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Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses

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Within the confines, or lack thereof, of VOL. 3: (THE SUBLIMINAL VERSES) lies a new level of musicianship, achieved through the hard work poured into supporting their self-titled debut and their subsequent hit album, IOWA. Produced by Rick Rubin, Vol 3 not only captures the band’s strengths to this point- it sees the spore that is Slipknot exploding in all directions. The songs on this daring effort transcend traditional hard music structure, and will surprise the uninitiated with their dynamic appeal. Masterful guitar work, visceral drum beats, and a newly-expanded vocal range are highlights of this work that Corey Taylor (#8) calls ”both brutal and beautiful.” Much of the creative inspiration in evidence on the new album is owed to Rubin and his reputedly- haunted mansion, in which the band lived while recording VOL. 3: (THE SUBLIMINAL VERSES). ”You can really feel (the effect of the mansion) on the album. There were ghosts in the machine, in the equipment! . Things would freeze, things would loop for no reason at all. It was strange,” adds Taylor. Paul Gray (#2) comments on what Rubin brought to the table… ”Rick brought a huge amount of open mindedness – normally 9 different people trying different things can be tough – Rick got us to just throw all our preconceived notions out the window. He was able to integrate bits and pieces of everyone’s ideas.” The first single off VOL. 3: (THE SUBLIMINAL VERSES), ”Duality” is, ”lyrically, what you might think… we’ve been through a lot as a band and the lyrics really reflect our maintaining faith and the perseverance of all 9 of us,” says Joey Jordison (#1). ”Duality” represents the album well in its unwillingness to compromise the band’s rock foundation and its ability to be aurally appealing and melodic at the same time. Other songs of note on the record, ”Before I Forget” and ”Vermillion” underline the statement made by ”Duality”, with their dark melodies and fierce instrumentation. ”Before I Forget” is about rising above the bull*#!t and being a person, not a human. It’s about saying what you mean and meaning what you say – taking zero bull#!*t.” adds Taylor, ”and Vermillion is a stalker’s love song, shot thru his eyes. It’s kind of a does he or doesn’t he type thing – it’s left open for you to decide.”If it’s sometimes a chore to get past Slipknot’s stratified shock-rock shtick, Iowa’s nouveau metal-mongers take the occasion of their third album proper to prove there’s a genuinely restless, undeniable musical juggernaut beneath the horror-show masquerade. Producer Rick Rubin has honed their modern metal assault to a fine edge here, tempering it with a compelling sense of dynamics missing from all too many similar heavy forgings in the bargain. But credit the band with hammering together the solid foundations of what stands as their best album to date, a collection that succeeds by–surprise–reverting to more traditional song-forms and occasionally operating at something other than a relentless fevered pitch. Call it mainstreaming or a newfound maturity; whatever it is, it pays diverse dividends from the opening cinematic tension of ”Prelude 3.0” and paramilitary-cadenced thrill ride ”Three Nil” to the moody, rap-thrash single ”Duality” and the unlikely, angst-laden pop hooks of ”Circle.” If that song’s cello-inflected atmospherics and lilting Corey Taylor vocals may have the band’s faithful initially rubbing their ears in puzzlement, by the time the evocative acoustic guitars, bittersweet harmonies and string quartet break of ”Vermilion Pt. 2” rolls around, it’s clear this is a band who’s challenged itself with broad new horizons–and triumphed. –Jerry McCulley

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  • The third album from Slipknot is one album that the metal purist despised it and some media outlets praised this album as a great milestone for metal. One thing I could say that this album has great production thanks to Rick Rubin, very polished and yet has some great raw qualities to it. Although Slipknot does not have your blazing solos and crushing vocals that basically turn people away, I saw it as maybe their arrival into more serious metal, where the guitars were crisper, the drumming was great and Corey’s vocals were more mature although some points are that some songs are whiny-ish but still good. Slipknot first album was more of a rap metal fest, that had alot of scratching, rap lyrics and seemingly juvenile lyrics, the second album had more of a mixture between Industrial and death metal but the vocals were sometimes way to rough for this band. But the third times the charm, this album is more thrashier, more metal than nu metal and almost a throwback to 80 metal. Gone are the 4 members I thought that should just have their walking papers handed to them, and pretty much became a five piece metal band that it should. The duitars are not downtuned, Joey does play double bass drumming, and Corey ranges his voice more from melodic to brutal. The two guitarrist play better here and actually give great guitar leads and even some solos.

    Although it has its good quailities, it also has it’s cons such as some juvenile angst songs, some acoustic tracks that became some what saturated around.

    Hopefully on the next album, Slipknot can grow more into solid metal and continue the line that that they need to become better. With bands such as Pantera, Slayer, Metallica, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Megadeth and other bands singing the praises of Slipknot, maybe Slipknot are more misunderstood tham hated. I welcome comments both positive and negative.

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This is easily my favorite album, but I must admit that it’s a lot different from their first two albums. This CD isn’t as heavy as Iowa and their self-titled album, but I think it has a lot more personality. A lot of songs in the album, such as The Blister Exists and Pulse of the Maggots, keep up their beloved loud and extreme sound; but other ones like Vermillion and Circle are softer and more gentle, revealing new notes that I never knew Corey could hit (it occurs to me that if Corey felt like becoming a mainstream rock or emo singer he’d probably be even more rich and famous than he is now, I’m glad he’s with Slipknot). I think this album is their best yet, it has more personality than the first two and it really reaches out to me as a person.

