It took me awhile to get into Slipknot. Their self-titled album was just alright, and Iowa
is one of my least-favorite CDs of all time. I hated the gimmicks and the masks; I thought that they were just to distract people from their bad music. So when I heard about their latest effort, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
, I was, to say the least, skeptical. When I finally listened to the album, I was pleasantly surprised. I was glad to see that they had, for the most part, left their rapping nu-metal past behind and opted for a more straight-forward rock/metal approach. Vol. 3
is definitely a giant step in the right direction, and I can only hope that they continue to go down this musical path.
One great thing about this album is the variety. There are heavy songs, acoustic songs, and even an experimental song (which isn't that good, but hey, at least they were willing to try it). I never thought that I would hear a good acoustic song from Slipknot, let alone two on the same album. Acoustic Slipknot songs could have been a disaster, but they pulled it off very well. From the uplifting chorus of Circle
to the mellow, depressing feel of Vermilion Pt. 2
, I look forward to more of Slipknot's acoustic work. In fact, the slower songs on here are my favorites. It's nice to see that the members of Slipknot didn't feel like they needed to keep making the same album over and over again to please their longtime fans.
They don't disappoint with most of the heavier songs either. On this album, they seem to have left their "make music to shock the masses" shtick behind, and actually put some time and thought into the music. Corey Taylor's lyrics and vocals are great, unlike their previous efforts. Corey has developed a great voice; his vocal work on this album is some of my favorite vocal work of all time. The musicianship is a major step up as well. Joey Jordison's drumming has always been good, but he reached a whole new level for this CD. Mick Thomson and Jim Root's guitar playing take center stage here. Their previous albums were devoid of solos; Vol. 3
remedies that nicely with some great shredding solos.
The Blister Exists
- This song is an all-around great job from the main Slipknot members. The drumming is great, the riffs are heavy, and the vocal work is amazing.
- The rapped verses are done very well, unlike the rapping on their other albums, and the chorus is flat-out remarkable. This song floors me every time.
has great spoken verses with good lyrics, a sweet guitar solo, and a climax that will awe you. Vermilion Pt. 2
is a very depressing, acoustic song, with more great singing from Corey.
Danger, Keep Away
- This is different from anything Slipknot has ever done. This song is driven by a dark, gothic sounding piano and nice drumwork from Joey. The background vocals are done very well here.
The biggest thing that I don't like about this album is that some of the songs start to sound the same after a while. This is mostly referring to the heavier songs. Tracks like Three Nil
, Opium of the People
, and Welcome
, all sound very similar. It seems to me like even though Slipknot was willing to go in a different direction with their music, they were still somewhat reluctant to leave the old sound behind entirely. I'm not saying that they should have made the album so different to the point where you wouldn't be able to tell that it's Slipknot, but some songs on here just feel forced. I also feel that the scream verse/sing chorus formula was used a little too much, which also contributes to the "samey" feel of the album. Another complaint, and this is true with a lot of modern albums, is that the bass is inaudible most of the time. Paul Gray is a decent bassist, and they should have highlighted his playing a little more on this album.
- The intro to the album is cool at the end, but it takes way too long to pick up. The first two minutes are quite boring.
Opium of the People
- Great guitar in the beginning, but aside from that, this one doesn't really offer anything new.
Virus of Life
- Obviously an experimental song. I'm glad to see Slipknot experimenting, but this song ends up being very dull and uninteresting.
Overall, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
is a great album from Slipknot. I didn't expect this to be good at all, but I'm glad I gave it a chance. I hope that Slipknot continues to improve and build upon their new-found musical sound, and I anticipate their next release.