Duality (song)

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Duality (Slipknot single - cover art).jpg
Single by Slipknot
from the album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
B-side "Don't Get Close"
Released May 4, 2004
Recorded 2003
Genre Nu metal[1][2]
  • 4:12
  • 3:33 (radio edit)
Label Roadrunner
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Slipknot singles chronology
"Before I Forget"
"Before I Forget"

"Duality" is a song by American metal band Slipknot, the song was released as the first single from their third studio album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), released in 2004. The music video was listed as Roadrunner Records' greatest video of all-time.[3]

Musical structure[edit]

The album version of "Duality" is four minutes and twelve seconds long, and the radio edited version is three minutes and thirty-three seconds long.[4] The song opens with lead vocalist Corey Taylor softly saying "I push my fingers into my...",[5] leading up to lead guitarist Mick Thomson playing a riff accompanied by Craig Jones' keyboards while Taylor finishes the sentence with "...eyes", in a much more intense voice.[5] The song is played in Drop B tuning (which most of Slipknot's songs are tuned to) and features a nu metal style.[6]

Unlike many previous Slipknot singles, "Duality", like all the songs on Vol. 3, does not have explicit content within the lyrics. Thomson explained in a 2008 interview that vocalist Taylor was relying on explicit content in the lyrics, and wanted to try something "different".[7] This was echoed by Jim Root in a 2011 interview. AllMusic said that "Duality"'s lyrics "aren't unique" to Slipknot but described it as "otherwise strong".[5] Stylus Magazine said "Duality" had a "grindcore riff".[8] Q wrote that the song "blow[s] the competition away".[9] The BBC declared it "a pop-metal classic".

Release and reception[edit]

"Duality" was originally released as a CD single on May 4, 2004.[10][11]

On May 25, 2004, the single was released on 7-inch red vinyl to coincide with the release of the album.[12] There is also a 7-inch picture disc release which includes the same track listing.

"Duality" reached band records of number five and six in the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and Hot Modern Rock Tracks charts (although on the former chart, the record has since been broken by "Dead Memories" and eventually "Snuff").[13] In the UK Singles Chart, the song reached number 15.[14] The song also charted on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart at number 6 (their second highest-charting song on the chart, behind "Psychosocial"). To promote the single, the band also made an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

The song is included in the video games Madden NFL 10, the introduction theme in the 2004 PlayStation 2 game ATV Offroad Fury 3, as a downloadable content for the Rock Band series that was released on December 8, 2009 and the debut trailer for Nail'd. Also there will be in the game Guitar Hero Live

Jack Osbourne ranked the song number 2 on his list of "101 Adrenaline Rock Songs", with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana beating it to the number one spot.

In the 2004 Metal Edge Readers' Choice Awards, the song was voted "Song of the Year" and "Music Video of the Year".[15]

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by Tony Petrossian, cost between $300,000 and $500,000 and was recorded on March 27, 2004.[16] It was shot in Des Moines, Iowa, at a fan's house that was due for renovation. In the aftermath, the family asked the band to replace an extensive list of objects and fittings that were damaged or destroyed during the shoot.[17] Roadrunner Records provided the family with roughly $50,000 as compensation. Midway through the shooting, the band and fans were asked to avoid jumping around too much, as it would have resulted in either the floor caving in or the entire house collapsing. Fans were also told to take extreme caution around Craig Jones as the nails in his mask may injure them.[citation needed]

"We asked our real fans to be in the video and people came from all over," recalled Shawn Crahan. "That meant so much to us. We weren't really supposed to destroy that house – but we did it anyway. Another plus for that song is that I get to beat the fuck out of my keg. What else could you want?"[18]

The video starts with a crowd of fans running towards the camera which is clearly behind a window. As the song switches in intensity the video cuts to shots inside the house of the band performing in close quarters with the fans. The video constantly switches between the band performing and fans destroying the house and the surrounding environment. When Corey Taylor sings "You cannot kill what you did not create", the words are seen painted on the garage door behind the crowd of fans. Near the end of the song is a coda where the music and singing build to a highly energetic section. Prior to this Corey seemingly calms the crowd with an outstretched arm, followed by him pacing through the crowd repeating "All I've got, all I've got is insane". The scene cuts to an even larger crowd watching the performance outdoors. Once the chorus begins again the crowd immediately continues to destroy their surroundings and the song suddenly ends. It was revealed later that the band had performed the song several times while the crowd vandalized the house, and the resulting footage was edited to produce the video.[citation needed]

The video is available on the CD single and the DVD Voliminal: Inside the Nine, released in 2006.


