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 bands
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 bands 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 See all
- Audio CD (May 25, 2004)
- Original Release Date: May 25, 2004
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Best of
- Label: Roadrunner Records
- #200 in Alternative Metal (CDs & Vinyl)
- #423 in Pop Rap (CDs & Vinyl)
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