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Slipknot is the debut album by American heavy metal band Slipknot. It was released on June 29, 1999 by Roadrunner Records, after a demo containing a few of the songs had been released in 1998, and was reissued in December 1999 with a slightly altered track listing and mastering, as a result of lawsuit. It was the first album by the band to be produced by Ross Robinson, who sought to refine Slipknot's sound rather than alter the group's musical direction.

The album spans many genres, but is generally noted for its extensive percussion and overall heavy sound. Slipknot was well received by fans and critics alike and was responsible for bringing Slipknot a large increase in popularity. The album peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200, and has gone on to become certified double platinum in the United States, making it the band's best selling album.

Recording and production

In 1997, following the release of the band's first demo album Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., the members of Slipknot continued to write new material and work in SR Audio, a local studio, with new vocalist Corey Taylor. The band intended on releasing a second demo album but never got further than pre-production. Songs written and recorded in this period include "Slipknot", "Gently", "Do Nothing", "Tattered and Torn", "Heartache and a Pair of Scissors", "Me Inside", "The Me Inside," "Coleslaw", "Carve", "Windows" and "May 17th". In 1998 Slipknot was receiving growing attention from record labels including Epic and Hollywood Records.

On September 29, 1998, Slipknot left Des Moinesmarker, Iowamarker for Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibumarker, Californiamarker, anxious to record an album after a long wait to be signed. They released this demo to prospective labels and producers; the track "Spit It Out" was the main focus of the demo and, with help from their manager Sophia John, they were able to get a copy of the eponymous demo to Ross Robinson. The band wanted him to work with them on their debut album and after meeting with the band Robinson signed them to his own label, I Am, but later helped sign them to Roadrunner Records.

The album's recording process was "very aggressive and chaotic", as producer Ross Robinson strove to capture the intensity that the band created when performing live. Within three days all the drums were recorded, which contributed to the raw, live sound on the album that the band considers integral to its musical direction. By November 11, 1998, the recording of the album seemed complete and the band returned to Des Moines. During the Christmas period, guitarist Josh Brainard, who recorded on all the tracks to that point, decided to leave the band. The reasons for his departure are unclear, it was widely thought to have been because of family constraints however Brainard dispels these rumours, explaining that; "some decisions were made that I wasn't particularly happy with." His replacement was Jim Root, with whom the band returned to the studio in February 1999. Slipknot finished recording during this period, with two extra songs: a re-recording of "Me Inside", and a new track called "Purity". The mixing stages were very challenging, as drummer Joey Jordison and producer Robinson mastered the entire album by hand, with traditional equipment, instead of using computerized technology. "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out" which had appeared on the demo album, were released on the debut album Slipknot also; "Interloper" and "Despise" are available on the digipak version of the same album and "Snap" was featured on the soundtrack for the 2003 movie Freddy vs. Jason.

Musical and lyrical themes

The musical style of Slipknot is a constantly contested issue and the genres that the band are categorized in vary depending on the source, however, the band is generally regarded as nu metal, while showing influences of many different genres. The influence of death metal on the album is clear and on the subject Jordison stated; "the roots are death metal, thrash, speed metal, and I could go on and on about all those bands." The album also shows influences from alternative metal and rap metal. Slipknot has a raw, live sound due to the band performing in the studio as they do during their live shows, which are often considerably loud. Due to the band's large line-up consisting of additional percussionists and electronics the album has a very dense, layered sound. Alternative Press stated that the album used "inventive sampling, creative guitar work and an absolute percussive overload", while Q described the album as "a terrifying racket". Slipknot also includes melody, most notably in the single "Wait and Bleed" and is considered to be done with expertise and precision.

The album featured Corey Taylor as lead vocalist; he had previously appeared on their second demo which, in turn, resulted in them signing to Roadrunner Records. However, he did not appear on the band's first demo Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. upon Anders Colsefini performing as lead vocalist of Slipknot at the time. Rick Anderson of Allmusic noted that on "Scissors", Taylor "actually sounds like he's about to burst into tears." Taylor's aggressive, expletive filled lyrics were described as, "lyrics that are discernible are not generally quotable on a family website; suffice it to say that the members of Slipknot are not impressed with their fathers, their hometown, or most anything else." "Eeyore", a hidden track at the end of "Scissors", plays after a dialogue among band members that was recorded while they were viewing a scene in a pornographic movie involving coprophilia. The song describes Taylor's rage against a man who issued a death threat to him during a Slipknot concert. It has been played live many times and appears on both the DVD Disasterpieces and the live album 9.0: Live.


