The only Slipknot song that Corey Taylor doesn’t sing

There’s a good chance Slipknot would still be known as an underground band if not for leading man Corey Taylor. From crooning through the metal band’s ballads to sounding like he’s about to rip his throat out of his vocal cords, Taylor is responsible for some of the tallest high points throughout Slipknot’s career. However, one song on their mainline studio albums doesn’t feature Taylor at all.

When still making a name for themselves in Iowa, Slipknot was initially headed by Anders Colsefni, who played percussion and screamed on their early demo Mate Feed Kill Repeat. Even though the band weren’t exactly looking for a lead singer, Taylor knew that he was going to make it work with the Iowa natives, recalling, “I was at their first ever live show as Slipknot. And I remember saying, and I’ve never said this before, that I’m going to sing for this band someday”.

Leaving behind his post-grunge outfit, Stone Sour, Taylor got the gig once Colsefni was pushed to the back, and later left the band entirely. Storming out of the gate with their eponymous debut album with nu metal legend Ross Robinson, Taylor’s voice was the stand-out, especially when going from the blood-curdled screams of ‘Surfacing’ to the psychobabble in the middle of the song ‘Eyeless’.

As the band started to get more successful, drugs also came into play, causing Taylor to change the way he screamed between albums. While the debaucherous sessions of Iowa yielded the most pained vocal performances of Taylor’s career, Vol. III marked the first time he recorded while sober, blurring the lines between soft singing, screaming, and an industrial touch on songs like ‘The Blister Exists’.

While the road seemed wide open for the band after working on their All Hope is Gone, things worsened when they took a break from touring. After kicking his demons for a while, bassist Paul Gray relapsed on heroin, passing away during a break from Slipknot when he was initially supposed to go out with another band, Hail.

Leaving a hole within the group, the band decided to soldier on for their next album, dedicating the album to the memory of their bassist: 5 The Gray Chapter. While also letting go of their longtime drummer, Joey Jordison, the album was spilling with grief over what the past few years had done.

While Taylor is better at delivering sorrow in song than anyone, the track ‘Be Prepared For Hell’ features percussionist Clown behind the microphone. Having contributed screams to Slipknot songs before, Clown sounds like a lonesome version of Tom Waits on the tune, reading lines intended to memorialise Gray’s memory and what his loss meant to them.

Although most of the album was ripped from the band’s broken heart, there was no better person to deliver this song than Clown. He had always been known as the group’s founder since the beginning, so hearing him delivering his eulogy to Gray puts all of the band’s thoughts into just two minutes.

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