The Top 50 best Slipknot songs ever

40. ’Til We Die (All Hope Is Gone – Special Edition, 2008)

All Hope Is Gone’s final bonus track is perhaps best known for its grim foreshadowing. It’s been used as the band’s outro ever since Paul passed – that footage of Joey at Sonisphere 2011, hugging Paul’s old boilersuit at the end of their triumphant headline set, is forever tied to this song. As it goes, it leans much more on the softer side, acoustic guitars propelling the verses after some almost Rammstein-ish keys guide you into that heart-breaking first line: ‘My friends are all hurting from moments and regrets.’

39. Liberate (Slipknot, 1999)

Despite featuring the misheard lyrics ‘Liberate bananas’ and ‘sexing on myself’, Liberate does a fine job of destroying the notion that Slipknot’s self-titled is front-loaded. Popping up as track nine, it’s a white-knuckle bucking bronco surrounded by punji stakes – Joey’s drumming keeps everything militaristically tight as Corey gets all unhinged and Sid scratches his decks like a cat with a new toy.

38. Gematria (The Killing Name) (All Hope Is Gone, 2008)

All Hope Is Gone’s opening gambit never received a live outing, which is a damn shame – Gematria is such a unique song. Structurally, it just doesn’t fit with what Slipknot usually do. It’s a seven-minute opus that defies the band’s usual formula, journeying through sickeningly fast downpicking and Kirk Hammett-infused solos, culminating in Corey’s pitch-black proclamation: ‘America… what if God doesn’t care?!’  

37. Metabolic (Iowa, 2001)

Iowa is fourteen songs long. Thirteen songs in, it’s no less intense than when it started – Metabolic features some of Joey’s more bludgeoning double-bass, and coupled with that sinister death metal tremolo at the 2:20 mark, it’s the perfect vehicle for Corey’s unbridled rage. Even when he starts those melodic flights of fancy through the chorus, everything’s too caustic for clean vocals to offer any sort of pain relief.  

36. Orphan (We Are Not Your Kind, 2019)

We Are Not Your Kind is seen by many as a return to form, and songs like Orphan are the reason why. Sure, Slipknot can do bangers. They can do shout-along, middle-finger rallying cries. But beyond the anthemic chorus and keg hits here, you’ve got those industrial-style hi-hat runs, the Rob Zombie keys, that call-and-response breakdown, the militaristic chant of ‘Everyone has something, someone here has everything’. Orphan began life in Jim’s garage, and by his own admission, was a bit bare bones when he presented it to the band. That’s what’s so special about Slipknot – they can take a rudimentary demo and mangle it into this orchestra of idiosyncrasies.

35. Gently (Iowa, 2001)

As mentioned before, Iowa never really lets up when it comes to the anxiety-inducing, sphincter-tightening intensity it’s famed for. However, Gently is one moment through the middle where speed and traditional brutality take a back seat, if briefly. This bass-laden, crawling ditty originates from the band’s Corey-less ‘album’ Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat in 1996, but five years did them a world of good. The Iowa incarnation is taut in its pull-and-release trickery, leading you down the garden path in a mid-tempo haze towards that final minute of guttural, multi-layered vocal insanity and bestial double-bass.

34. Prosthetics (Slipknot, 1999)

Originally popping up on the band’s 1997 SlipKnot demo, Prosthetics is a suitably creepy addition to their debut. Loosely based on the 1965 film The Collector, in which a crazed man stalks an art student and traps her in his basement, the subtle build shows a Slipknot with ideas not above their station, but very clearly attainable. Paul’s grease-laden bass is the perfect lubricant for that metronomic intro, all leading to the eventual rise of ‘What the fuck is different, I can’t believe I’m doing this’ amidst a full-band freak-out.

33. AOV (.5: The Gray Chapter, 2014)

The sixth of what seemed like three-hundred singles from The Gray Chapter, AOV raises the thrash metal stakes and throws the Corey fans a bone – his rabid gibbering through the verses complement his obscenely huge clean vocals in the chorus. Sure, maybe you think a song with the acronym for ‘Approaching Original Violence’ shouldn’t be packing a refrain so squeaky clean, but in that case, just get your head around that pounding, three-man percussion. Lovely stuff.

32. Everything Ends (Iowa, 2001)

‘You are wrong, fucked and overrated, I think I’m gonna be sick and it’s your fault.’ Sure, it’s not going to convince anyone of Corey’s lyrical prowess, but in Hell, Everything Ends is a number one single. Paul’s bass runs, those Beelzebubianly springy riffs, the denouncement of ‘Suffer!’ – that Slipknot can sound this nasty while popping out hooks like these is just one of the reasons they’re more than just a band, rather a cultural cornerstone.  

31. The Nameless (Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, 2004)

Corey’s always been a master of balancing the sacred and profane, the brutal and the blissful. But The Nameless might be the most extreme example in Slipknot’s entire catalogue – his higher register screams in the verses are piss-boiling, bouncing straight into some b-b-backstreet’s back, sugary sweet lines that really wouldn’t be out of place on a 90s boy band CD single (remember those?). It’s a manic song, and that final intake of breath before the chorus’ last lap sums it up rather nicely. Just a bit exhausting, really.

Alec Chillingworth

Alec is a longtime contributor with first-class BA Honours in English with Creative Writing, and has worked for Metal Hammer since 2014. Over the years, he's written for Noisey, Stereoboard, uDiscoverMusic, and the good ship Hammer, interviewing major bands like Slipknot, Rammstein, and Tenacious D (plus some black metal bands your cool uncle might know). He's read Ulysses thrice, and it got worse each time.