Since their breakthrough in the late 1990s, midwestern metal gods Slipknot have changed the face of music as we know it. Attacking with the intensity of a conquering horde, the Grammy-winning juggernauts have managed to transcend established conventions and elevate truly extreme music to critical acclaim and mainstream acceptance. Through sonic and aesthetic warfare, Slipknot’s uncompromising scorched earth approach has left an indelible mark on culture at large.
Given Slipknot’s penchant for maximalism, it’s probably no surprise that several members have deep underground pedigrees. What might be surprising is just how deep those connections get.
The early ‘90s were fruitful times for extreme music. In a pre-internet age fueled by zines and tape trading, small scenes popped up all over the world. Driven by curiosity and operating entirely outside of the confines of societal norms, these projects thrived on experimentation and genre defiance. Lines were meant to be crossed and envelopes were not just to be pushed but torn apart entirely.
Formed in 1994, Anal Blast was a pornogrind project dubbed “the most stupid band in the world” by its creator, vocalist Don Decker. Decker, who also worked as a concert promoter, is perhaps best known for parodying the Cradle Of Filth aesthetic (going as far as to call themselves Anal Of Blast and naming their first full length Vaginal Vempire).
It was a schtick that worked well enough to get Cradle Of Filth’s attention, who found the whole thing funny. Decker brought Cradle Of Filth to the States for their first North American appearances, one of which was canceled by Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson himself after outcry from Catholic groups over the notorious “Jesus Is A Cunt” shirt.
Don Decker might have been the leader Anal Blast and the project’s only permanent fixture, but he didn’t do it alone. The first incarnation of the band was vocalist Decker, bassist Paul Gray, drummer Joey Jordison, and guitarist Donnie Steele. If Discogs and Metal Archives are to be believed, Jim Root was involved at some point as well.
Anal Blast’s demo, the poetically titled Piss Blood Pentagram, featured Paul Gray and Donnie Steele. It is a blistering testament to brutality with gross out song titles to rival the masters. There is an early rehearsal tape with Joey Jordison floating around but no professional recordings.
Check out Piss Blood Pentagram and the Joey Jordison rehearsal music below and prepare to be disgusted: