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Mushroomhead vs. Slipknot - Part 1 (1995 to 2005)

I'll be honest - I've been a Slipknot fan since around 2000, just after the self-titled album released. At that time, even though they were both masked - I saw Mushroomhead as a second-rate Slipknot. Even though I dug Solitaire/Unraveling (the only song I knew of them for a while). It was easy to say that Slipknot's masks were badass, whereas Mushroomhead's masks were copycat and juvenile. But over the years - I've gotten a wee bit more open-minded, maybe - and was willing to give Mushroomhead a more thorough listen. Now, I know Slipknot's discography like the back of my hand (other than MFKR, which I haven't listened to in years). But for most of the Mushroomhead albums - it's my first listen. So here goes a comparison of the first half of their discographies, going by sequence of release (not by date).

Mushroomhead (1995) vs. Mate.Feed.Kill.Repeat (1996). This is a tough one - both albums are pretty fledgling releases. I enjoy the samples laced throughout Mushroomhead, but the album is fairly disjointed and difficult to listen to. Conversely, MFKR contains songs that wouldn't come alive until Slipknot (1999). Ultimately, I will give both bands a +1 here for the effort - neither album is better or worse than the other. Haven't heard Remix 2000 by MRH - but not that eager to...

Superbuick (1996) vs. Slipknot (1999). Now Superbuick has some excellent tracks - and was a huge step up from Mushroomhead (1996). Huge step up. But there is absolutely no touching Slipknot (1999) - that is one of the best nu-metal/rap-metal/whatever-metal releases ever. Inclusion of Jim Root, Mick Thompson...and especially Corey Taylor - raised Slipknot to a monstrous level. Sorry MRH - this one is a fight you can't win. Win goes to Slipknot.

M3 (1999) vs. Iowa (2001). Third release by both bands. M3 was another step up from Superbuick, although not to the same degree as prior. The production was better - and the album is front loaded with great bangers. Iowa, on the other hand, saw Slipknot ditching the nu-metal and going nearly death metal. Not that both bands didn't have some death metal elements prior - but Iowa is a piece of work. Have to go with Iowa here.

I'm going to give MRH a point here. They wisely culled the best tracks from primarily Superbuick and M3, and released it as a stand-alone album. This was the first MRH album I bought a few years back - and fairly kick ass.
Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses

XIII (2003) vs. Vol 3 (2003). XIII is a strong showing from MRH - some believe it to be their best. Upon listening, I did not disagree - it took their formula and maximized it. Vol 3, on the other hand, was Slipknot changing gears, with Corey Taylor opening his wings (perhaps Stonesour seeped in a bit). Regardless, Vol 3 is my all-time favorite Slipknot album - so ultimately gets the win here. XIII is a strong runner up though.
9.0: Live

Slipknot deserves an additional point here for releasing this mammoth, 2-CD, live album. At the time, this served to capture Slipknot at their live peak (IMO) – while touring on Vol 3. Old classics seamlessly mixed in with new destroying tracks (e.g., The Blister Exists, Pulse of the Maggots). Not aware of MRH releasing a formal live album to compare to.
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