    But, like I said, it’s a lot different from the first two albums. If you compare this CD with their first one they sound like they’re from two completely different bands! Slipknot’s second CD, Iowa, is a nice transition between the two, so if you’ve never actually listened to Slipknot before I recomend that you buy that one first, as it is a good example of their music and probably the most favored amoung their fans. But in the case of this CD it can go both ways, some people (like me) absolutely love it and think it’s Slipknot’s best work yet, and others think that Slipknot’s lost their touch. I suggest that you buy all their CDs and make your own assumption, as it can get a bit confusing with a bunch of people writing reviews that say this CD sucks and you shouldn’t get it and other people saying that it rocks and you should get it.

    As for the “Special Edition” part, I don’t really understand their need to release a special version of their CD. Although this one has more features than the original Subliminal Verses they’re basically the same, so I recommend that you buy this one if you haven’t yet purchased The Subliminal Verses because it is a little better than the original. If you have gotten the original already, it’s your descision whether or not to get this one; but if you have some extra cash, you should strongly consider it. But I think it’s a pretty dirty trick to make us buy another CD almost exactly like the original, which most of us got a while ago, why couldn’t they add all their extra stuff on their first Subliminal Verses?

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I’ve had this record for quite some time now. I know it from top to bottom pretty well. I must say that it is Slipknot’s most impressive effort. When you look at their self titled debut, you have a hardcore masterpiece, and Iowa took that up to another knotch. What’s next? Vol. 3, is a showcase as to what Slipknot can accomplish as a band. The drumming seems to be showcased the most, as Joey Jordinson is a great skinsman. This record also proves that Mick and Jim are quite the guitarists, as this record is chock full of fast Kerry King like solos. Corey continues to amaze by hitting notes I’d never be able to hit in a life time. Everyone plays their part on this record. What I like best about this record is the fact that’s it’s so creepy. The samples are absolutely perfect for this record, they provide a dark and dreary atmosphere. This has to be one of the darkest records ever made.

    Since I am reviewing the special edition, I’ll also go over the material on the bonus disc. The disk starts out with two b-sides, both are great songs, and should belong right with the rest of the songs on the album. You also get a remix of Vermillion, but it’s not too different from the original version. Also included is the full version of the album’s very creepy outro Danger-Keep Away. The full version is much longer than the original with many more added parts. After that you get four live tracks. Slipknot live is always a good thing.

    All in all, a great release. Highly recommended.

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • There will doubtless be many people who will agree with the views of the earlier reviewer who dismisses this album as a “sell out.” Apart from the fact that such a comment is a meaningless statement, it says nothing about the actual music.Lots of “Metal” fans will share such a narrow appreciation of music and dismiss anything which is not a carbon copy of IOWA or whatever they happen to feel comfortable with. However, if you do truly appreciate music as an art form and not something simply to be worn as a badge of honour for your chosen youth movement, then you will listen to Slipknot’s latest (and possibly last release) with total delight.This album displays a warmth previously missing from the Slipknot sound. I love the previous albums however this album covers a range of emotion which is ultimately far more effective than the rather one dimensional out and out rage of their previous work. I personally feel that the tracks on here which are most like the traditional Slipknot sound benefit from being book-ended by slower or more melodic tracks. Whilst some of the previous chaos in the sound has been sacrificied, the heavier tracks take on a more focused aspect.Opinion on this album will be divided and many Slipknot fans will probably listen once and then play only half the album on repeat listens. Slipknot will not care, they know they have made the best album they could and I believe this is an album they deserve to be proud of.

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • First of all; I already know people will be screaming “SELL OUTS!”, but the fact of the matter is this album is truly amazing. All the critics just said that these guys were just people who jumped around on stage screaming useless stuff with no meaning. They have two acoustic songs, one slowish type song and a song that starts off heavy and enters into an acoustic breakdown. Those songs are so creative and crazy, you have no idea.This album is by far their most mature and in my opinion their best album to date and is a CD that fits everyone one way or another. Corey Taylor’s lyrics are really good, but the only downfall is Joey doesn’t get to show his skills as much, but we already know he’s a bad ass drummer, so it’s fine.I honestly couldn’t see them playing this album live, or else they would get booed off stage, because people are close minded like that. When I went to see Slipknot, they only performed four songs (“Duality”, “The Blister Exists”, “Pulse of the Maggots”, and “Three Nil”) and they were all heavyish. They wouldn’t be able to play “Vermillion”, “Vermillion Pt 2.”, “Circle”, “Danger – Keep Away” or “The Nameless”, which all have a nice little soft side to them. My favorite “soft song” is “Vermillion Pt 2.”Now as for the heavy part of the album, pretty much the whole first half of the CD is really heavy. I love “Welcome” the most, just because it’s so intense. “The Blister Exists” was really well done too, with the patriotic drum rolls during the middle and at the end. Very catchy stuff.Overall, it’s my favorite album right now and would definitely reccomend this to people with an open mind.

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now