Ahead of the release of Corey Taylor's version of "Holier Than Thou" on METALLICA's "Blacklist" album, the SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman sat down with Knotfest.com's Ryan J. Downey to discuss METALLICA, "Holier Than You" and more in a four-part series. Speaking about how METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX shaped his musical identity in the late 1980s and created a sound that defined a generation, Taylor said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "That was the sounding gun for a whole new generation of psychos, because those bands appealed to so many different — I don't wanna say 'cliques,' but so many different crowds. The punk kids loved them, the metal kids worshipped them. It was still too underground for the straights — quote-unquote the straights. But even the alternative kids dug it, because there was so much ferocity in it and there was just something different. It felt heavier than [BLACK] SABBATH and heavier than DEEP PURPLE, but those were the bands that fueled these bands. Between that, and then you could feel that undercurrent of the hardcore scene — the punk scene, the hardcore scene, the stuff that we, the skater kids, were listening to, as well as the hip-hop or whatnot. So this was this burgeoning explosion of attitude, fast music, just in your face, and we just knew as soon as our parents heard it, they hated it, which made us love it even more. Nothing is better than listening to something that scares the hell out of adults."
Taylor went on to call METALLICA's classic third LP "Master Of Puppets" "the perfect heavy metal album. There's no fat," he said. "I mean, you can put it on and listen to the… The only bad thing I can say is that it's too short. Before you know it, it's over, and you're, like, 'Wait a minute,' and you've gotta start it over again. So, it's crazy. It's just a beautiful, beautiful album."
Back in 2017, Corey singled out "Master Of Puppets" as "the greatest modern heavy metal album ever made." He said: "[It is] heavy and yet it's so fucking melodic. It is badass and yet it has moments of pure fucking contemplative cool flow stuff. It is sludgy and yet will rip your fucking head off. And it has the best METALLICA song ever written, 'Disposable Heroes', on it. That fucking song is a clinic, not only in alternate picking, but also down picking. I can't play it, and I can play almost anything. That's how good it is." [The LP has] got some of James [Hetfield's] best performances, and the whole band is amazing on it. And it's got some of his best lyrics on it. You listen to it and you're like, "This is criminal, how fucking good this album is."
Last year, Taylor told Apple Music's Zane Lowe that METALLICA's longevity and career success have offered a "blueprint" that SLIPKNOT will continue to follow in the years to come.
"If there's any band that we absolutely respect… there are a handful of bands, but METALLICA was definitely, they were the high-water mark, man, they were the band to achieve," he said. "That was our [SLIPKNOT's] blueprint, basically. But we took so much from so many different bands as well that it would be unfair to say it was just METALLICA that really guided us. Obviously, they [METALLICA] were… still finding ways to challenge themselves. That's the key. And that's where METALLICA, I really feel, is the blueprint, because they keep finding ways to break new ground, play every continent. They'll be the first band to play Mars, I'm convinced of that."
STONE SOUR's version of METALLICA's "Creeping Death" was featured on the former band's "Meanwhile In Burbank…", a five-song covers EP which was released in 2015.