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SLIPKNOT - Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)


With their original line-up (and masks) still intact, SLIPKNOT finally emerged from a three-year hiatus with the release of Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), a tasty 14-track album that combines the same intensity and musicianship the band is already known for, with a newfound sense of polished songwriting. Master producer Rick Rubin has captured a sound that manages to transcend all of the band’s previous work, and actually quite a bit of other modern metal offerings as well. The often complicated song structures can be accredited to SLIPKNOT’s acute sense of musicianship, which is driven by unexpectedly progressive time signatures and rythymic drumlines. Those intricate moments found on Vol. 3 are a pleasant surprise and may even appease the technical affinities that fans of progressive metal might have. Moments in “Welcome” and “Opium of the People” hint at that, as well as the final 30 seconds of “Three Nil,” blending a brutally fast black metal-style blast beat on top of dizzying drum fills and sporadic starts and stops. The pinnacle moment in progression found here, however, would be “The Nameless,” a maddeningly intense track that fades from an all-cylinders-blasting rage into a soft, serene chorus at the drop of a hat. Speaking of choruses, vocalist Corey Taylor’s vocal melodies are much improved (thanks to “the bearded one”), proving more memorable and sing-able but no less angry. The biggest surprise is that the aggression is balanced by the presence of three acoustic tracks – “Circle,” “Danger - Keep Away” and “Vermillion Pt. 2” – the latter of which Taylor describes as a “stalker’s love song…left open for you to decide.” It goes without question that these songs won’t be welcomed by all Maggots, but it provides a winning touch of diversity. Unfortunately, the band fails to finish on a strong note, tapering off at the last two songs with the weaker “Virus of Life” and mundane closer “Danger - Keep Away.” Regardless, SLIPKNOT’s return marks them as a band that has grown musically and personally over their career, and this record is the perfect testament to exactly that. (Roadrunner Records)