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Music / Slipknot

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Back, L to R: 4, 7, 5, 6, V.
Front, L to R: J, 8, ?, 0.

Related Acts:
  • Anal Blast (Jordison, Gray, and Steele were founding members, while Root is known to have been a member at one point; Crahan and Jones may or may not have also had some involvement, depending on who you ask)
  • Mofidious (Jordison, Jones, and Brainard)
  • Atomic Opera (Root)
  • Body Pit (Thomson, Gray, Colsefni, and Steele)
  • Stone Sour (Taylor and Root, though the latter is no longer a member)
  • Dirty Little Rabbits (Crahan, Pfaff)
  • Murderdolls (Jordison)
  • DJ Starscream (Wilson)
  • To My Suprise (Crahan)
  • Junk Beer Kidnap Band (Taylor's solo career back-up band)
  • Will Haven (Fehn, as Bassist)
  • Hail! (Supergroup involving Paul Gray; going on without him)
  • Scar the Martyr (Jordison, later folded and was brought back as Vimic)
  • Vimic (Jordison)
  • Sinsaenum (Jordison)
  • Krokodil (Venturella, though he is no longer a member)

"The whole thing, I think it's sick."

Slipknot is an American heavy metal band from Des Moines, Iowa formed in 1995 by percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray.

The band went through small lineup changes in its early years before settling on the 9-man roster that would stick for over a decade through their rise to mainstream fame. From this roster, five members are still in the band; the other four (Gray, Jordison, percussionist Chris Fehn and keyboardist/sampler Craig Jones) left in cases of dismissal or unexpected death. The band has since recruited a new bassist (Alessandro Venturella), percussionist (Michael Pfaff), and sampler (currently unknown); a new drummer (Jay Weinberg) was also recruited, but the band announced in 2023 that it would "part ways" with him.

The band's sound began as a mix of normal heavy metal with shades of more extreme metal styles alongside a down-tuned guitar setup, extensive percussion and turntablism, creating darkness and intensity complemented by the band's energy and lead vocalist Corey Taylor's catchy songwriting. The band was and is routinely classified as nu metal, a label which they went on record distancing themselves from and claiming was only assigned to them as their rise was simultaneous with that of the genre. The band has dubbed their style of music "metal metal".

While the band had always incorporated melodies into their music, notably through Taylor singing instead of screaming/rapping, their early style gave way to more experimentation firmly based in melody, with all of their output from their third studio album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) onwards showing explicit influence from genres including alternative metal and rock.

Slipknot is also known for their distinct image, with members wearing individual masks and matching jumpsuits, as well as all members in their most famous roster going by a number from 0 to 8. These elements were designed as a way to emphasize the importance of the band's music as opposed to their identities, and as a response to the commercial practices of the music industry at the time. The members were presented as products, with masks instead of pretty faces, coveralls instead of trendy fashion, and numbers instead of names. Ironically, these stylistic choices have gone on to become one of the band's defining traits, with a large aspect of each album era being how the mask of each member changes in appearance, reflecting their change as a person.

Slipknot has become one of the most successful and popular modern bands in the metal genre, and their concerts have given them a reputation matched by few other bands as an absolute must-see live.

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Current members
  • #0: Sid "DJ Starscream" Wilson (1998-): turntables
  • #4: Jim "The Jester" Root (1999-): guitar
  • #6: Shawn "Clown" Crahan (1995-): custom percussion, backing vocals
  • #7: Mick Thomson (1996-): guitar
  • #8: Corey "The Great Big Mouth" Taylor (1997-): lead vocals
  • V: Alessandro "V-man" Venturella (2014-): bass
  • ?: Michael "New Guy" Pfaff (2019-): custom percussion, backing vocals
    • Joined the band as Chris Fehn's replacement in 2019, shortly after the recording of We Are Not Your Kind. His identity was officially withheld until a 2022 AMA on Reddit, confirming the suspicions of many fans.
  • ?: Unknownnote : samples, media, keyboards (2023-)

