums, Slipknot, Iowa, Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, and All Hope Is Gone. All of these records are classics and essential for any heavy metal fan.
That's why we decided to choose our 20 favorite Slipknot songs for this exclusive feature.
Check out ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino's picks below and make sure you buy all of these albums ASAP.
The Top 20 Slipknot Songs
This barrage of mind-melting metal blows open the doors to Slipknot's legendary debut. With Joey Jordison's double bass death rattle at full tilt alongside Sid Wilson's satanic scratching, the band tears through psyches as Mick Thomson and Jim Root's guitars roar and Corey Taylor eerily proclaims, "You can't kill me cuz I'm already inside you". It's one of those lines metal has never been the same since…
"Wait and Bleed"
There had never been a band in history that infused cathartic lyrics a la Nirvana and Alice in Chains into technically proficient thrash and death musical stylings. Slipknot were the first (and best too), and "Wait and Bleed" showed how they could masterfully meld melody and mayhem.
The band's "New fucking national anthem" encapsulates everything incredible, inimitable, and immortal about Slipknot. Paul Gray's bass pounds perfectly as Taylor delivers another stadium-size refrain with the power to bond maggots worldwide. It's an example of not only Slipknot at their finest but heavy metal as a whole.
When Slipknot dive into darkness, there's no one bleaker. Humming through Craig Jones’ devilish samples, "Purity" may be about "a girl in a box", but Taylor's melodic refrain haunts and hypnotizes on the level of Layne Staley.
"Only One" This other gem from the band's debut sounds like the moment before a war's final battle. Its cacophonous, chaotic, and undeniably corrosive musical violence of the highest order.
Iowa delivered heavy metal like the world had never heard it. Slipknot could've easily taken the easy route on album number two. Instead, they got even heavier. "People=Shit" combines all of the band's best elements from the electronics to the myriad of percussion from Jordison, M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan, and Chris Fehn into another timeless anthem. "Sittin' on the side of Satan", this is as real (and staggeringly evil) as it gets.
A misanthropic masterpiece and "fuck you" to downright everybody, "Disasterpiece" slays in every way imaginable.
"The Heretic Anthem"
The double bass breakdown mid-song when Root and Thomson's guitars each come through their own speaker is so epic it's overpowering. Throw in some of Taylor's sharpest lyrics, and you've got a wound in that'll bleed forever as well as a call-to-arms for individuals of all kinds to rise together.
This is one of Slipknot's most intriguing pieces. Gray's bass rumbles elegantly as the warped guitar squeals pull listeners into a haze of brilliant words penned by Crahan and exorcised by Taylor. It's beautiful and brutal, especially as that last build-up kicks in.
"Skin Ticket" remains the catchiest dark song ever written, especially as the squeaks from hell punctuate the outro.
The game changed on Vol 3: The Subliminal Verses. Slipknot's songwriting reached new heights and the upliftingly sinister sound of Taylor screaming, "Now it's over" at the start of their third effort are nothing short of marvelous. The instrumentation comes together for a nearly ethereal drone that proves Slipknot are hard rock's equivalent of Radiohead.
"Opium of the People"
This one is all about that fiery fretwork from Root and Thomson. It's a dynamic hellride worth taking again and again.
"Before I Forget"
This might as well be Slipknot's "Walk" or "Enter Sandman". It's utterly transfixing in its catchiness.
"Vermilion Pt. 2"
The band's most powerful acoustic number, "Vermilion Pt 2" delivers true heaviness without any distortion or double bass. It's a plaintive, poetic, and poignant tune that demands full attention.
"Danger – Keep Away"
Cinematic in scope, the eight-minute version boasts a harrowing yet soothing vocal take from Crahan. This conclusion sees the band once again tread airy new air space, flying at their own pace directly into the heart of conflict and emerging stronger than ever.
At just over six minutes, this thrashed out metallic missile from All Hope Is Gone leaves an atomic-size imprint. Taylor rages as vibrantly as ever asking, "What if God doesn't care?" Jordison, Root, Gray, and Thomson weave in and out time signatures with sidewinding slickness. Imagine how fucking badass this would be live?
Another one of those deadly, definitive brain bashers, this is utterly anthemic and it's meant to be played as loud as possible.
The group's swirling sonic sorcery reaches a high point here, especially with Taylor's unbelievable vocal performance. It'll possess your dreams forever.
"All Hope Is Gone"
There is no song heavier, ever, period. You won't be the same after this.
"'Til We Die"
A bonus track for All Hope Is Gone, Slipknot often put this on through the PA after they played live. It's dreamy yet forlorn. It's invasive, yet invigorating. Hearing it can be a tear-jerking experience or an energizing moment however you look at it. Isn't all great art that way though?
What's your favorite Slipknot song?