Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.

Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. is the first release by American heavy metal band Slipknot and their only release with original lead vocalist Anders Colsefni. Released on October 31, 1996, it was limited to production of 1,000 copies. The band self-distributed some of these copies and released the remaining 386 units through -ismist Recordings in 1997. The album has become sought after by fans since Slipknot's rise to fame, and original copies have sold online for up to US$1,000.

Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
A mysterious figure looks into a camera, while standing behind a machine.
Demo album by
ReleasedOctober 31, 1996 (1996-10-31)
RecordedDecember 1995 (December 1995) – March 1996 (March 1996)
StudioSR Audio, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Slipknot
  • Sean McMahon
Slipknot chronology
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.

Despite originally being deemed Slipknot's debut album, the band now considers Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. a demo and have progressively released the majority of its songs on future releases, albeit usually in radically altered forms. The record was recorded in Des Moines, Iowa over a period of four months and features many musical influences including funk, jazz, and disco which are not apparent in later material. Many of the lyrics and the album's title are inspired by the role-playing game Werewolf: The Apocalypse. According to Allmusic, the songs contain an "emphasis on non-traditional songwriting" and melodic themes moreso than subsequent releases.[3]

Recording and productionEdit

In late 1995, Slipknot and producer Sean McMahon entered SR Audio, a studio in the band's hometown of Des Moines, Iowa to work on what they intended to be their debut album.[4] Retrospectively, McMahon said that the band was "driven" because they spent the majority of their time in the studio for the four months it took to produce the album.[4] Slipknot self-financed the production, which came to an estimated $40,000.[4] The band expressed how much of a learning process this time was, being the first time they had recorded their music, specifically the challenge of capturing additional percussion elements.[5]

The band aimed for a tribal sound, but encountered problems including minuscule timing errors. However, during this period, Slipknot refined their percussive sound by experimenting with erecting walls to isolate the drums and rearranging parts.[5] In February 1996, during the mixing process, guitarist Donnie Steele decided to leave the band for religious reasons and as a result, Craig Jones joined the band to fill the spot.[6] However, the band realized that they were incorporating too many media samples on their recordings and could not replicate these sounds live. To solve this problem, Jones abandoned his position on guitar and moved to his current position as a sampler—at that point Mick Thomson stepped in to join as guitarist.[7] Originally, the band had planned to include twelve tracks on the CD,[8] two of which – "Fur" and "Part of Me" – already appeared on their first demo in 1995. In the end, Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. was released with only eight tracks. To commemorate the release, the band threw a release party at The Safari, a local club in Des Moines where the band played many of their earliest gigs.[9]

Musical and lyrical themesEdit

The musical style of Slipknot is constantly contested due to the genres their music covers; however, Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. is the band's most experimental release and differs significantly from the heavier style for which the band became known.[10] One of the band's initial aims was to mix many genres of music to achieve their own style; an early incarnation of the band was called "Meld" based upon this.[10] However, tracks such as "Slipknot", "Some Feel" and "Only One" feature a dominantly heavy metal influence, specifically in the guitars.[11] Tracks such as "Tattered & Torn", "Killers Are Quiet" and "Gently" also include the slow, cerebral angst buildup style that the band retained in some of their more recent work.[11] The album implements elements of jazz and funk, although "Confessions" is the only track on the album dominantly led by these styles.[11] The funk metal song "Do Nothing/Bitch Slap"[2] could be considered the album's most complex song, combining both of these dominant styles as well as implementing areas of disco.[11] The album also incorporates elements of death metal.[3] The album title and the majority of the lyrics are references to the role-playing game Werewolf: The Apocalypse.[12] Vocalist Anders Colsefni and percussionist Shawn Crahan shared a mutual interest in the game, which largely influenced the band. Colsefni said: "The attraction was being able to play a different person", declaring that this was the essence of Slipknot.[12]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [3]

The original pressing of the album was limited to 1000 copies.[2] Since the band's rise to fame in 1999, it has been a sought-after rarity for Slipknot fans.[13] Upon its initial release, the band distributed the album independently, handing them out to fans, radio stations, and record labels.[13] On June 13, 1997, -ismist Recordings took over the distribution of the remaining 386 copies of the album.[13] These original pressings have since grown in value considerably. Due to the large amount of interest in the album and the low numbers of originals, there have been many bootlegged versions of the album sold including CD, MP3 and even vinyl.[14]

Italian melodic death metal band Jumpscare paid tribute to the band by titling their fifth track on their debut album as "Mate Feed Kill Repeat".[15]

Track listingEdit

All tracks are written by Slipknot.

3."Do Nothing/Bitchslap"4:20
4."Only One"2:33
5."Tattered & Torn"2:35
7."Some Feel"3:36
8."Killers Are Quiet" (The song "Killers Are Quiet" ends at 10:25. The hidden track "Dogfish Rising" starts at 15:35 after 5 minutes and 10 seconds of industrial sounds.)20:42
Total length:51:01




  1. ^ "Ranking Every Slipknot Album". Consequence of Sound. August 27, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Dickson, Andy (November 8, 2013). "Slipknot – Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat". Musicscramble. (November 8, 2013)
  3. ^ a b c Birchmeier, Jason. "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat". AllMusic. Retrieved June 30, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c Arnopp 2001, pp. 45–47
  5. ^ a b Arnopp 2001, pp. 48–49
  6. ^ Arnopp 2001, pp. 50–51
  7. ^ Arnopp 2001, p. 57
  8. ^ Kinsella, Erin (April 25, 1996). "As common as a padlock through a pig's snout". The Des Moines Register Datebook.
  9. ^ Arnopp 2001, p. 62
  10. ^ a b Mciver 2003, pp. 16–17
  11. ^ a b c d Mciver 2003, pp. 23–25
  12. ^ a b Mciver 2003, pp. 15–16
  13. ^ a b c Crampton 2001, pp. 20–26.
  14. ^ "MFKR Real or Fake?". Retrieved June 29, 2008.
  15. ^ "Jumpscare interview to Metalpit".

Works cited