Notable former members

  • #1: Joey Jordison (1995-2013, died 2021): drums
    • The reason for his departure (initially unknown for some time) was his struggle with acute transverse myelitis.
  • #2: Paul "The Pig" Gray (1995-2010, died 2010): bass
  • #3: Chris Fehn (1998-2019): custom percussion, backing vocals
    • Fired in March 2019, and while arguments were made by his lawyer that his position in the band hadn't changed, his removal was confirmed after the announcement of We Are Not Your Kind.
  • #5: Craig "133 mHz" Jones (1996-2023): samples, media, keyboards, guitar
  • Donnie Steele: guitar, bass (1995-1996, 2011-2014)
    • Originally played guitar during his first tenure.
    • Temporary touring replacement for Paul Gray during his second tenure in the band.
  • J: Jay Weinberg (2014-2023): drums
    • Was intended to stay unconfirmed for a while for various reasons in spite of a preponderance of evidence in his favor. Nevertheless, his identity was leaked by a former drum tech of the band.
    • Fired in 2023 for unknown reasons.
  • Anders Colsefni (1995-1997): vocals, custom percussion
    • Founding vocalist of the band who appeared on their early demos, briefly performed with Corey as part of a Vocal Tag Team before he burned out and quit in 1997. Has been performing the Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. material live with his own band as of 2023, which Slipknot has endorsed.
  • Josh Brainard (1995-1999): guitar, backing vocals
    • He was #4 until he left during the recording process of Slipknot. All of the album's tracks save for "Purity" were tracked by him.

Discography (with singles per album):

Studio albums

Live albums

  • 9.0 Live (November 1, 2005)
  • Day of the Gusano: Live in Mexico (October 20, 2017)

Compilation albums

  • Antennas to Hell (July 24, 2012)

Video albums

  • Welcome to Our Neighborhood (November 9, 1999)
  • Disasterpieces (November 25, 2002)
  • Voliminal: Inside the Nine (December 5, 2006)
  • (sic)nesses (September 28, 2010)

Demo albums

  • Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. (October 31, 1996)

Extended plays

  • Adderall (June 9, 2023; features different renditions of "Adderall" from The End, So Far, plus other B-sides related to the album)

Non-album singles

  • "All Out Life" (October 31, 2018)
  • "Bone Church” (February 2, 2023)

I! Am a trope before I am a man!

