Slipknot - Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Roadrunner Records
Alternative Metal
14 songs (60.10)
Release year: 2004
Slipknot, Roadrunner Records
Reviewed by Aleksie
Surprise of the month

With Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses), a very fitting choice is presented to a LARGE bunch of (old school) metalheads out there (including some parts of myself as well). Either grow up and start admitting a fact or just shut the hell up. The fact that I am talking about here, is the statement that Slipknot makes with their new record. With Subliminal Verses, Slipknot proves once and for all that they are a WHOLE lot more then your average angst-blender-nu metal-posse with baggy pants and baseball caps (Ok, Anthrax already had those latter ones in the 80s but they also had fucking awesome music;). This new album is more versatile, more melodic and more thought out than anything in their career so far. The level of composition and even musicianship in terms of versatility are miles ahead of Iowa and the earlier records. Im not saying that everyone should like Slipknot for this, that is up to every individual to find out themselves. My point is that lumping them in with the Limp Bizkits and Klinkin Parks goes through even less now then it did before.

After the bit boring opening Prelude 3.0, a mostly industrial type song, we get down to the real deal. The Blister Exits blasts out with nice riffing and great use of the multiple percussions that the band has rarely used to full effect. Humongous groove throughout the track and even some senseless Slayer-like soloing pattern is rolled out throughout the track. Not surprising since the man behind the sounds of Reign In Blood, Rick Rubin was also tweaking the knobs for this album. And as I said before, military-type marching drumming always gets points from me, as this awesome track has. Corey Taylors vocal style has also toned down to a lot more melodic out put. I think he actually sings as much clean vocals on this record as he screams, which is a vast improvement as it helps the versatility point of the album. His screams are still also convincing, but its nice to get a more versatile output from him since he can do that. Three Nil bursts out with a bit of a sluggish riff that doesn’t take off until Joey pushes it off with the double bases and the blast beats. Yes, I said blast beats, you moshed me. Now every one can think as they please, but after the drum performances on tracks like Disasterpiece on Iowa and this among many tracks on Subliminal, I cant see how anyone wouldn’t agree that at least from a technical standpoint, Jordison is one insanely talented drumfucker. Oh well, to each one his own. Then comes the first single, Duality, which is extremely melodic and “rock-like” when looking it from Slipknots standards. After the calm start it blasts off to the damned catchy chorus that drives the song to my mind and stays damn lodged there. And then it comes again – SLIPKNOT SOLOING! Holy shit batman, what have these fuckers been smoking, you think? Don’t know, but it’s the same Kerry King-like noodling to start off Opium For The People, a very nice full-throttle ´Knot mosher with massive groove. And again, they solo in the middle too – and it all works here. Mindless? - yes, but also fitting. Who´d have thunk it, huh? *scratch on head*

Then its surprise time again as Circle rolls around. Acoustic Slipknot, for the whole damn song. Acoustic, with their reputation of just going on full-death-distortion for the hour duration of an album? You see, some bands try out new things and actually succeed with them *COUGHsoundtracktoyourescapeCOUGH*;). Taylors voice suits ballads also very well, the guy can also sing mellow-style when he wants to. The song itself works damn well, a very beautiful song with strings – string arrangements with Slipknot? Yup, I aint foolin ya. Welcome again rocks it out a bit with Jordisons crazy drum patterns. Vermillion is a bit more industrial-influenced mid-tempo song that doesnt work that well with me except for the melodic chorus and Joeys drumming. But then again, Im not a fan of industrial altogether so go figure. Then its time for my favourite of the album, Pulse Of The Maggots, a definite live song as I already experienced at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium a month ago. Nice aggression, stupendous chorus and even the verses are damn catchy that just wont leave me no matter what. And ANOTHER Slayerish solo trade-off is thrown out in this song. Guess some guys cant even rely on the age-old “no damn solos”-adage to slag the band off now. And once again Joey beats the living feces out of the skins. Did I already mention this song kills live with the massive groove? Before I Forget is another a bit more melodic rocker similar to Welcome, after which is time for the second acoustic mellow tune, Vermillion Pt.2. The composition itself is very good, but the lyrics slip into clishedom a bit too many times for the song to be better then Circle. Still, a good ballad.

The Nameless is like a micro-cosm of this album, as it contains aggressive parts, the double-bass/furious riffing/screams mosh-pit inducers as well as the acoustic slower sections that are displayed in the ballads. The vocals switch flawlessly from the deathly screaming to the sensitive crooning in the choruses. The Virus Of Life is another more experimental track with many industrial-type vibes, that turn it off for me, basically. The closer Danger – Keep Away is a very atmospheric tune with Taylor again singing very nicely with his clear voice. Effected guitars and keyboard-like sounds make this a nice relaxation tune and another bold move from Slipknot.

This whole album was a bold move from Slipknot. I have seen many older fans of their who drool over the S/T and Iowa dislike this record because there are not that many full blasts of aggression that filled the entire previous albums. I can understand that, but to me this new versatile Slipknot is better then ever, and Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) is their best album yet. Without the industrial type tunes I would deem this a masterpiece quote but this still is way over the Surprise Of The Month that this receives. For that it what it is above all else – a surprise. And an excellent kick in the nuts to everyone who thought The Knot was nothing more than pre-packaged angst. It was and is that, true, but it is also a whole lot more. Cant wait to see these guys live again in September. WE ARE THE PULSE OF THE MAGGOTS!

P.S. For the “pre-packaged angst” people, try to locate one single “fuck”, “shit” or the like from the lyrics of this album. You wont, cause there aren’t any. Sorry, they’ve even matured up to that point (well, besides maybe the live show that has profanities-a-plenty, but point out a hard metal band that doesnt throw fucks on stage?), you´ll have to find new reasons to dislike them if the urge is too great. I was sold with this album, and not more than three years ago I hated the music these guys made. I changed with the music, and now I like the older ones to some extent as well. Why couldn’t you?

Killing Songs :
The Blister Exits, Three Nil, Duality, Opium Of The People, Circle, Welcome, Pulse Of The Maggots, Vermillion Pt.2, The Nameless & Danger - Keep Away
Aleksie quoted 81 / 100
Jay quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Slipknot that we have reviewed:
Slipknot - All Hope Is Gone reviewed by Goat and quoted 56 / 100
Slipknot - Voliminal: Inside The Nine (DVD) reviewed by Dylan and quoted no quote
Slipknot - Iowa reviewed by Shane and quoted 76 / 100
Slipknot - Slipknot reviewed by Shane and quoted 49 / 100
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