Alternative Metal

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Alternative metal is a genre of heavy metal that gained popularity in the early 1990s. Most notably, alternative metal bands are characterized by heavy guitar riffs; typically, these riffs have a pronounced experimental edge, including unconventional lyrics, odd time signatures, more syncopation than typical metal, unusual technique, a resistance to conventional approaches to heavy music and an incorporation of a wide range of influences outside of the metal music scene.

Alternative Metal Inclusive Genres:

Funk Metal

Nu-Metal

Rap Metal

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_Metal

Sub-genre collaborators:
  • mlkpad14

alternative metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

ALICE IN CHAINS Dirt Album Cover Dirt
ALICE IN CHAINS
4.44 | 97 ratings
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MUDVAYNE The End of All Things to Come Album Cover The End of All Things to Come
MUDVAYNE
4.52 | 12 ratings
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FAITH NO MORE Angel Dust Album Cover Angel Dust
FAITH NO MORE
4.25 | 76 ratings
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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES The Art of Rebellion Album Cover The Art of Rebellion
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES
4.46 | 12 ratings
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SYSTEM OF A DOWN Toxicity Album Cover Toxicity
SYSTEM OF A DOWN
4.19 | 88 ratings
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MUDVAYNE L.D. 50 Album Cover L.D. 50
MUDVAYNE
4.40 | 12 ratings
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INCUBUS (CA) S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Album Cover S.C.I.E.N.C.E.
INCUBUS (CA)
4.58 | 7 ratings
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SYSTEM OF A DOWN Mezmerize Album Cover Mezmerize
SYSTEM OF A DOWN
4.16 | 56 ratings
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MUSHROOMHEAD XX Album Cover XX
MUSHROOMHEAD
4.61 | 6 ratings
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SOUNDGARDEN Badmotorfinger Album Cover Badmotorfinger
SOUNDGARDEN
4.15 | 54 ratings
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KING'S X Gretchen Goes To Nebraska Album Cover Gretchen Goes To Nebraska
KING'S X
4.22 | 22 ratings
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EXTREME Extreme II: Pornograffitti Album Cover Extreme II: Pornograffitti
EXTREME
4.17 | 27 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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Pike 264 - Poseidon
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Pike 263 - Glacier
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Pike 257 - Blank Slate
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Pike 254 - Woven Twigs
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Pike 253 - Coop Erstown
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Pike 249 - The Moss Lands
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alternative metal Music Reviews

BUCKETHEAD Pepper's Ghost

Album · 2007 · Alternative Metal
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siLLy puPPy
After a few heavy albums dipping into the avant-garde world with progressive leanings and a few collaborative efforts that led BUCKETHEAD into calmer musical arenas, he shifted gears a little bit and created a more digestible “easy listening” for BUCKETHEAD anyway, type of album. No, it’s not like one of the many lullaby albums that haunt the Pike output but it is more of a riff oriented album that sticks to a rather heavy blues rock style but keeps the tracks interesting by alternating the timbres, tones and dynamics. This was the chicken lover’s 19th solo album and focused on more structured compositions. Along with the avant-garde one is Dan Monti who plays bass as well as handling the production and programming.

PEPPER’S GHOST is a fairly easy album to get into as it’s riff-oriented tracks are quite easy to wrap one’s head around as there are no shockingly disturbing time signature freak outs and jittery caffeinated whirlwind of ideas outpacing a tornado. On the contrary, this is basically a heavy rock that speeds up into full metal territory type of album that utilizes slower passages that offer clean guitar segments with cool echo effects and arpeggios. The tracks are all on the short side with the longest only hitting the five minute mark. While having been accused of producing a commercial album, PEPPER’S GHOST is anything but with its incessant shifts of styles and dynamics albeit adhering to a pre-set melodic development which makes it easier to follow.

Ultimately PEPPER’S GHOST seems a little restrained and held back for my tastes when it comes to BUCKETHEAD’s adventurous output. This seems more like a demo album for possible band guitarist slots where he can prove his ability to tamp down his wild side and create a more commercial sound such as he did with Guns N Roses. In some ways it is interesting to hear BH do a more “normal” album that sticks to 4/4 timings and traditional guitar solos that don’t blend too many elements simultaneously but at the same time i keep wanting him to push the envelope even further but rather he retreats into safer territory instead of kicking it all into higher gear which any hardcore fan knows quite well that he is capable of doing.