    The band and the media around them provide examples of: 
  • Alliterative Name: Joey Jordison. Joey is actually a nickname; his full name is Nathan Jonas Jordison.
  • Alternate Album Cover:
    • Iowa had a version of its standard cover art with a reddish-orange tint made for CD reissues of the album. Meanwhile, its 10th Anniversary Edition uses a completely different photo for the cover, capturing the famous goat head on the cover at a different angle.
    • The CD-exclusive Special Edition of Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) has a heavily edited photo of the band's members at the time of release as the cover art (previously used for one of the sleeves of the album's vinyl release), in contrast to the standard edition's "Maggot Mask" photo. In the CD version, the Special Edition cover takes the form of a slipcase over the standard cover.
    • The cover art for the 10th Anniversary Edition of All Hope Is Gone is a rendition of the standard one, with the band members wearing large statue-like masks (again, these masks were featured in internal photos of the album) and a yellow sky.
    • As well as its standard cover, The End, So Far has nine covers of each of the band members for a series of CD-exclusive limited edition releases that could only be acquired by pre-ordering them before the album's official release.
  • Anonymous Band: Zig-zagged. On-stage, the members wear masks and use numerals as aliases, but they don't bother showing their identities to the public, and their side projects usually don't have the same schtick. Only Weinberg, Venturella and Pfaff (plus the current sampler in the present) had their identities left unknown for a while so that fans could guess.
  • Arc Number:
    • 9.
    • 742617000027 (the UPC number for Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.) and its accompanying barcode are a standard decoration on their jumpsuits; "742617000027" is also the title of the first track on Slipknot.
  • The Big Guy:
    • Root and Thomson. Root is actually a little taller, but lanky; Thomson is bulkier. Gray and Fehn were also tall and bulky dudes, while Crahan is a bit shorter but is still quite bulky. In 2022 Thomson is slimmed down.
    • Inverted with Jordison, who was by far the shortest member of the band.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Several members.
    • Wilson is very skilled as a turntablist and is famous outside of Slipknot as DJ Starscream... but he's frequently gotten into fistfights with Crahan on stage, and broken Fehn's drum kit with his headbanging. He even broke both his feet by jumping from a piece of equipment, which Taylor later poked fun at by yelling "You broke your fucking feet, Sid!" while Wilson was on stage in a wheelchair.
    • Crahan hits everything, lights himself on fire, does backflips off equipment (managing to bruise his pelvis and break his collarbones once in the process), and more.
  • Butt-Monkey: Venturella and Weinberg, the replacements for Gray and Jordison respectively. Not even the band seemed to hold them in high regard initially, and weren't afraid to publicly lambaste them. Taylor and Crahan, however, said that this was a method of testing them, to see if they could deal with the pressure of possibly being the permanent replacements for two longtime members. Given that they're already on their third album, it seems they'll be staying a while, until Weinberg was unexpectedly fired in late 2023.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Behind The Player: Paul Gray is one of the few outlets by the band focusing on a single member.
  • Death Glare: Mick's mask makes it looks like he's constantly giving one.
  • Demoted to Extra: Craig Jones used to play guitar during his early days in Slipknot before he switched to less prominent keyboards and sample work.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • They call their style of music "metal metal".
    • "Death Because of Death", one of the interludes on We Are Not Your Kind.
  • The Faceless: Photographs of Jones without his mask on are exceptionally hard to come by. Crosses with The Voiceless and/or The Quiet One as you can see below. Photos of Thomson's face without sunglasses are also not terribly easy to find, though they do exist.
  • Genre Shift: Slipknot started out as a Nu Metal band, but with their album All Hope Is Gone have moved into more of a Groove Metal direction. .5: The Gray Chapter on the other hand, returns to their nu metal roots while still keeping elements of their past two affairs.
  • Gentle Giant: Thomson. Whilst he looks pants-pissingly terrifying, he is apparently really a tender, poetry-writing, cat lover, though a rather embarrassing arrest from 2015 shows that he (and his brother, for that matter) should probably stay away from the booze. As one YouTube commentator (rather simply) put it: "He looks scary and angry but has a nice voice."
  • I Am the Band: Shawn, given that he's the only original member left. Various other members have all said in interviews that Slipknot is first and foremost his band.
  • In the Hood: Sid's mask in the WANYK era.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: During the Vol. 3 era, Taylor wore a mask that covered only his face, so he decided to add to the look by dyeing his hair red, blue, black, and purple.