Slipknot was well received by critics and fans; following its release the band gained popularity beyond their own expectations. Reviewing for Allmusic, Rick Anderson awarded the album four out of five stars calling it "an auspicious debut" and proclaimed, "You thought Limp Bizkit was hard? They're the Osmonds. These guys are something else entirely. And it's pretty impressive." The album's aggression and heavy sound was widely praised; Rolling Stone stated Slipknot is "metal with a capital m", Kerrang! added "raw and wholly uncompromising, each track delivered a powerful blow to the senses" and in 2001, Q included the album in their list of the "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time". CMJ ranked the album as the twelfth highest "Editorial Pick" for 1999. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

A single from the album, "Wait and Bleed", was nominated for Best Metal Performance at the 2001 Grammy Awards. The song was also named the 36th greatest metal song of all time, by VH1. The release of the album and the touring which followed, greatly increased the band's popularity. The album became the "biggest selling extreme metal album at the time." It was ranked by American Soundscan as the fastest selling metal debut in Soundscan's history. On May 2, 2000, the album was certified platinum in the United States, a first for any album released by Roadrunner Records. In the United States, it has sold over 2,000,000 copies; on February 5, 2005, the RIAA certified it Double Platinum. In Canada, the Canadian Recording Industry Association certified the album as Platinum on October 10, 2000. The British Phonographic Industry has certified the album as Platinum on October 17, 2008 in the UK.


After the release of the album, the band was accused of copyright infringement regarding the lyrics of the song "Purity". Taylor was inspired by a story he had read about a girl named Purity Knight who was kidnapped and buried alive. Although Taylor insisted that he thought the story was true, the author claimed it was fictional. The author objected to its use in the song and Slipknot were forced to remove "Purity" and its short sample-filled prelude "Frail Limb Nursery" from the album. As a result, the band released slightly remastered standard and digipak versions of the album in December 1999, replacing both tracks with "Me Inside". The band however still play the song during live performances and it is included in the band's second DVD Disasterpieces (the studio version appears here as well) as well as the live album 9.0 Live. It can be assumed that the band has since acquired the rights to release "Purity" however, as the song was featured on the tenth anniversary edition of Slipknot released in September 2009.

10th Anniversary Edition

On September 9, 2009, Slipknot released a special edition box set to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the release of the album. The release date (09/09/09) is a reference to the fact that the band has nine band members and have sustained the same line-up since the original release of the album. The special edition box-set will include: a CD and DVD set featuring all new digipack packaging with a total of 25 songs, including the original album plus several previously unreleased cuts, demo tracks, and returning track "Purity". The DVD which is directed by percussionist Shawn Crahan, will feature footage of the band in 1999 and 2000, titled Of The Sic: Your Nightmares, Our Dreams. The DVD will also feature all three music videos released in support of the album, an entire live concert recorded at the Dynamo Open Air, 2000 and "other surprises". A "super deluxe" box set version of the re-release will contain; a T-shirt, patch, collectible cards, key chain, beanie and a note from vocalist Corey Taylor, and will come in packaging that resembles a safety deposit box.

Track listing

All songs credited to Slipknot.

10th Anniversary Edition DVD

Of The Sic: Your Nightmares, Our Dreams (Short Film)

Music Videos
  • Spit It Out
  • Wait and Bleed
  • Surfacing
  • Wait and Bleed (Animated Version)

Live at Dynamo Open Air, Nijmegen, Holland: June 3, 2000

  1. 742617000027 - 1:53
  2. (sic) - 3:25
  3. Eyeless - 5:04
  4. Wait and Bleed - 2:46
  5. No Life - 3:32
  6. Liberate - 4:03
  7. Purity - 4:39
  8. Prosthetics - 5:55
  9. Spit It Out - 6:09
  10. Get This - 2:41
  11. Surfacing - 4:18

Setlist Total Run Time: 44min 30sec

Chart positions

Chart (1999) Peak Position
Top Heatseekers 1
Billboard 200 51
UK Albums Chart 37
New Zealand Charts 49
Finnish Albums Chart 30
MegaCharts 42
Svensktoppen 53


Aside from their real names, members of the band are referred to by numbers zero through eight.

  • Sean McMahon – producer, mixing for the demo album
  • Ross Robinsonproducer, mixing, A&R
  • Chuck Johnson – mixing, engineering
  • Sean McMahon – mixing
  • Rob Agnello – assistant engineering
  • Eddy Schreyer – mastering
  • Monte Conner – A&R
  • Steve Richards – worldwide management
  • Jeffrey Light – legal representation
  • Dave Kirby – bookings
  • Stefan Seskis – cover photography, inside tray photography
  • Dean Karr – band photography
  • t42design – design, lettering
  • Lynda Kusnetz – creative director

Release history

Region Date Label Format Catalog
Worldwide release June 29, 1999 Roadrunner Records Compact disc RR 8655-2
Digipak album RR 8655-5
Worldwide reissue December, 1999 Compact disc RR 8655-8
Digipak album RR 8655-9
Japan Digipak album 1686-185112
United States LP RR 8655-1
Picture disc RR 8655-6


Cited references

  1. Arnopp p. 104.
  2. Arnopp pp. 105–10.
  3. Arnopp pp. 112–14.
  4. Arnopp pp. 115–21.
  5. Alternative Press, December 1999, p. 116.
  6. Q, July 2001.
  7. Arnopp pp. 45–83.
  8. Arnopp pp. 122–23.
  9. Kerrang!, November 6, 1999 p. 51.
  10. "Wrecking crew", Guitar, November 2001.

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