Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) is the third studio album to be released via Roadrunner Records. The album was released on on May 25, 2004 and a special edition, containing a bonus disc, was released on April 12, 2005.
Vol 3 is the band's only album produced by Rick Rubin, and also the only one not to feature profanity. Following the band’s tour to promote its second album in 2002, speculation regarding the future began. Some band members had already been involved in side projects including Murderdolls, To My Surprise, and the reformation of Stone Sour.
In 2003, Slipknot moved into Houdini Mansion to work on the album. Initially, the band was unproductive; lead vocalist Corey Taylor was stilldrinking heavily. Nevertheless, they wrote more than enough material for a new album - the band’s first to incorporate more traditional, melodic song structures, guitar solos and acoustic guitars.
The album received generally positive reviews. Slipknot was praised by Allmusic for its "dedication to making it a Slipknot album", while Q added that the album was "a triumph".
The album peaked within the top ten in album sales across eleven countries, and went Platinum in the United States. The band also received the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the song "Before I Forget". At the end of 2009, "Before I Forget" was listed as "AOL's Top Metal Song of the Decade". Roadrunner Records have listed the music video for "Duality" as the best video in Roadrunner history.
(#0) Sid Wilson - Turntables
(#1) Joey Jordison - Drums, mixing
(#2) Paul Gray - Bass guitar, backing vocals
(#3) Chris Fehn - Custom percussion, backing vocals
(#4) Jim Root - Guitars
(#5) Craig Jones - Samples, media[disambiguation needed], keyboards
(#6) Shawn Crahan - Custom percussion, backing vocals, art direction, photography
(#7) Mick Thomson - Guitars
(#8) Corey Taylor - Vocals
Michael Boland - Design for The Boland Design CO.
Neil Zlozower - Band photography
Rick Rubin - Producer
Greg Fidelman - Mixing
Phillip Broussard - Assistant engineer
Miles Wilson - Assistant engineer
Dan Monti - Assistant engineer
Lindsay Chase - Album production coordination
Ted Jensen - Mastering
Monte Conner - A&R
Cory Brennan & Merck Mercuriadis - Management for Sanctuary Artist Management Inc.
Michael Arfen - US booking agent for Writers & Artists Agency International
John Jackson - International booking agent for K2 Agency
Slipknot recorded Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) with producer Rick Rubin at The Mansion in Los Angeles, California in 2003. After the album was completed, the band said that the side projects "saved the band" and "helped [them] break out of the box [they] were in". Coming back together and working out their differences hindered the writing process initially.
During an interview in 2008, drummer Joey Jordison said "we didn't talk to each other for three months, we just sat there wasting money in the fucking Houdini mansion." Speaking retrospectively percussionist Shawn Crahan states; "eventually we got sick of waiting for shit to happen. We got together, had a few beers and wrote a really artsy, fucked up song called 'Happy Ending'."
In a 2003 interview, Joey Jordison explained that despite the initial problems more than enough material was written for the album and added that "it's better to have stuff to pick from than to settle for shit", in contrast to how Slipknot settled too soon with fewer songs on previous albums.
Band members were divided over their experience of working with producer Rick Rubin; some doubted his commitment to Slipknot as he split his time between many artists at once. Lead vocalist Corey Taylor admitted in an interview that he drank heavily throughout their time in the mansion, saying "I would drink from the moment I got up until the moment I passed out." He explained that; "everything I did while I was drinking sounded like shit", while expressing how unhappy he was with the choice of vocal takes which ended up on the album.
During this time, percussionist Shawn Crahan worked on Voliminal: Inside the Nine, a video documenting the creation process of the album and the touring which would follow.
In a 2008 interview, Corey Taylor said that he only met Rubin four times during the entire recording process of Vol. 3 (The Subliminal Verses) and that Rubin barely ever showed up to the studio: "...we were being charged horrendous amounts of money. And for me, if you're going to produce something, you're fucking there. I don't care who you are." He also added: "He is overrated, he is overpaid, and I will never work with him again." Conversely, Slipknot's guitarist Jim Root had said in that same interview that "A lot of the guys in the band say Rick was unavailable. And yeah, he takes on a lot of projects at one time, but he also does things that are beneficial. He would listen to what we'd done, then have us retrack things that needed work. He's kind of like Big Brother up on the hill. Even though he wasn't there physically every day, he was. That's my favorite record we've done."
"Before I Forget" was listed as "AOL's Top Metal Song of the Decade".