Review Summary: Slipknot shows with their 4th release that they can actually play some good music.
It's hard to deny where we come from sometimes, whether it be in our musical lives or our physical lives. People are constantly going through changes musically, shifting from one genre to the next, from what's popular one minute to what's popular the next. It's often though that our roots in music really tell something about where we were headed or what we were striving to achieve. I know my roots lie in the criticized genre of Nu-Metal, and with the famous (not to mention hated) band Slipknot. From what I listen to now you could probably never guess I ever listened to music like this and actually liked it, but alas here I am writing this review. Sure, I was 17, naive, and a Junior in High School when I first stumbled upon Slipknot, my first taste of metal music. Instantly though, I knew that metal was the type of music I would forever love. Slipknot was everything that a teenage kid wanted in music, lots of mindless screaming full of swears and hate. That was the old Slipknot though, the Slipknot which I no longer enjoy.
What many people (mainly teenage fanboys) don't like about this album is that *gasp*, Slipknot found out they don't need to swear every other word to express a message. Slipknot's fourth full length album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
shows a drastic change in their sound. This sound is more refined, less chaotic, more meaningful, and overall, more mature
. Lead vocalist Corey Taylor uses not only his scream, but a more emotion-driven clean voice to express his messages, even if those messages don't make sense at times. I have respect for Slipknot for realizing that they are actually a lot better if they mature themselves a bit. Even to this day, with myself listening to Black Metal and Death Metal, I can sit down, listen to this album, and say "Wow, this album is actually good
As with the rest of the Slipknot albums, there are more instruments than you could possible imagine. From the normal guitar, bass, and drums, to the bizarre electronic sampling and homemade percussion, it all weaves itself together to create a sort of controlled chaos. Lead guitarist Mick Thomson can play some good riffs, and even lets out a pretty good solo toward the end of Vermillion
, something which Slipknot almost never does. While the riffs may not be too catchy or all that technical, he lays them down with perfection (see the opening riff of Opium Of The People
). Acoustic guitars are also used to good effect, as showcased in the tranquil and serene, yet brooding track Circle
, as well as the amazingly emotional bridge in Before I Forget
. The drumming, as always, is awesome (as it should be, with 3 drummers). The real star of the drumming department is Joey Jordison, probably the most skilled musician in the band. In songs like The Blister Exists
he makes his presence known.
Vocalist Corey Taylor does an adequate job on the mic, while he may not be an awesome vocalist he captures the mood well like in Pulse Of The Maggots
, Before I Forget
, and Duality
. Along with the usual screaming we see another side with his clean vocals, which aren't fantastic but are good, providing soothing touches to Circle
and The Nameless
, along with the awesomely sung Vermillion Pt. 2
It can't be a Slipknot album though, without more than one horrible track. The pointless piece of trash that is The Virus Of Life
shows almost no musical or vocal talent whatsoever. Another terrible song is Opium Of The People
. While the only redeeming point of this song may be the great opening riff Mick Thomson plays, Corey goes back to his horrible rapping, which makes me feel ashamed at times to listen to Slipknot. Other filler tracks include Prelude 3.0
, Three Nil
and Danger- Keep Away
While there may be a lot of filler and bad tracks on this album, the songs which Slipknot does play well are really, really enjoyable. The maturity on this album is astounding, and it shows that Slipknot is moving away from their former selves. While a lot of people may hate this, this is probably Slipknot's best work to date, and I, being a fan of Black Metal and Death Metal, am not afraid to admit I like this album a lot. We'll just have to see if Slipknot can continue on this course in the future.
+Some Fantastic Songs
+Solid Guitar Playing
+Shows An Astounding Sense Of Maturity
-Corey's Vocals Can Be Terrible At Times
-Some Horrible Tracks
-Bass Isn't Very Audible
-Some Awkward Moments
Before I Forget
Pulse Of The Maggots