Here are the 45 Slipknot songs that have never been played live

Slipknot press photo
(Image credit: ANTHONY SCANGA)

When they spent the summer of 1999 destroying every Ozzfest stage they could find, word spread that Slipknot were the scariest and most anarchic prospect of the nu metal era. Nowadays, Des Moines’ finest have matured from the band that will level your venue to arena headliners and custodians of their own festival. However, the classics, from Wait And Bleed to Left Behind, still go just as hard. With The ’Knot about to hit the European festival circuit, here are all the songs they’ve never played, according to – will they dust down any of these rarities for the occasion?

Metal Hammer line break

Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. (1996)

Time has reduced Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. to more of a demo than a canonical album, since Tattered & Torn and Only One would later reappear on Slipknot. However, in 1996, the fledgling Nine counted it as their first full-length – and they were so proud of it that everything but Confessions shook Iowa’s metal clubs.

Considering the song’s a jazzy Mr Bungley thing, it’s obvious why it wouldn’t fit the bouncing-off-the-walls anarchy of the earliest Slipknot shows. Today it’s a funky and fascinating track for completionists, but only a thousand CDs of MFKR were ever made and the song’s not on streaming services. So don’t expect to get down to it anytime soon.

Slipknot (1999)

The relentless angst of Slipknot’s debut album proper resonated with a generation of pissed-off millennials to turn the band that made it into metal’s next superstars. As a result, almost all of this groundbreaking rager has been busted out live.

Diluted is the only fully fledged track to never rattle a stage. Interludes 742617000027 and Frail Limb Nursery have, but only through a backing tape. Interestingly, Purity has been played more than 300 times, despite being taken off the album due to a legal dispute, and Tattered & Torn hasn’t been performed since 1998: before Slipknot came out.

Iowa (2001)

Rather than kowtowing to commercial expectations, The Nine made their second album even harder and angrier than its predecessor. The result was such pissed-off anthems as Left Behind, Disasterpiece and, well… The Heretic Anthem, all of which are must-includes on any of the band’s setlists.

In fact, every full song on Iowa’s been performed, the one exception being introduction (515), which is sometimes played over a backing tape before the band explode into People = Shit. Metabolic didn’t debut onstage until 2015 – and apparently the response was so lacklustre that Corey’s vowed to never resurrect old deep cuts live ever again.

Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses (2004)

When they moved into The Mansion with producer Rick Rubin, Slipknot were frazzled following years of internal tension and various addictions. So, the band mellowed on Vol. 3 tracks like the acoustic Circle and Vermillion, Part 2. The Nine have never serenaded crowds with these smoother jams, probably since they’d clash with the otherwise all-guns-blazing energy of their gigs.

Welcome has never been aried live, either: bar that callous-shredding solo, it’s a fairly by-the-book cut, so we’re not too upset. Vol. 3’s closing duo, The Virus Of Life and Danger – Keep Away, have been denied public exhibition as well.

All Hope Is Gone (2008)

Slipknot hate All Hope Is Gone with a capital ‘H’. The album was the first the band recorded in their home state of Iowa, but Clown’s since commented: “It’s my least favourite [Slipknot album]: no tension, no pain – just efficiency. Being able to go home, able to sleep, is not good, not for what we do.” Jim Root has also criticised producer Dave Fortman for being unable to wrangle The Nine into the same room.

That might explain why fewer than half the album’s songs have ever been played live – five songs to be precise. Only the singles – Sulfur, Psychosocial, Dead Memories, Snuff and, one time, the title track – have ever made it to the stage. That means .execute., Gematria, Vendetta, Butchers Hook, Gehenna, This Cold Black and Wherein Lies Continue have yet to have a run out.

.5: The Gray Chapter (2014)

Despite being the first Slipknot album without Joey Jordison and late bassist Paul Gray, .5: The Gray Chapter felt like the band cataloguing all the sounds they’d explored across their career. Much of the album’s still never been performed though, mostly because the band had so many must-hear hits by 2014.

Vocal-powered eulogy XIX has only ever been blared over a backing tape to open Slipknot shows. The other cuts to never come out are Lech, Goodbye, Nomadic, The One That Kills The Least, Be Prepared For Hell and finale If Rain Is What You Want.

We Are Not Your Kind (2019)

The touring cycle for Slipknot’s We Are Not Your Kind was cut off all too quickly, thanks to the pandemic putting the world on pause for two years. Of the 13 full-length songs on We Are Not Your Kind, we’ve only heard four of them at shows. Unsurprisingly, they’re the four singles: Unsainted, Birth Of The Cruel, Nero Forte and Solway Firth. Non-album single All Out Life has also rocked up 196 times, since it got released as a standalone in 2018.

It’s unlikely that any other WANYK tracks will get scribbled onto the setlist, given how quickly the band moved into The End, So Far. However, the bassy, Halloween-ey Spiders and jangling My Pain would be excellently moody detours given the chance.

The End, So Far (2022)

So far, only two songs from The End, So Far have graced a Slipknot setlist. We get it, the album’s not even been out a year, but… come on, we deserve more. Said two songs are The Chapeltown Rag and The Dying Song (Time To Sing).

As for everything else, there are avant-garde entries like the synthy Adderall and slow-burning Finale that would probably take up too much time. Also, some members simply don’t dig the material: Jim Root infamously called the album “kinda rushed” after its release. But still, we’d like to hear more.

The songs Slipknot have never played live

Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat

Frail Limb Nursery


Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses
Prelude 3.0
Vermilion Pt 2
The Virus Of Life
Danger – Keep Away

All Hope Is Gone
Butchers Hook
This Cold Black
Wherein Lies Continue

.5: The Gray Chapter
The One That Kills The Least
Be Prepared For Hell
If Rain Is What You Want

We Are Not Your Kind
Insert Coin
Death Because Of Death
Critical Darling
A Liar's Funeral
Red Flag
What's Next?
My Pain
Not Long For This World

The End, So Far
Hive Mind
Medicine For The Dead
De Sade

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.