"Vermilion" is a song by American metal band Slipknot. The song is released as the second single from their third album, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). When the band plays the song live, they switch from their ordinary masks and wear their alternative "death masks", which is an actual cast of each member's face. However, during the All Hope Is Gone tour, all members except Craig and Paul did not wear the death masks for the song. The song includes a follow-up entitled "Vermilion Pt. 2" which is a continuation of the first part.
"Vermilion Pt. 2" is the continuation of the story told in Part 1. It features two acoustic guitars, a cello, a piano and singer Corey Taylor's baritone-stylized vocals. The melody and the overriding theme run through both versions, making them integral pieces to each other. It has been performed live on the Slipknot DVD, Voliminal: Inside the Nine, and was also performed by Corey Taylor and Jim Root on radio station KISS-FM. The album cover for Vermilion Pt. 2 consists of the Vermilion single cover, with a red/yellow tint, as opposed to the pink and gray tint of Pt. 1. A remix, entitled "Vermilion Pt. 2 (Bloodstone Mix)", appears on the Underworld: Evolution soundtrack and the special edition of All Hope Is Gone.
"The differences (between the two tracks) are subtle — 'Vermilion Pt. 1' is about the enrapturing, the buildup, the anticipation and the neurosis", says Taylor. "'Part 2' is the aftermath, the pieces that have to be picked up later, and maybe the guilt of having lived through it".
Both songs have respective music videos. The video for "Pt. 1" was directed by Tony Petrossian and percussionist Shawn Crahan and the video for "Pt. 2" was directed by Marc Klasfeld. Both videos were shot in Los Angeles in late–August 2004. The woman in the videos is actress Janna Bossier. There is speculation over whether or not she was directly related to the band.
In "Vermilion Pt. 1", it shows a girl living a tortured life in a crowded city. She walks around in contortions and twists as people walk by in a blur, not noticing her pain at all. The only time she gets noticed is when she wears a Maggot Mask (a mask specially designed for fans of the band to wear) which makes the members of the band appear and dance with the girl. On the first time she puts on the mask, the band members appear in front of her and they put on a white mask which enables their true faces to be seen for a couple of seconds. Then the band members dance with her. A caterpillar is also seen growing in the video and at the end seen it turns into a butterfly. The video ends with the girl screaming and tearing her hair out in misery.
The "Vermilion Pt. 2" music video shows the same girl, but this time in a field peacefully sleeping. The wind begins to lift her and sway her back and forth. Eventually, the viewer realizes the girl is dead; however, she appears to be in a more peaceful state than in the first music video.