Your #1 Slipknot album is... Iowa

This week has been Slipknot week on TeamRock Radio with a different track from The Nine being played EVERY HOUR. But how do you round it off? Playing one album in full, of course!

That’s why this Saturday at 5pm GMT on TeamRock Radio we’ll be playing the album YOU voted as your favourite Slipknot album in the online poll earlier this week. And the resounding winner is the dark, twisted, malevolent Iowa.

Here’s our review from its release back in 2001, written by Tommy Udo…

“Here we go again. Motherfuckers!” barks Corey Taylor, as People = Shit kicks the album into a hypersonic groove that’s harder, faster, sicker and never ever lets up the grim and bloody end. Be warned, maggots, this WILL hurt.

Iowa in case you were in any doubt, is a solid fucking masterpiece. There have been some good albums this year, but few with that elusive ‘wow’ factor, and none with the absolute sheer perfection of this record. Obviously, they could afford to deliver nothing less, and while no-one actually sets out to make a mediocre album, albums like Iowa – and Master Of Reality and Reign In Blood and Ritual De Lo Habitual, for example – seem only to happen when the fates are willing.

From 515 – a minute of satanic noises and a sub sonic pulsebeat – to the spectacular 15 minute title track, Iowa drives 100 percent pure primal rock and roll into our skulls with the fanatical efficiency of a maniac with a nail gun and a grudge. There are no stand-out tracks, because there are no weak links. There are some pyrotechnic death metal killers, like The Heretic Anthem, and some ruthless commercial ventures like My Plague, and some chilling moments of pure horror like Gently (an old song from thr Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat days, brought bang up to date with some bad acid noises and an ever building riff.). But, like Ted Bundy picking up a hitchhiker, it all inevitably leads to the awesome title track.

There are those who have dismissed Slipknot as some tawdry update of Alice Cooper/Kiss. A Rocky Horror Show for malcontent brats. ‘It’s all about theatre’ they sneer. But theatre from Oedipus fucking his mother, killing his father and gouging his own eyes out, has always revealed something sickening and ugly inside all of us. Slipknot is musical theatre, but we’re not talking Lloyd Webber here.

Iowa is a staggering piece of drama, using the sound of screaming machinery and the juxtaposition of lines like ‘You’ll Live Forever’ with manic giggling to suggest the inner world of a sicko killer at work. Like Scissors taking up a quarter of an album, it’s repelling and compelling simultaneously. Musical comparisons – maybe The Stooges’ Dirt from Funhouse and Sister Ray by The Velvet Revolver – are inadequate; Iowa is close to the last minute of The Blair Witch Project, or Se7en, or The Exorcist.

It’s a fantastic record. The Sgt, Pepper of negativity, and an album that will be a benchmark that everyone else will be measured against for years to come. Visceral, horrible, and you want to start listening to the whole thing yet again, as soon as the silence at the end kicks in.


And if you love Slipknot as much as we do, then pick up the new issue of Metal Hammer for the WORLD’S FIRST photoshoot and interview since their return.

Metal Hammer

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.