All in all PEPPER’S GHOST is a decent album and not a bad place for someone to begin their BH journey before delving into the esoteric and complex of his canon. While it certainly is more entertaining than the insipid ballad cheese that he also has a propensity for, it doesn’t exactly take my heavy metal fantasies to the starts either. Add to the fact that BH doesn’t really engage in any new ideas as pretty much everything has been done before and better whether it be those echoey guitar licks or the Van Halen inspired guitar riffs and a few interesting guitar runs that do briefly bask in the avant-garde off kilterness. Having said that, all of the tracks are catchy and well executed and could easily be spiced up with little effort. Perhaps not my most treasured of BH listening experiences but also at the same time not one that i will run to the hills to avoid experiencing again. In the end it’s a nice mix of the mellow tinged with echoed psychedelia and the heavy crunch of metal riffs. The sole exception to this fairly “normal” sounding BH album is the finale “Emblaming Plaza” which is a percussionless ambient electronic track and a sneak preview to the Countdown To Halloween Pikes.

BUCKETHEAD Pike 268 - Sonar Rainbow

Album · 2017 · Alternative Metal
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siLLy puPPy
BUCKETHEAD (as Bucketheadland) / Pike 268 - Sonar Rainbow / 25th release of 2017 / All instrumental / Contains 4 tracks / Clocks in at 29minutes 35seconds / everything played by Buck-buck-buckethead.

“Sonar Rainbow” (11:27) the longest track begins with an ambient flow and echoey clean guitar which insinuates a possible non-rock type of album but lo and behold a guitar jumps in and then like lemmings so does the bass and drum section. It continues to jam on building up a melody but slightly before the three minute mark slows down back to the echoey guitar type of intro but only for a while as a guitar solo erupts for a while. As it continues it becomes a repetitive sequence of guitar chords with a bluesy guitar solo around it. The production is pretty cool as the guitar sounds are processed in interesting ways that give a crisp unusual type of distortion to them, however the music is just like a gazillion other PIKEs that have this same jamming around a repetitive chord sequence. Personally i find it a bit boring

“The Maddening Of Mercury” (6:56) begins with a heavily distorted guitar riff that is downtrend and sounds rather monstrous with a few little squeals stuck in and then a guitar solo sputters all around it. The riff becomes a bit more chaotic. This one has a really cool hellish sound as it’s all murky and highly cacophonous. When a guitar solo erupts again the riffs take a break but they come back soon enough. I like this one a lot. It has a rather loose compositional style with all kinds of different counterpoints that aren’t predictable unlike the previous track. The bouncy distorted riffs have some jittery time signatures that seem a bit erratic as well. Half way through it changes it up and creates a more frenetic riff meets solo sequence. Lots of changes and dipping into strange surreal segments. Nice.

“Debris” (2:37) is a jittery little number that hops, skips and jumps around like a decapitated chicken but then settles into a steady beat and rhythm with crunchy guitars but also deviates into little dissonant segments that last a while before moving on. There is a dissonant relationship between the riffs and the lead guitar. Also very progressive in its time signature run. Another cool track.

“Venomous Fog” (8:35) starts out ambient like the first track but then jumps into a heavy guitar riff. After it properly introduces itself it quiets down for a few seconds. This one sounds much like the beginning track with a repetitive sequence of chords that allow the lead guitar to wank over although they appear less often at first and let the riffs simply do their rhythmic thang. It basically alternates between the heavier passages and then quiets things down for a while. The melodic development remains constant for the entire track. Another been there, done that a million times before type track. Not bad but fairly meh.

The first and last tracks are meh but i love the second two enough to give this three stars.

IN FLAMES Battles

Album · 2016 · Alternative Metal
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Kev Rowland


It is always interesting to research bands such as In Flames on the web, as to say that they have upset a few people with their change in musical direction is something of an understatement. Like many others, I was incredibly impressed with these guys when they burst out of Sweden in the Nineties, so it was something of a shock to come across them again many years later and discover just how far they had changed. Now, change isn’t necessarily bad, and it can often be good, but then there are also the concerns that the band haven’t changed so much as having left the planet altogether and gone into a new universe. Possibly one where they have been starved of oxygen which could explain what they are doing now.

But, I think the largest issue here is that the band is called “In Flames” and there is a skull on the cover. If one discounts those two then it is possible to view the band in a quite different light, and think of them more as a strange My Chemical Romance and Killswitch Engage hybrid. This is Alternative Metal with a larger emphasis on the former than the latter, and the result is something that feels created and false, as if it has been written solely for radio play and charts, as opposed to anything that the band believes in. They may say “we are the truth that hurts the most” in “The Truth”, but the real truth is that here is a band that has lost their way and while they have probably gained a great deal of new fans as a result, the old ones are long gone.

INCUBUS (CA) S.C.I.E.N.C.E.

