Slipknot's second studio album, Iowa is about to turn 20. In honour of this epic milestone, we've been spending a lot of time in the Maniacs office with Iowa on blast, reacquainting ourselves with its unforgettable and unforgiving brutality. 20 years on it is an assault on the senses that excites and inspires the 'maggot' within each of us. It is a record that will remain forever important to the esteem of the nine-headed metal monster that gave it birth, and of course to the legacy of the two who have now sadly departed this earthly realm (RIP Joey and Paul).
Iowa is also an album of wide-reaching influence in the heavy music world, with acts the quality of Bring Me The Horizon, Carnifex, Code Orange, Demon Hunter, Deafheaven, Employed To Serve, Knocked Loose, Periphery, Upon A Burning Body, Vein and more publicly noting the record's influence on their art.
Not surprisingly given the depth of its influence, there is a ton of covers of Iowa tracks out there and having seemingly trained our YouTube algorithm to show us nothing but Slipknot songs and covers, we've fallen down the rabbit hole far enough to have pretty much seen them all.
So as a way of celebrating the extent of Iowa's influence (and justify all of that time on YouTube as 'research') we have put together this list of Five Inspired Covers Of 'Iowa' Tracks That Showcase Its Immense Influence.
The Heretic Anthem - Periphery
Periphery always seems to take their covers to some interesting places, so the creepy clown-like voice that greets you when you press play on the djent gods cover of The Heretic Anthem, probably won't startle you. What might though is just how seriously and faithfully the band took the rest of it. This is a crushingly heavy delivery of a signature Slipknot track that sees vocalist Spencer Sotelo flex his gnarly vocal talents against a backdrop that sounds every bit as sinister as the original. Credit to guitarist Misha Mansoor who we learned played the drums on this as well as all of the guitars. Talented.
People = Shit - Richard Cheese
Slipknot's influence reaches well beyond genre confines, but lounge singer/comedian Richard Cheese really pushes the envelope with this lounge rendition of the typically raging People = Shit. It would be preposterous if it wasn't so perfect. This cover is so excellently executed that you can tell that it came from a genuine place in LA-based comedian Mark Jonathan Davis (the man behind the character Richard Cheese) heart.
There's just something about hearing the words "People equals shit" in a croon is just so damn beautiful to our ears. Check out the rest of the album Aperitif for Destruction coz it's really kinda brilliant. Watch him perform it at freaking Sonisphere below!
The Heretic Anthem - Carnifex
Of all the songs off of Iowa, The Heretic Anthem is the most popular for artists to cover but with the possible exception of Periphery above, none do it as well as Carnifex. The San Francisco based deathcore band absolute smash this cover, injecting just the right amount of their signature blackened deathcore sound into the mix to make it different without diminishing its anthemic quality. Scott Lewis vocals are the star of the show, sounding every bit as menacing as the great Corey Taylor. The band has played this live an enormous amount of times and you can hear that familiarity with and love for the original in every note. Sometimes it is best to not overthink it.
My Plague - Palm Reader
Slipknot's influence is felt especially strongly in the UK's modern metalcore scene with dozens of acts delivering epic covers throughout the years. One of our absolute favourites though is this cover of My Plague by experimental metalcore unit, Palm Reader. Palm Reader turn this track on its head, inverting the energy of the verses and chorus, to create a take that sounds completely their own while still being unrelentingly heavy and unsettling.
There's a reason this band is held above many of their more commercially successful contemporaries, and this cover is one.
People = Shit - Divitius
We don't know a whole lot about this Portland progressive metal five-piece, but we do know that this cover of People = Shit might be heavier than the original and that's saying something. Their vocalist Alicen Hensley has a beast of a voice that would put the fear of God into even the stiffest upper lipped gent. This is an epic tribute from a band that is just getting started. Their debut release Primordial came out last year and is well worth a listen.
Listen to Slipknot now.