  • Latex Perfection: Sid's WANYK mask can be easily mistaken for an actual human face, at least if you don't know what he looks like.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • The jumpsuits, although when All Hope Is Gone came around, each member came up with a unique costume design, as can be seen in the page image of the lineup from 2008. They now bounce back and forth between these getups and the jumpsuits.
    • Venturella and Weinberg wore nearly-identical masks during the .5 era, as the band felt that to immediately give them the same status as their predecessors would be seen as disrespectful. Apparently, they had been given the challenge to design a mask for themselves, but after failing to produce a result of sufficient quality, the privilege was revoked. As of We Are Not Your Kind, they've both finally succeeded in impressing the others with their mask designs.
    • Whilst promoting We Are Not Your Kind and amidst the legal conflict between Chris Fehn and the band, their official photoshoot as well as "Unsainted" featured a new percussionist in a generic-looking mask that looks more like a low-budget zombified Gregor Clegane than the burlap masks Venturella and Weinberg wore on their debut.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Believe it or not, they fit. The band's lineup consisted of Sid Wilson, Joey Jordison, Paul Gray, Chris Fehn, Jim Root, Craig Jones, Shawn Crahan, Mick Thomson, and Corey Taylor from 1999 (when Root replaced Josh Brainard) to 2010, when Gray died.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Invoked by their costumes.
  • Mascot: That goat from Iowa's cover, perhaps?
  • Monster Clown: Crahan's masks, especially his Iowa-era one.
  • Nintendo Hard: Most of the band's songs aren't really of at least average difficulty in the rhythm games where they appeared.
    • "Before I Forget" is one of the harder songs in Guitar Hero III and the Rock Band series, especially on Rock Band 3, where it has Pro-modenote  guitar playing and two added cymbals.
    • As of December 2012, there are only 2 of over 2100 Harmonix-charted songs that have never been full-comboed on guitar.note  "Pulse of the Maggots" is one of the two.note 
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Jay Weinberg. Root went on record as having vowed to never reveal the drummer's identity, claiming no one was sure if he'd stick around or not; that being said, his height, hair color and length, and disclosed background elements lined up with Weinberg, and the setup that was seen at Knotfest (SJC Custom snare, toms, and kicks and Zildjian cymbals, both of which have been used extensively by Weinberg over the course of his career; additionally, SJC is a fairly small-time manufacturer, so there's less of a chance for false positives) was probably the strongest indicator that the rumors were true. Sometimes called the worst-kept secret in music of 2014; within a few months of his joining, a disgruntled former drum tech leaked an itinerary list onto Instagram that finally confirmed both him and Alessandro Venturella.
    • Alessandro is probably even worse. Tip for you guys: want to keep your new bassist's identity a secret? Make sure his hand tattoos aren't visible. Taylor has even laughingly conceded they simply didn't think of that one.
  • Pig Man: Gray's mask during the Slipknot days was a pig head with a padlock in the nose.
    • Played down after that, due to their feud with Mushroomhead. Many noted that both bassists wore Pig masks (Mushroomhead's bassist also had the stage name Pig Benis). His later masks still had somewhat of an upturned piggish human nose, though, which carried on to Alex's We Are Not Your Kind mask.
  • Public Medium Ignorance: They don't and have never played Death Metalnote . Yet they've somehow become the public face of extremity in metal.note 
  • The Quiet One: Jones zigzags this. While he can be chatty and usually talks to fans after concerts, he typically doesn't show up for group interviews or, if he does, usually only answers the question of what he would be doing if he weren't in a band: he would be out driving a forklift somewhere, or out killing people. It's been insinuated by the other band members that he is simply a very private person who is uncomfortable with fame and has cultivated a standoffish persona in an effort to get people to leave him alone. Thomson, while not quite as reclusive as Jones, is also known for keeping a low profile, though touring death metal acts hitting the Des Moines area can generally expect to see him pop up and say hi.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Crahan showed up to the 48th Grammys to accept Slipknot's award for "Before I Forget" wearing the only thing he could call fancy clothes: a pink jumpsuit.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Slipknot is the red oni to Stone Sour's blue, the band from which Taylor and Root come from. While the latter still qualify as metal, they are much more melodic and less chaotic. The members of Stone Sour are also much less likely to injure themselves on stage.
  • Scary Musician, Harmless Music: They could be considered a downplayed example. They wear scary costumes, and due to Public Medium Ignorance are often thought of as the poster boys for extremity outside the heavy metal community. Their music, while relatively heavy and explicit by mainstream standards, is definitely not extreme, being an accessible type of metal that can safely be played on mainstream rock radio; though they do have extreme metal influences, and admit it or not, are one of the ways for listeners to get into extreme metal. This is also probably the reason Jordison is regarded as one of the all-time greatest drummers, even though there are many extreme metal drummers who match or exceed his skill.
