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Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.

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Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
A mysterious figure looks into a camera, while standing behind a machine.
Demo album by Slipknot
Released October 31, 1996 (1996-10-31)
Recorded December 1995 (December 1995) – March 1996 (March 1996)
Studio SR Audio, Des Moines, Iowa
Length 51:03
Label -ismist
  • Slipknot
  • Sean McMahon
Slipknot chronology
Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.

Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. is the first release by American metal band Slipknot. Released originally on October 31, 1996, it was limited to production of 1,000 copies. The band originally self-distributed some of these copies, but went on to release the remaining units through -ismist Recordings in 1997. Due to its limited release, the album has become much sought by fans since Slipknot's rise in fame.

Despite considering it their first album upon release, the band now considers Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. to be a demo and have evolved and released the majority of the songs on future releases, albeit usually in radically altered forms. It was recorded in Des Moines, Iowa, over a period of four months. The music of the album contains many influences including funk, jazz, and disco which weren't as apparent in later material. Many of the lyrics and the album's title are derived from the role-playing game Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The songs contain an "emphasis on non-traditional songwriting" and melodic themes more than subsequent releases.[1]

It is the only release to feature vocalist Anders Colsefni and guitarist Donnie Steele.

Recording and production[edit]

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.[2] 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.[2] Slipknot self-financed the production, which came to an estimated $40,000.[2] 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.[3]

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.[3] 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;[4] however, the band realized that they were incorporating too many samples on their recordings and could not reproduce these sounds live. To solve this problem, Jones moved to full-time sampler and Mick Thomson joined as a guitarist.[5] Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. was released on October 31, 1996 with a release party at The Safari, a local club where the band played many of their earliest gigs.[6]

Musical and lyrical themes[edit]

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.[7] 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.[7] However, there are still similarities in the sound of which Slipknot became known. Tracks such as "Slipknot", "Some Feel" and "Only One" feature a dominantly heavy metal influence, specifically in that of the guitars.[8] 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.[8] The album implements elements of jazz and funk, although "Confessions" is the only track on the album dominantly led by these styles.[8] The funk metal song "Do Nothing/Bitch Slap"[9] is the album's most complex song, combining both of these dominant styles as well as implementing areas of disco.[8] The album also incorporates elements of death metal.[1] The album title and the majority of the lyrics are references to the role-playing game Werewolf: The Apocalypse.[10] 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.[10]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[1]

The original pressing of the album was limited to 1,000 copies. Since the band's rise to fame in 1999, it has been a sought-after rarity for Slipknot fans.[11] Upon its initial release, the band distributed the album independently, handing them out to fans, radio stations, and record labels.[11] On June 13, 1997, -ismist Recordings took over the distribution of the remaining copies of the album.[11] 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.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks 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. ^ a b c Birchmeier, Jason. "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-06-30. 
  2. ^ a b c Arnopp 2001, pp. 45–47
  3. ^ a b Arnopp 2001, pp. 48–49
  4. ^ Arnopp 2001, pp. 50–51
  5. ^ Arnopp 2001, p. 57
  6. ^ Arnopp 2001, p. 62
  7. ^ a b Mciver 2003, pp. 16–17
  8. ^ a b c d Mciver 2003, pp. 23–25
  9. ^ Dickson, Andy. "Slipknot – Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat". Musicscramble.  (November 8th, 2013)
  10. ^ a b Mciver 2003, pp. 15–16
  11. ^ a b c Crampton, Mark (2001). Barcode Killers: The Slipknot Story in Words and Pictures. Chrome Dreams. pp. 20–26. ISBN 1-84240-126-2. 
  12. ^ "MFKR Real or Fake?". Retrieved 2008-06-29. 

Works cited