The Slipknot album Corey Taylor calls “one of the best things I’ve ever done”

Every new Slipknot release has always felt like a significant event for fans. Since most of the band are known to do their own things outside the nine-legged monster, their albums have always felt like a momentous occasion for fans, whether responding to a death in the family like .5 The Gray Chapter or bludgeoning their audience on Iowa. Although most of the band’s albums have their own sonic identity, Corey Taylor still thinks this one album is the high point of his career.

While many know Taylor as the unofficial mouth of the band, he was initially not in the running for the band at all. When working in the Iowa area, Taylor already had his rock and roll plan squared away in the post-grunge outfit Stone Sour, with Slipknot fitting into the heavier metal side.

Once Taylor saw the group play live, though, he knew that he needed to be involved in the band in some way, recalling to Google, “I was at their very first live show. And I remember thinking, and I’ve never said this before, I was like ‘I’m gonna sing for this band someday’”. Even though Taylor’s melodic sensibilities were a strange fit for the band at first, he did become one of the biggest stars of the group later on, blending his screaming and singing seamlessly on tracks like ‘Wait and Bleed’.

As the band became more successful, though, they also started not caring for themselves. During the recording for Iowa, most of the band recalled being out of control throughout the process, with most members having to torture themselves to get the right take for the song.

After making their way out of the darkness, the band settled on Rick Rubin for their third effort, which would become one of their most successful achievements as a group. While still retaining their classic sound, Vol III: The Subliminal Verses featured the biggest hits the band would ever have, from the delicate sounds of ‘Vermilion Part 2’ to the massive headbanging sing-along on ‘Before I Forget’.

While fans may have been disappointed in a more mainstream sound, Taylor thought that the group had to go outside strictly heavy music or else they would never evolve. Getting sober midway through the process, Taylor also sought to explore different themes within his lyrics, which resulted in it being one of the first Slipknot releases not to have the Parental Advisory sticker slapped on it.

Despite the infighting amongst the band at the time, Taylor still views the album as a high point for their creativity, telling Seton Hall’s Pirate Radio, “We were able to kind of pull together, even though we were pulling apart at the seams at the time, and we created something that to this day is probably — other than some of my approaches at singing some of the songs, it’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done”.

Although the band would achieve even more chart success with the following album, All Hope is Gone, Vol. III remains a watershed moment for the band that would never be repeated. Many songs from the album may be a staple of the group’s setlist, but after years in the can, Taylor still finds a kinship with his now-modern classics.

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