Before the height of nu metal (when the aforementioned bands were king) a little known Iowan nontet (is that the right word?) by the name of Slipknot self-released a limited run of 1000 copies of this demo album. Obviously since their explosion into the mainstream with their next release, the self-titled 'Slipknot' in 1999 with the lineup everyone knows and loves (or hates), this has become quite a sought after little gem.
As I said, the lineup is a little different, most notably Corey Taylor was not yet in the band, and front vocals were handled by one Anders 'Stupid Stage Name' Colsefni. He doesn't have the raw talent that Taylor does but does have a more abrasive, "angry bald-sounding dude" style, which I know plenty of you may prefer!
Musically this release nods to the bands mentioned previously, but with a more straight up heavy angle. For example, you might listen to album-closer (and hidden track) Dogfish Rising and say "boy howdy this sounds like a more heavier Ween" if your grammar is particularly bad. There's also a bit of Bunglesque genre-hopping on tracks like Do Nothing/Bitchslap, and a jazzy/surfy influence behind tracks like Confessions. Speaking of which, that track contains the best bass work I've ever heard from Paul Gray (RIP), a man who was clearly far better than he let himself get away with in later Slipknot tunes. Downloading the entire album is worth it to hear that bassline alone.
For the record, I do like 'Slipknot' and 'Iowa' (nearly all of the songs from this release were re-worked, some beyond recognition, for those two albums) but find their latest two albums too radio rock for my tastes.