  • Shout-Out: Their masks in regards to old horror movies. To be specific:
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: They create new masks for each album, and usually alter their stage clothes as well. Jones' and Thomson's masks have undergone the least change stylistically from their originals, while none of Taylor's masks from Vol. 3 on have had anything remotely in common except for the fact that he wears them on his face.
  • Signing-Off Catchphrase: Corey has a habit of ending shows by saying, "Take care... of yourselves! Take care... of each other! Good... (fucking)... NIGHT!"
  • Sinister Swine: Gray is known for his various grim-looking pig masks, though his masks for the later albums he was involved in only had a vague resemblance to pigs.
  • Someone to Remember Him By: Paul Gray's wife was a few months pregnant with his child when he died.
  • Special Guest: They make an appearance in the 2002 remake of Rollerball and are playable characters in Infected. The latter is a game about mowing down hordes of zombies. As Slipknot.
  • Spell My Name With An S: While he doesn't seem to be bothered too much by it, Mick's last name is spelled "Thomson", not "Thompson" with a P or any variations thereof.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Sort of. All of Jones' masks have had long spikes as part of their theme.
  • Stage Names: Each member has several.
  • Technician Versus Performer: Thomson (technician) and Root (performer) have this dynamic. While both are technically advanced players, Mick's leads are far more chaotic and aggressive, focusing heavily on extremely fast sweep and alt-picking runs, and he has written some of their most difficult riffs. Jim, on the other hand, is a much more melodic and emotive player, focusing heavily on clean legato, and his songs tend to be simpler and more subdued.
  • Textless Album Cover:
    • The original release of Slipknot and All Hope Is Gone have no text with the album title or the band's name. In the former case, releases of the album since the reissue do feature the band's logo.
    • Zig-zagged with both the standard and Special Edition covers of Vol. 3. The former cover normally has text while the latter has none, but plenty of releases have them the other way around.
  • This Song Goes Out to TV Tropes: Taylor loves this.
  • Updated Re-release:
    • Slipknot has been released five times (six if you count the demo version). These include:
      • The standard edition released in 1999.
      • The Digipak special edition accompanying the standard edition (contains two bonus tracks and two demos). The hidden track "Eeyore" originally appeared after the final song "Scissors", while this version contains "Eeyore" after the final bonus track "Despise" (this version of "Scissors" is edited to include only the basic song).
      • The reissue months later after the copyright controversy concerning the song "Purity" (the lyrics were inspired by a copyrighted story which Taylor thought was true).
      • The Digipak special edition accompanying the reissue excludes "Purity" and the sample drama "Frail Limb Nursery" accompanying the removed track. It also includes "Get This", a faster version of "Spit It Out", and a version of "Wait and Bleed" mixed by producer Terry Date, alongside a live performance of "Surfacing" as the final track. "Eeyore" is once again moved to a different track ("Surfacing" live) in order to appear at the very end of the album (after "Porn and Weed", which itself appears after "Surfacing" Live, making for three hidden tracks in a single track).
      • The 10th Anniversary Edition is effectively the definitive edition. It contains nearly every song mentioned above, including "Purity" ("Frail Limb Nursery" was not included because of copyright issues), and "Eeyore" is finally made into a separate track (placed between "Scissors and "Me Inside"). It also features "Snap" (a song only released on the demo version), three bonus remixes of "Wait and Bleed", "Surfacing" and "(sic)", and a live DVD.
    • Iowa also had a 10th Anniversary Edition, which features a bonus mix of "My Plague", a second disc consisting of live audio tracks from the London 2002 concert and a DVD including rare footage, interviews and music videos.
    • Vol. 3 had a CD-exclusive Special Edition released about a year after its standard edition, which features a second disc including two tracks that were previously cut from the standard edition, a different mix of "Vermilion", an extended version of "Danger - Keep Away", and several live tracks.
    • All Hope Is Gone received a Special Edition with two bonus tracks and a mix of "Vermilion Pt. 2" from Vol. 3, and a 10th Anniversary Edition with a second disc containing live tracks.
    • .5 had a Special Edition with two bonus tracks. Like in the case of "Eeyore" from Slipknot, the three hidden tracks from the album's standard edition were placed after said bonus tracks to remain as the last tracks in the release.
  • You Are Number 6:
    • Subverted. While they do use the numbers as monikers (and replacement members opt to go for initials instead), every fan knows the members' names and they're not really secretive about it.
    • Jones sometimes goes by the nickname "133". He got it from the speed of his first computer (133 mHz).

