Slipknot is one of the best heavy metal bands in history and was instrumental in popularizing nu-metal and alternative metal during their time. Despite a shifting lineup early in their career and being the focal point of several lyrical controversies, they’ve been mainstays in the rock and metal genres and consistently charted songs.
Vastly influential and one of the best live shows you can go to, Slipknot has built a legacy as one of the best to do it. In this article, we’ll go over 31 of the best songs Slipknot has ever produced.
Look, this top spot will be hotly debated among Slipknot fans, no matter which song I put in this slot. Duality is taking it for me, though, partly because of how great it is and partly because even non-fans that only listen to rock have probably heard and enjoyed this one.
Duality served as the first single for Slipknot’s third studio album back in 2004 and stood out on the album as being the only one not to have any profanity. It was experimental for the band, with the members being cited as saying they tried something new with it, and it gave them a big hit. Duality reached number five on the Mainstream Rock chart and number six on the Alternative Airplay chart, later finding a place in other media like Madden NFL 2010 and Guitar Hero Live.
Surfacing is another song that could easily be argued as Slipknot’s best, a song that was a signature for the band and essentially encompassed everything they wanted in a song, their attitude, and who they were. It’s been an anthem for their fans ever since it came out and a benchmark song for Slipknot that showcased the nastiness and anger bubbling beneath their skin.
3. People = Shit
The second track on Iowa essentially sums up how I feel about most people in the world on any given day. A scathing rebuke of human stupidity that also works as a great way to let loose for listeners, People = Shit has appeared on all but one of Slipknot’s live CDs and DVDs since it came out. It’s everything you want in a raging metal song, even questioning what’s so wrong with chaos and disaster if this is the world we’re forced to live in.
4. Wait And Bleed
The very first Slipknot single to grace our ears, coming from their debut eponymous album back in 1999, Wait and Bleed, is still one of the band’s signature songs all these years later. It wasn’t just the song that set the bar for Slipknot. It turned the metal world on its head. Wait and Bleed would even earn the band their first Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and has been ranked as one of the best metal songs of all time. Upon release, it peaked at number 34 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 2000.
Psychosocial is another one of Slipknot’s songs, like Duality, that even non-metal heads have probably heard. It was released as the second single from their 2008 album All Hope Is Gone and felt like it belonged on mainstream radio.
It earned the band another Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance and would rise to number seven on the Mainstream Rock charts that year. Psychosocial is also one of the best Slipknot songs to witness in concert, as the chorus was specifically written for the crowd to scream out along with the band.
The term “sic” essentially means “said in context” and is used by authors as a literary term for when someone says something they know is wrong but says it anyway. Slipknot’s (sic) is their most-played song in setlists and a massive fan-favorite that has become a signature for the band over the years. It was the first track on their debut album and had one of the most iconic moments in the band’s lifespan with the line “Here comes the pain.”
7. Before I Forget
Here’s another song that some fans will likely argue is Slipknot’s best song of all time. Before I Forget set a new standard in the metal genre, borrowing from a single on their debut album and resulting in one of their most successful singles of all time. It would eventually be named the top metal song of the decade by AOL and won a Grammy Award in 2006 for Best Metal Performance.
8. The Devil In I
The Devil In I was a more subdued song than the rest of the tracks that came with it on .5: The Gray Chapter in 2014, but it’s another one I know non-fans have heard before. Unlike the other ones I’ve said that about though, there is less debate about this one, with most fans ranking it among their best songs too. It’s got a bit of everything, from the grinding bridge to the subdued verses.
9. The Heretic Anthem
The Heretic Anthem might have been Slipknot at their hardest, nearing full-on death metal and the extreme edges of metal as a genre. Slipknot released the song as a promotional single for their second album Iowa, and it found pretty solid success. The song’s content describes the record labels that didn’t want to sign the band when they were first getting started.
The third track on Iowa was one of the album’s defining songs. Nihilistic and violent to the core, it was shamelessly metal as fuck. It went hard enough that even the death metal crowd respected it, and Disasterpiece helped shift Slipknot away from the nu-metal genre and into uncharted territory all on their own as something in between.
11. Everything Ends
Everything Ends was the most melodic track from Iowa and the most emotional in terms of raw and vulnerable lyrics. Corey Taylor himself said the song was about him wanting to commit suicide over a girl that had ended things with him. Ultimately, it painted the picture of how it feels when you let those negative emotions take over everything, making things seem pointless. It was easily one of their best songs, and despite straying from the typical sound of the rest of the songs on Iowa, it still punches extremely hard.
12. All Out Life
All Out Life was released in 2018 after a three-year hiatus in which Slipknot released no new songs. Coming out as an independent single from Roadrunner Records, it was the last song to feature Chris Fehn as a percussionist before he was dismissed from the band.
It wasn’t included in the regular version of their 2019 album. We Are Not Your Kind, only the Japanese one, because they thought it would be cool just to be one for the fans. The thrash-heavy song wound up being the theme song for the WWE NXT program, too, neat.
Snuff may not be the number-one song for fans, but it is Slipknot’s highest-charting single to date. After being released as the fifth and final single of the band’s 2009 album All Hope Is Gone, it rose to number two on the Hot Mainstream Rock chart. It was also nominated for the Kerrang! Award for Best Single in 2010 and was featured in the Rock Band series of video games.