Album · 1997 · Funk Metal
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Unitron
While Incubus gained a huge surge of popularity with the release of their 1999 album, Make Yourself, the band already had two EP's and two studio albums under their belt before they reached alternative rock stardom. However, if you're getting into these early releases from the band, don't expect it to sound anything like what the band is mostly known for. This is eclectic funk metal at it's finest.

Along with the equally amazing Enjoy Incubus EP from the same year, S.C.I.E.N.C.E. is, simply put, an explosion of creativity. For starters, there's an incredibly wide range of styles here. It ranges from many styles of metal, funk, hip-hop, lounge, and even a bit of trip-hop. All of these styles are blended seamlessly, always sounding like they naturally belong together. Each song stands out perfectly on its own, even if it's just with a little unique embellishment. An example of this is the slight middle-eastern influences on the opening track "Redefine".

Each musician is in absolute top form, delivering one of the best albums of the 90's. Brandon Boyd gives one of his best vocal performances on this album, especially on "Glass", "Nebula", "Deep Inside", and "Calgone". Dirk Lance earns his place among the bass gods on this album, and S.C.I.E.N.C.E. is one of the best bass albums out there. Listen to any song on the album, and you'll get some of the tastiest and funkiest bass licks available. "Glass" of course has some of the best, as does the smooth "Deep Inside". Jose Pasillas II absolutely slays on drums, displaying insane amounts of syncopation. Mike Einziger is a riff making machine, even bringing in some hooks that edge pretty close to thrash on songs like "Favorite Things" and "Calgone". Finally last, but not least, is Gavin Koppell. While some may find the turntables annoying, his electronic embellishments and turntables add a lot to the uniqueness of the album.

It's almost impossible to pick highlights due to how the album has a perfect flow and every song could be called a highlight. What I can say, is that "Glass" is probably my favorite Incubus song. "Summer Romance (Anti-Gravity Love Song)" is probably the song that stands out the most in style, as it takes a break from the metal, taking on a lounge-funk sound that is catchy as hell. "New Skin", which was originally seen on the Let Me Tell Ya 'Bout Root Beer EP from 1995, is incredibly catchy as well. The only slightly weaker moment on the album is "Magic Medicine", but even that song works within context of the whole album.

The lyrics and even the title showcase the same boom of creativity. At first the lyrics seem absurdist, after all, what else would you expect from and album title that's an acronym for Sailing Catamarans Is Every Nautical Captain's Ecstasy? However, once you look into them more, some of them can be interpreted as clever metaphors. Going back to the opening track of "Redefine", there's lyrics such as "Imagine your brain as a canister filled with ink", which don't make much sense until lines like "I'm sick of painting in black and white" come in. Even if the lyrics don't make any sense, you will still find yourself singing along anyways. Best examples for me are "Glass" and "A Certain Shade of Green". "Deep Inside" very well may have one of the greatest lines in music history, with "I know exactly where we are...the fuck are we?".

This is an album that takes multiple listens to fully sink in, and I'm still noticing different things every time I listen. Once it does sink in, this is one of the best and most eclectic funk metal albums. While Incubus would make a couple more fantastic albums later, this is a one-of-a-kind that should be essential listening for any bass and funk fan. One of my all time favorite albums. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

NOTHINGFACE Violence

Album · 2000 · Alternative Metal
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aglasshouse
With nu metal, the quality can go one of too very polar-ended ways: either it is structurally basic, repetitive, laughably edgy, or just plain uninteresting, or it's surprisingly competent and able to incorporate more interesting elements than the genre is known to allow. This is not an original observation by any means, but it is important to keep in mind as to distinguish quality nu metal releases from the mountains of drivel that also occupies the genre. And this pile of drivel is enormous- so enormous that I wouldn't really put it past someone to dismiss the medium in it's entirety. In my case when I find something actually good that happens to be golden-age nu metal, it is surprisingly and extremely refreshing. Today's pick is Nothingface, an act arising from the surprisingly vivacious hotpot of Washington D.C. They were rather early to the scene with their 1993 emergence and shot off a few well-judged, but ultimately decent bullets through their 90's career, but they did end of up petering out by the time An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity came out in '98.