    Their music provides examples of: 
  • Album Intro Track: Slipknot, Iowa, All Hope Is Gone, and We Are Not Your Kind all open with short tracks that introduce the listener to the world of the album. The intros of the former three all contain heavy noise that builds over the course of the track.
  • Album Title Drop:
  • Angrish: Not a completely straight example, but the sheer rage present in some of the songs can cause Taylor to mumble or become incomprehensible. Can overlap with Careful with That Axe.
  • Anti-Love Song: "Snuff" from All Hope Is Gone.
  • Based on a True Story: "Purity", or so Taylor thought. (The story turned out to be a hoax.)
  • Broken Record:
    • Slipknot's intro, "742617000027", consists of a sample of a woman in a Charles Manson documentary saying "The whole thing, I think it's sick" repeated over and over, in changing pitches and speeds, amid screeching noise.
    • The bridge of "Get This" consists of Corey shouting "Get this or die!" 26 times.
  • Careful with That Axe: Slipknot and Iowa were rife with these, and not just from Corey (Sid did basically this over the entirety of "(515)"). From Vol. 3 onwards, Corey resorted to controlled Harsh Vocals, with the rest of the band chiming in here and there, yet averting this trope.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Slipknot and Iowa are replete with cursing; .5 has a lot but is not quite as bad as the former two (with the exception of "Custer"). In contrast, All Hope Is Gone had just enough to earn a Parental Advisory label, and Vol. 3 was almost curse-free due to Taylor getting tired of claims that he couldn't sing lyrics without profanities.
  • Concept Album:
    • In a way, .5: The Gray Chapter is one, as its songs are rooted in the band dealing with grief after Paul's passing.
    • We Are Not Your Kind was teased as an "evil vs. good" kind of concept.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Iowa is this compared to Slipknot, which in itself is already lyrically and sonically darker than most nu metal albums.
    • The End, So Far is their heaviest album since Iowa.
  • Doo-Wop Progression: Used in "Psychosocial".
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The intro track of We Are Not Your Kind, "Instert Coin", features a brief sample from the closing track, "Solway Firth".
  • Epic Rocking: Lots. "Scissors" and "Skin Ticket" are well-known ones. But"Iowa" takes the cake at 15 minutes long.
  • Ethereal Choir: "Unsainted" begins with what sounds like a boys' choir singing the hook melody before Corey chimes in.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Crahan + baseball bat + beer keg = instant percussion. Also, in one scene in the 10th anniversary DVD, Crahan is shown walking down a hallway dropping a metal pipe on the floor in a rhythmic pattern.
  • Evil Laugh: Near the end of "(sic)".
  • Genre Mash Up: While Slipknot are most associated with Nu Metal, their music contains a wide range of influences from Groove Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Rap Metal and Hard Rock, to electronic stylings like Breakbeat, Turntablism and Industrial. Their demo-era material also contained prominent Funk Metal elements that they ditched with Corey.
  • Grief Song: A lot of the songs on .5. "Skeptic" and "Goodbye" are entirely dedicated to Gray, while others are more subtle.
  • Harsh Vocals: Taylor is all over the map on this, going from true Metal Screams to more guttural growls and everything in between.
  • Heavy Mithril: Occasionally.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Ohohoho, too much to count.
    • The whole thing, I think it's (sic)...
    • Sid's reversed screaming and crying in "(515)", too.
    • The weird baby crying/screaming in "Prosthetics".
    • And the Ominous Music Box Tune/toy thing in "Tattered and Torn".
    • They like metallic grinding noises, too.
    • That distorted screaming of people and what sounds like birds flying away (Or gunfire!) at the beginning of "Iowa" which could be interpreted as a school shooting.
    • "Custer" has a repeated sample of a woman screaming.
    • The crazy slurpy breathing Corey does sometimes.
  • Hidden Track:
    • Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. has "Dogfish Rising" playing after "Killers Are Quiet".
    • Their self-titled album has a band conversation and "Eeyore" playing after "Scissors".
  • "I Am" Song: "Eeyore"
  • Last Note Nightmare
  • Lighter and Softer: Despite the Loudness War mentioned below, The Subliminal Verses is their softest and most melodic album, in contrast to their previous album Iowa, which is their heaviest album.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: "Scissors" for their self-titled album, and the Title Track of the album Iowa.
  • Loudness War: The Subliminal Verses.
  • Lyrical Tic: Corey Taylor is quite fond of muttering "huh..." or grunting between lyrics or at the beginning of a verse (i.e. "huh...WE WILL BURN YOUR CITIES DOWN!") He also tended in earlier albums to pant heavily into the mic from the force of screaming so harshly. This can be heard in songs such as "Eyeless" and the outro of "The Blister Exists."
  • Metal Scream: Corey Taylor uses all four types, with type 1 being the most common. Anders mostly stuck to a Type 1, though he used 2 and 3 as well - his main voice was a midrange bellow comparable to Phil Anselmo and Max Cavalera, though he also occasionally used gutturals and sludge metal howls.
