Slipknot are one of the most visual bands in metal, in terms of their look, their image and their overall presentation. So it would be uncivilized for the masked Iowa marauders to incorporate anything less than striking, over-the-top aesthetics in their videos.
The 'Knot have been making a glorious, cacophonous racket and crafting artfully violent videos for two decades. We've seen them wrecking a house; going mask-free without ever showing their faces; and as delightfully devious Claymation versions of themselves. We've also watched their frontman cross dress in the same video that co-starred Malcolm McDowell of 'A Clockwork Orange' fame. The only constants in Slipknot videos are the level of unpredictability and the uncompromising artistry.
There are lots of attention-seeking videos in the Slipknot repertoire but we've managed to put together the 10 Best Slipknot Videos from our vantage point.
'Vermillion' Directed by: Tony Petrossian
A beautiful babe who decides to mask up stars in the video for 'Vermillion' and 'Vermillion Pt. 2.' The first video is all sped up footage and no, she's not the 10th member of the 'Knot, but she does exert some influence. If you can keep up with the hectic pacing and jittery camera work, you'll want to follow her. So go ahead. She isn't real, but they make her so, at least in the video.
'Vermillion Pt. 2'Directed by: Marc Klasfeld
A devastating acoustic ballad, 'Vermillion Pt. 2' required an equally gut wrenching video to accompany its lyrical message. We watch the redhead of the first video "decompose" (not literally) and come back to life (sort of) on screen, as she lays in a field. Gone with the wind takes on new meaning with this video. It's a stark, visually powerful clip that does not feature the band for even a second. There's real power in the aesthetic simplicity. Plus, this ballad doesn't need the visual of nine masked maniacs. Sometimes, you can show just how heavy you are with a lighter touch.
'Sulfur'Directed by: Paul Brown and M. Shawn Crahan
Slipknot videos always incorporate the elements. Fire? Yep? The dirt and earth, namely the soil of their native Iowa? Oh yeah; that's pretty much a given in a Slipknot clip. For 'Sulfur,' the band members are submerged in water -- that which nourishes, replenishes and kills. Sort of like Slipknot's music, which is a brutal beauty. It's as though Slipknot are an element in and of themselves. Fire, water, earth, air, 'Knot.
'Snuff'Directed by: Paul Brown and M. Shawn Crahan
The 'Snuff' clip, co-directed by a Slipknot go-to (Paul Brown) and Clown, is one of Slipknot's 10 best videos since it's a short film that asks more questions than it answers, like any quality piece of art. Guest stars include Malcolm McDowell of 'A Clockwork Orange' and Ashley Laurence of 'Hellraiser.' And Mr. Corey Taylor is the lead character, who cross-dresses. It's risky and daring -- the gender-bending clothing and the film's concept -- but so is the song, which is a full, complex ballad.
'Left Behind'Directed by: Dave Meyers
Slipknot perform in the black and white, wild with blood red coveralls providing the flash of color, drawing the eye to them. That footage is spliced with a narrative of a little boy in a butcher shop, hacking at raw meat. The mini maggot gets bullied but he answers the call of Slipknot. He cannot resist the magnetic pull or the redemption that music offers. Can you?
'Psychosocial'Directed by: Paul Brown
Slipknot spark a blaze in their 'Psychosocial' video, which was filmed at night and gives off a Children of the Corn (not Korn) vibe. Fast, frenetic and furious, it captures the essence of Slipknot. Call it a cliché, but the band set the metal world on fire in 1999 and was still igniting it (and their purgatory masks) in 2008. That's not easy to do. From ashes they rise...
'Dead Memories'Directed by: Paul Brown
A maskless Corey Taylor, a shovel, Des Moines, the earth and the elements -- that's what we start with. It's not where we end, though. The juxtaposition of the singer in nature and then going all subterranean and underground, encountering each of his bandmates, is enough to terrify and to make the point that Slipknot are counterculture. Sid Wilson climbs walls and Joey Jordison's Christ-like crown and Edward Branchhands are extra creepy. Each encounter is unique and weirder than the next, but it sticks with you, even as Taylor moves on. It makes you question the relationships between members as they interact.
'Wait and Bleed' (Animated)Directed by: Atticus
The band's earliest hit has two videos. The official video is a live clip, but we far prefer the Claymation/animated version and consider it one of Slipknot's best videos. It's very 'Silence of the Lambs,' as Clayknot or Slipuppet manage to overtake the person with nefarious intentions who is stalking them. We're almost tempted to call Slipknot "cute," since the mini versions of the members sorta are. But then they set the dude on fire, which is a survival tactic that is anything but cute. Are those the faces you want to see before immolating?
'Duality'Directed by: Tony Petrossian
This is what happens when you let maggots loose in a house. The destruction of this house in the band's native Iowa is not that much different that which happens in the moshpit of a Slipknot show. It's dangerous. Enter at your own risk. If there was ever a parental warning for a live concert, this is it! At the end of the day, Slipknot and their music get the red out. Sometimes you gotta level a house in order to purge yourself of negative energy. You emerge from the other side cleansed. That's what this video speaks to.
'Before I Forget'Directed by: Tony Petrossian
The video for 'Before I Forget' finds Slipknot unmasked and de-uniformed. They perform in plain clothes without their masks, but we never see their faces. The camera teases us with flashes of skin, tattoos, hands on strings and Vans sneakers on foot pedals, as their identities remain concealed, yet we know distinctly who they are. It's a brilliant concept that nodded to the band's status and mystique, and you never quite know what you're going to get other than you're going to get it good. That's why it's the best Slipknot video.