Slipknot’s 9 Most Insane Music Videos

by Dan Epstein

Photography by M. Shawn Crahan

Ever since 1999, when they first set the metal world on its ear, Slipknot have made it very clear that their creativity extends well beyond freaky masks and brutal music. The band’s videos have often been as dark, twisted and disturbing as their songs, and sometimes even more so.

With the ‘Knot’s first full-length album since 2014’s .5: The Gray Chapter due to drop this summer, we decided to look back at nine of The Nine’s most insane videos.

9. Psychosocial (2008)

Directed by P.R. Brown, the “Psychosocial” clip introduced the band’s new, All Hope Is Gone-era masks to the world. But its images of a flaming farm, decaying roadkill, broken glass and the sacrificial burning of large papier-mâché heads also mesh perfectly with the song’s unbridled rage.

8. XIX (2014)

Written and directed by Shawn “Clown” Crahan, this eerily cinematic clip for the opening track of .5: The Gray Chapter features a hearse, a gnarled old tree, two mysterious women, and a Viking-style send-off to a coffin and (presumably) its contents. Beautiful, nightmarish, and deeply sad, the video functions as a symbolic farewell to bassist Paul Gray, who passed away in 2010.

7. The Blister Exists (2007)

Pieced together from footage compiled during 2004-05’s The Subliminal Verses Tour, this Crahan-directed clip brilliantly captures the sheer intensity of Slipknot’s live performances during this period — and will either bring back fond memories of the tour, or have you kicking yourself for missing it.

6. Things to Come (Circle) (2006)

Included as an “Easter egg” on 2006’s Voliminal: Inside the Nine DVD, this Crahan-directed clip is comprised of black-and-white footage from the cremation of his father. Achingly personal — and for some, shockingly inappropriate — the video is a haunting testament to Crahan’s ongoing commitment to finding art in the stark brutality of existence.

5. Spit It Out (1999)

Directed by Thomas Mignone, Slipknot’s first-ever video intercuts footage of the band’s typically ferocious live performances with an homage to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, in which each member plays a different part from the film. Unsurprisingly, it was banned by MTV for being too violent.

4. All Out Life (2018)

Just in time for Halloween 2018, Slipknot sneak-dropped this blistering new track with a video to match. No members of the band are present in this Crahan-directed clip, but the downright disturbing images of skull-masked inmates being hosed down with blood more than make up for it — and the exploding bus is a nice touch, too.

3. Wait and Bleed (1999)

The band made two videos for their 1999 hit “Wait and Bleed” — a live performance video, and this animated one directed by Marc Smerling. The maggot-infested clip is loaded with unsettling imagery, as miniature, doll-like versions of the band members gang up on a man to torture and kill him.

2. The Devil in I (2014)

Another creepy-as-fuck Crahan-directed video, “The Devil in I” finds the ‘Knot performing in a mental institution, then cuts away to show us members of the band destroying themselves in various ways — as well as stabbing new members Alessandro Venturella and Jay Weinberg to death.

1. Duality (2004)

Slipknot have made some incredible videos over the last two decades, but none have surpassed the sheer visceral power of watching an army of ‘Knot fans vandalize the fuck out of a house while the band is playing. Directed by Tony Petrossian, the “Duality” video shoot resulted in Roadrunner Records forking over $50,000 in damages to the family that owned the home.  “We weren’t really supposed to destroy that house,” Crahan exulted at the time, “but we did it anyway.”