  • Mood Whiplash: The first album's final track; "Scissors", which is one of the album's heaviest songs and contains arguably Corey's most harrowing vocal performance on the album, is followed after a period of silence by a recording of the band reacting to scat porn.
  • Motor Mouth: Corey, oh so much.
  • Murder Ballad: "Iowa", a Serial Killer's ode to his first victim.
  • New Sound Album: From Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses onward, they began to use more traditional and melodic metal song structures (including several acoustic ballads), began to incorporate guitar solos and did not rely on electronics as heavily. That said, The Gray Chapter amps up the electronic and scratch work, although not back to pre-Vol. 3 levels.
  • Non-Appearing Title: A large portion of their songs are this.
  • Number of the Beast: "The Heretic Anthem" starts with an electronic voice counting "8, 7, 6, 6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0...", then continues throughout the chorus.
    If you're 555 then I'm 666!
  • Obsession Song: Both versions of "Vermilion", although more so the first. Also: "The Nameless", "Iowa", "The Virus of Life" as well, in a somewhat...rape-ier kind of way. Not to mention "Gehenna" on All Hope Is Gone, as well as "Prothestics" on the self-titled album. Corey enjoys writing about obsession.
  • One-Woman Wail:
    • "Unsainted" has this in the beginning of the song before Corey starts singing.
    • "Danger - Keep Away" although it's kind of hard to tell from the Indecipherable Lyrics.
  • Pastiche: As per Corey Taylor, "Acidic" was done as a tribute to Acid Bath.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: "Disasterpiece" has some of the band's most graphic and violent lyrics, which are about Corey's daydreams of laying sweet payback on those who bullied him back in school.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Taylor likes to do this a lot.
  • Pure Is Not Good: "Purity".
  • Purple Prose/Meaningless Meaningful Words: Throughout the band's body of work, you'll sometimes find unusual lyrical choices placed awkwardly in the middle of a song otherwise made up of simpler language, almost as if Corey Taylor skimmed through a dictionary, found a word he liked and decided to incorporate it into the song somehow.
    • Taylor acknowledges and confronts this in the Stone Sour song, "Freeze Dry Seal", admitting that while he may not be a flowery poet, that doesn't make his lyrics (and his beliefs) any less real.
  • Rap Metal: A handful of songs on their early material is this. Despite Corey Taylor's penchant for talk-singing, the likes of "Snap", "Interloper", "Spit It Out" and "No Life" has him outright rapping.
  • Sampling: Sampling is featured in many of their songs, courtesy of having a sampler as one of the members. Some individual examples include the following:
    • Carlito's line "Here comes the pain!" from Carlito's Way, featured in "(sic)".
    • The outro to Slayer's "South of Heaven", which was edited and sampled as the intro of "Only One".
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: While they have proper backing vocalists in the form of the percussionists (plus Paul Gray in the earlier albums), some songs have Taylor's vocals overlap with one another. In live shows, these backing vocals are still provided by the percussionists.
  • Self-Referential Track Placement: The third track on Vol. 3 is "Three Nil".
  • The Something Song: "The Heretic Anthem".
  • Soprano and Gravel: Taylor switches between clean singing and hardcore shouting à la Phil Anselmo in most songs.
  • Spoken Word in Music: One of the Hidden Tracks that ends the first album is a recording of the band's reaction to a scat porn film, which goes down exactly like you'd expect.
  • Stalker with a Crush: "The Virus of Life" seems to come from the perspective of one.
  • Stepford Smiler: "Solway Firth"'s lyrics paint Corey as one, especially at the end.
    You want a real smile?
    I haven't smiled in years.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Obsession Song or not, "Vermillion Pt. 2" is a very slow and gentle track that those more familiar with the band's nu-metal side and aggressive reputation would not have expected.note  Also, "Circle" and "Snuff".
    • Their early singles tended to be softer than the rest of the album they came from. Examples include "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out" from the self-titled album, and "My Plague" and "Left Behind" from Iowa. While these tracks are still relatively heavy in their own right, especially the latter two, they feature more melody and clean vocals than the rest of those albums.
  • Trash-Can Band: Crahan is known to do this for part of the custom percussion sets, using baseball bats to bang on drumcans and beer kegs alongside standard drumsticks for tom-tom drums, floor toms and bass drums.
  • Vocal Evolution: On the first two albums, Corey used a mid-ranged throaty shout. For Vol 3, he switched to a higher-pitched, less raspy style. On All Hope is Gone, he utilized a deep Hatebreed-esque bellow. .5: The Gray Chapter and We Are Not Your Kind see him returning to the style of his early work.

