Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)
Very nigh a year back, speculation abounded as to whether these Iowa ear-splitters would ever regroup to craft the much-salivated-for sequel to their monstrous second album. As Slipknot’s tour in support of Iowa was drawing to a conclusion, the fact was that the band-members were clawing feverishly at their fetid masks to escape, but the demon of their own creation became blatantly obvious. What really made the larvae fraternity wobble out of their cocoons and take notice was the essentially conventional hue of the much-hyped side projects of Corey and some of his cohorts. Given the band’s heritage, these slips seemed more than a little ironic. Alas! Had the maggots metamorphosized into lay-men? Was it finally time for disenfranchised youth the world over to peel those ubiquitous pinups of nine tastefully attired Des Moines gentlemen off their unkempt bedroom walls? Dispelling all possible misgivings and displaying unsuppressed admiration for their followers’ patience, Slipknot return with Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses).
Like the calm before a storm, the album initiates with the somber haunt of “Prelude 3.0” — a prelude to the familiar percussive detonation of “The Blister Exists,” where all three stick-wielders wreak havoc as the guitars chug with spite. The lead-off single, “Duality,” showcases the band’s trademark stomp while including harmonic guitars that peak in a rousing sing-a-long. The trend is continued with “Nameless,” which is flavored (though not tempered) by a wistful acoustic breakdown. “Welcome” welcomes a bout of paint-stripping fret work into the fold, while “Vermillion”‘s innate gothicism and the Middle-Eastern-tinged acoustic “Circle” prove that though the blueprint has been retained, the band’s soundscapes are now more expansive. “Opium of the People” exhibits stampeding metalcore structures complementing a chorus that’ll have Fear Factory filing a suit for copyright infringement. The disc wraps up as the blood-stained curtains are drawn by the alarmingly sedate “Danger•Keep Away.”
The significant broadening of their tonal spectrum notwithstanding, the outfit manages to keep its ferocity intact. Albeit the malevolence is structured with the shrewd infusing of melodic vocals, flourishing experimental dynamics and a motherlode of striking riffs. Never has a sojourn been as fruitful as this one. You needn’t always dismiss the hoopla, now do ya’?