14. Spit It Out
Spit It Out was the second single to come from Slipknot’s debut album and the last song to have an official single release on it. It was originally recorded as the leading track of their 1998 demo, but they remixed it into a faster tempo and included it on their album. It was a major rock hit in the UK, rising to number one on the UK Rock & Metal chart and 28 on the UK Singles chart.
The fourth single from Slipknot’s All Hope Is Gone album, Sulfur, was the first song Jordison and Root wrote together. Its high-octane pace was ridiculously energetic and made it up to number 18 on the Mainstream Rock chart in the US. The music video for the song was sadly the last one to feature the band’s original lineup, as Paul Gray would pass the year after, and Jordison would be dismissed from the band before another music video was recorded.
16. Nero Forte
Nero Forte is another one of Slipknot’s more recent songs that proves the band still rocks as hard as they always have. It served as the fourth single from their 2019 album, We Are Not Your Kind, and was a pretty big hit. It peaked at number four on the UK Rock & Metal chart and 11 on the US Hot Rock and Alternative Songs chart. The music video on YouTube has well over 50 million views as well, giving the band a viral hit video to boot.
Here’s one that fans will probably complain about the number I put it under. Eyeless was one of the band’s original songs, coming out on their self-titled album back in 1999. It was a crazy nu-metal banger that felt both unsettling and exciting, the exact feeling that made fans come to love Slipknot from the very beginning.
18. My Plague
My Plague was chosen as the second single for Slipknot’s 2001 album Iowa and the band was caught off guard by the reception it got. It earned a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance, which was weird because they built it from the ground up after listening to a cool beat from Sidney George Wilson. In the end, it was the perfect blend of intimidating yet melodic vocals, and it made it to number 43 on the UK Singles chart.
19. Pulse Of The Maggots
Slipknot fans are affectionately called Maggots, and this song was all about how the band would always be there for the people who supported them, which was especially poignant when they broke up for a short time. The song and title were inspired by the frantic movements of fans during their concerts, resulting in one of their best songs. It paid tribute to all the Maggots that helped the band get to where they are now.
20. No Life
No Life is one of Slipknot’s earliest songs, generally assumed to have been written before their debut album when they were working on their demo. It has everything you want in a signature Slipknot song, from thrashing guitar riffs to a screaming chorus and a few nu-metal elements sprinkled around in between.
Liberate was the 10th song on Slipknot’s debut album and was all about letting go of your anger. It’s not good to keep things bottled up, as they’ll just keep building up and eventually explode (though that would be pretty metal). It’s appeared on several live albums as well, from Disasterpieces to Slipknot: (sic)nesses.
22. The Blister Exists
The Blister Exists was the third single from Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) and is best known for its insane snare drum solo. You probably heard it as the opening song to their concerts during the Subliminal Verses tour, but it also appeared in the video game Prince of Persia: Sands of Time.
Unsainted was the lead single of the band’s We Are Not Your Kind album and was their first release without Chris Fehn. One of the best headbangers in recent times, Unsainted was thought of as a fairly radio-friendly song but never pulled any punches.
24. The Nameless
The Nameless surprised some people by charting at number 25 on the US Mainstream Rock charts after it was released in 2005. It was the only single to be released from their 9.0 Live album and was even featured on MTV’s Rock Top 10, where it ranked at number two.
Back again to Slipknot’s debut album. Diluted was based on one of their demo songs titled Interloper and was the 13th track on the album. It’s a major fan favorite despite being one of two tracks that Slipknot has never played live.
26. Critical Darling
Critical Darling juxtaposes the religious sentiment of waiting to be saved in the afterlife with the concept of living in the moment and enjoying life. It poses that those ideas make people too judgemental and critical of others and is oddly as philosophical as it is kick-ass. A refreshing yet still blistering track that fits right into the Slipknot universe.
27. The Negative One
Coming out in 2014, The Negative One was the first Slipknot release after the band lost Paul Gray and Joey Jordison. It was an excellent comeback for them, and they even earned a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance that year. A debate did break out regarding whether the song was related to the dismissal of Jordison, but the band has since denied those rumors and moved past the drama of the incident.
28. The Dying Song (Time To Sing)
The Dying Song came out in 2022, and it was essentially an announcement that the band would be releasing a seventh album. It also put the world on notice that they were moving in a new direction, featuring an a capella intro and some dynamic shifts they had never used before. Ultimately, it wound up being a gut punch that excited the Maggots for the future.
29. I Am Hated
I Am Hated was an anthem for the outcast and had nothing for critics but rage, a full realization from the band that they would do exactly what they wanted no matter what anyone said about them. It even fired a shot at Fred Durst for dissing Slipknot fans in one of the coolest lines ever.
30. All Hope Is Gone
While the album may not have been a fan favorite from Slipknot, its title track still took on a brutal tone that fans love and was a milestone for the band as they tried to find a more mature sound going forward.
31. Solway Firth
Solway Firth was the closing track of We Are Not Your Kind and is one of the tracks that you can hear Slipknot go their hardest. It’s a track that wouldn’t feel out of place in a horror movie that’s full of rage but still sports a melodic riff that’s perfect modern Slipknot.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.