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Slipknot

The nine-piece masked marauders from Iowa are back with their third offering, Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses). Utilizing the band's unpredictability to the fullest, Vol. 3 is a 14-track masterpiece of sonic brutality.

An advertisement for a recent tour read, "Forget everything that you know. Slipknot is reborn in 2004." This is the perfect way to summarize the listening experience of the album.

Unlike the group's first two albums, Vol. 3 opens with an actual song, as opposed to creepy intro music. "Prelude 3.0" is a nightmarish epic that would haunt even Freddy Krueger.

Lead singer Corey Taylor shines throughout the album, cementing himself as one of the best vocalists to surface in the last decade. Tracks such as "The Blister Exists" and "Duality" best represent Taylor's versatility, as he veers from gentle whispers to ear-shattering screams.

"Pulse of the Maggots" was written as a tribute to the group's individual members and legion of fans, according to drummer Joey Jordison during a recent phone interview.

If I have to give my life, you can have it / We are the pulse of the maggots," grunts Taylor.

Experimenting with new sounds, guitarists Mick Thomson and James Root contributed heretofore unheard elements to Vol. 3. The tracks "Circle" and "Vermilion Pt. 2" feature acoustic guitar play--taboo, anyone?

Slipknot has demonstrated they're not afraid to reach into new realms to make a "heavy" album, and it's paid off.

More by Jon Hobson

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