For the past 20 years, Corey Taylor has been Slipknot‘s mouth behind the mask. He and his eight bandmates pummeled their way onto the rock charts with a particularly aggressive take on nu-metal with their double-platinum–certified self-titled album in 1999, and they secured their footing as genre leaders on 2001’s Iowa, which ranked among Rolling Stone’s recently published list of the 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time. Their mini-empire has included a streak of Top Five–charting albums and the band’s own Knotfest, which will return later this year.
He’s also lived a double-life as the frontman for Stone Sour, a hard-rock band that put out its self-titled debut in 2002 in which he continues to wave the flag for metal. In 2015, that group put out a pair of covers EPs that offered a glimpse into Taylor’s tastes, including versions of songs by Judas Priest, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Slayer and many others. And outside of Stone Sour, which has a new album out this week, he has worked with Soulfly, Korn and Zakk Wylde, and he came close to working with Anthrax, before original singer Joey Belladonna returned, though contractual conflicts kept him out of that project.
Because of Taylor’s taste and stature in the metal community, he was among the first people Rolling Stone consulted when we began work on the 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time, and he gave us a list of his 10 favorite metal albums. “Let’s just do it in no real order,” he said. “There are four or five more that I could probably stick on there, but I think this is a good top 10.” Here’s what he picked in alphabetical order.