Chart (2004) Peak
German Singles Chart[19] 28
Sweden Singles Top 60[20] 35
Irish Singles Chart[21] 43
French Singles Chart[22] 74
Swiss Singles Chart[23] 87
UK Rock Chart 1
UK Singles Chart[24] 15
US Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles[25] 6
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[26] 5
US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks[26] 6


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[27] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Track listings[edit]

All songs written by Slipknot.

CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Duality" (Single Version) 3:33
2. "Don't Get Close" 3:45
3. "Disasterpiece" (Live) 5:23
  • include music video "Duality"
Limited edition CD
No. Title Length
1. "Duality" (Single Version) 3:33
2. "Don't Get Close" 3:45
7" vinyl
No. Title Length
1. "Duality" (Single Version) 3:33
2. "Don't Get Close" 3:45
US promo CD
No. Title Length
1. "Duality" (Edit) 3:33
2. "Duality" (Album Version) 4:13
EU promo CD
No. Title Length
1. "Duality" 3:33

Release history[edit]

Year Type Label Catalog Ref
2004 12-inch Roadrunner 3988-7 [28]
2004 7-inch Roadrunner 13984-7 [28]
2004 LP Roadrunner RR 3988 [28]
2004 CD Roadrunner 3988-0 [28]
2004 CD Universal 6139883 [29]

Cover versions[edit]

In 2014, as part of their album, Just The Tip..., comedy rock lounge act The Lounge Kittens covered the song.

In 2016, the British metalcore band Asking Alexandria covered the song for the compilation album Decades of Destruction.


  1. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (September 10, 2004). "Top Ten Nu-Metal Bands". Stylus magazine rap metal. Archived from the original on October 9, 2004. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ Chesler, Josh (May 18, 2015). "10 Nu-metal Songs That Actually Don't Suck". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved March 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ Guyre, Jen (2010-04-30). "The Ten Greatest Music Videos in Roadrunner History". Roadrunner. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
  4. ^ Duality. AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-03-05
  5. ^ a b c Loftus, John. Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses Overview. Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-03-05
  6. ^ Unterberger, Andrew (September 10, 2004). "Top Ten Nu-Metal Bands". Stylus magazine. Archived from the original on October 9, 2004. Retrieved September 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Thomson, Mick. "NAMM 2008 Report". On Track Magazine. Archived from the original on 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2010-03-05. 
  8. ^ "Slipknot - Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses - Review". Stylus Magazine. 2004-05-28. Archived from the original on 2008-04-03. Retrieved 2010-04-06. 
  9. ^ "Volume 3: The Subliminal Verses". Q: 124. July 2004. 
  10. ^ "Slipknot Set First Single Off New Album". Blabbermouth.net. 2004-03-06. Archived from the original on 2005-03-13. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  11. ^ Strong, Martin C.; John Peel (October 2006). The Essential Rock Discography: Complete Discographies Listing Every Track Recorded by More Than 1,200 Artists. Canongate U.S. p. 982. ISBN 1-84195-860-3. 
  12. ^ "Slipknot To Release 'Duality' Seven-Inch Vinyl Single". Blabbermouth.net. 2004-05-24. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  13. ^ "Artist Chart History - Slipknot". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  14. ^ "Chart Stats - Slipknot". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  15. ^ Metal Edge, June 2005
  16. ^ "Report: Slipknot's 'Duality' Video Cost Nearly Half A Million To Produce". Blabbermouth.net. 2004-04-02. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  17. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On Maroon 5, The Roots And Dave Chappelle, Slipknot, Morrissey, Velvet Underground & More". MTV. 2004-03-31. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  18. ^ Bryant, Tom (14 July 2012). "Hell unleashed". Kerrang #1423. p. 24. 
  19. ^ "Slipknot Germany Singles Top 100". 
  20. ^ "Slipknot Sweden Singles Top 60". 
  21. ^ "Slipknot Ireland Singles Top 50". 
  22. ^ "Slipknot France Singles Top 100". 
  23. ^ "Slipknot Swiss Singles Top 100". 
  24. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyhit.com. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  25. ^ "Slipknot Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles". Billboard. Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  26. ^ a b "Slipknot Artist Chart History: Singles". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-03-06. 
  27. ^ "British album certifications – Slipknot – Duality". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Duality in the search field and then press Enter.
  28. ^ a b c d allmusic ((( Duality > Overview ))). Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-08
  29. ^ allmusic ((( Duality [Import CD] > Overview ))). Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-05-08

External links[edit]