    Their music videos provide examples of: 
  • Animated Music Video: One of the two versions of "Wait and Bleed", in a stop.
  • The Cameo: Malcolm McDowell as the desk clerk in "Snuff".
  • Crossdresser: The Reveal in "Snuff" - Taylor's character is dressed like his former lover.
  • Depth of Field: Used in "Before I Forget" along with Extreme Close Ups as a way of both keeping the band's faces mostly hidden (this was during a time when their real appearances weren't as well-known unless you already knew what they looked like or spotted their tattoos) and showing some of said tattoos and brief glimpses of some facial features.
    • Wilson gets close-ups of his mouth, hands, and DJ table.
    • Jordison is only seen from behind, slightly out of focus.
    • Gray's hands, bass, neck (with necklace) and eyes are shown in close-up.
    • Fehn is mostly shown in the foreground, but only his hands, arms, and legs.
    • Root and Thomson's only closeups are their hands, arms, guitars, and legs.
    • In keeping with his reclusive nature, Jones is the only band member who is always out of focus, with just the side of his head and hands visible.
    • Crahan is mostly seen wildly headbanging in the background, but does get close-ups of his mouth when shouting "I!" in the choruses.
    • Taylor gets close-ups of his mouth, eyes, hand, foot, and hair.
  • Forced Perspective: The video for "Dead Memories" uses this to make the already-huge Thomson Hagrid-sized against Taylor.
  • I Hate Past Me: At the very end of "The Devil in I", Crahan, who directed the video, personally chose an Iowa clown mask as opposed to the other members' choices of All Hope is Gone masks (some of which were so late into the era they resembled their .5 The Gray Chapter versions) as the past self to "die" in. The Iowa era was clearly a terrible time for him.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: One possible interpretation of the video for "Dead Memories"; it could also be a Disney Acid Sequence, but with less Disney and more acid.
  • Le Film Artistique: If Crahan's the one directing, expect this.
  • Mind Screw: Most videos from the .5 era.
  • Molotov Truck: The fate of the bus in "All Out Life".
  • Paint the Town Red: "All Out Life" is a bit more like Paint the Cult Red.
  • Peaceful in Death: The insane woman from the "Vermilion" video is shown sleeping peacefully in a field in the "Vermilion, Part 2" video until she begins floating and her eyes reveal that she's dead, finally free from her miserable life.
  • Performance Video:
    • The live version of "Wait and Bleed" and the live scenes in "Spit It Out" use concert footage. "The Blister Exists", "Left Behind", "Duality", "Before I Forget", "Psychosocial", "Sulfur", and "Unsainted" are more traditional "band plays the song while other stuff's happening" videos.
    • "Solway Firth" uses concert footage along with clips of The Boys.
  • Shout-Out: The "Spit It Out" video is a mix of live footage and the band members recreating several scenes from The Shining.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: "All Out Life" has a school bus blowing up at the end of the video.
  • Trash the Set:
    • The music video of "Duality" has the band playing the song to a few dozen fans who seriously vandalize the house they're all in. The house belonged to a fan and needed drastic remodeling anyway, so they were allowed to be as aggressive with it as possible. They ended up doing even more damage than was expected, forcing the label to pay compensation.
    • Although "All Out Life"'s video has shades of "Duality"'s, it averts the trope by way of not having much to trash.
  • The Unreveal: In the music video of "Before I Forget". The band is dressed in casual clothes and unmasked, but you never see their full faces, be it due to close-ups or being blurred by not being the focus of the shot.


Video Example(s):



Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Stone Sour is well known for utilizing both clean vocals and harsh growls in many of his songs. "Unsainted" is one of many examples.

How well does it match the trope?

4.75 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SopranoAndGravel

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