But Nothingface's followup and 2000 breakout was the band's second to last release but also happens to be their most caustic, interesting, and violent. Right off the bat it's clear from the title and the minimalist cover bearing only the album and band's titles and a strip of a Roy Lichtenstein-esque illustration that Violence is about as blunt as a ball-bearing cosh swinging at your skull at 25 mph. Fear not, the music certainly reflects that. Thematically it is very reflective of the era's newly born alternative metal scene with somber and often times volcanically pugnacious lyrics, which blend very well with Matt Holt's low-pitched and melancholic self-harmonizations. The raw aggression is conveyed through snarling guitar licks and barely-restrained yet pretty complex at-times drum fills from Chris Houck (who has probably become one of my favorite nu metal drummers of all time). Also, some of the hooks on this album in particular are extremely catchy at times either with the vocals or the guitar. I think 'Can't Wait For Violence''s chorus had been stuck in my head for several days after listening all the way through the album. Going back to Matt Holt; harmonizations are present but something that really brings the apoplectic rage is his extremely raw vocal screams, which would likely not sound out of place on any other more respected metal album. Not only are these screams very well done and do well to get my heart kicked up a few notches at some points, the unapologetic use of juvenile curse words is a good motif and a conveyance of a sort of loss of humanity amidst the animalistic fury that is used on this record. I think the line: "FUCK! SCRAPE OUT HIS EYES!!" from 'Hidden Hands' will go down in my books as one of the unabashed incitements of ultra-violence I've heard in music.

Violence, as well as Nothingface in general, is a real diamond in the rough and I hope they do get more recognition, especially considering Matt Holt's horribly unfortunate death a few months ago. Even nu-metal naysayers I believe are safe near this record.

alternative metal movie reviews

GREEN JELLŸ Cereal Killer

Movie · 1992 · Alternative Metal
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Unitron
What would happen if Art Clokey, Jim Henson, and Gerry Anderson got together and created some films while on a sick acid trip?

Most likely, Cereal Killer would be created.

Green JellŸ, known as Green Jello at this time before they had to change the name, was probably one of the only bands to make a "video-music album". Yeah, you can go listen to the "Cereal Killer Soundtrack", but you really won't get the same experience. These songs don't really work unless you're watching the utterly ridiculous and zany videos along with them. The videos contain all sorts of use of claymation, puppetry, and weird costumes backed by a soundtrack blending thrash metal, hardcore punk, funk metal, classic heavy metal, and whatever else they wanted to make.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the lyrics are completely absurd along with the videos. You have their famous "Three Little Pigs", which is about a rocking pig, stoned pig, rich pig, and Rambo gunning down the big bad wolf. The title cut is about cereal mascots going to war, with the FruitLoops toucan slaughtering all the other mascots. Finally, the cover of Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the U.K." is about the town of Bedrock from The Flintstones with the lyrics of 'Want to destroy Mr. Slate, Cause I wanna be Fred Flintstone'.

If you just want to hear some good music, there's always the soundtrack. However, if you want a good laugh at a party, invite your friends to come watch Cereal Killer. This is a hilarious metal musical for all to see.

Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

SLIPKNOT (sic)nesses

Movie · 2010 · Nu Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Most Slipknot fans won’t need very much convincing, a new live DVD has been released an you very probably plan t buy it, but for anyone on the fence about whether or not to get it, I highly recommend this package, on is own merits and not just out of blind dedication to the band.

‘(sic)nesses,’ is a pretty great package, documenting their 2009 headline performance at the UK’s Download Festival in front of 80,000 excited fans. Also included is a documentary (curiously on disc one, with the concert on disc 2) from Shaun ‘Clown,’ Crahan and all the music videos from the band’s ‘All Hope Is Gone,’ album cycle.

Performance wise, everything you expect to happen at a Slipknot concert is there, so don’t expect to be disappointed in that regard. One can expect to see people hanging off things, jumping off things and throwing things at regular intervals; in addition to a spinning in mid air drum kit, Different band members fretting the notes for the guitarists, different band members hitting a keg with a baseball bat, Clown and Criss’s strap-on marching drums during ‘The Blister Exists,’ and ‘Psycho Social,’ and of course Sid getting into the midst of everything, including the crowd whenever possible.

Without a doubt the entire concert is made on the strength of the crowds passionate reaction and that undefinable live energy that just makes the concert feel amazing. Seeing 80,000 plus people singing along to very heavy music is almost life affirming.

If you were dissapointed by the band’s live performances on their live album ‘9.0 Live,’ or the bonus live material from ‘Voliminal,’ specifically the mix, Corey’s vocals and the disjointed feeling caused from material being taken from various concerts and are unsure whether or not to buy ‘(sic)nesses,’ then I’d like to reassure you that it is of a much higher quality than the previously mentioned releases, the whole concert is much more impressive and intense, Corey’s vocal performance is noticeably stronger and the mix is a lot more suitable.

The audiovisual quality of the release is in absolutely no question, the tech crew behind it have done an absolutely sterling job recording, mixing, filming and editing it and the whole viewing experience is of as high a quality as you would expect from a band of Slipknot’s size, even considering that this was a festival performance which is where a lot of big bands release their weaker DVDs due to the reduced amount of control available. Put simply this DVD looks and sounds fantastic, better even than you’d expect.

The only negative things I have to say are mere nitpicking, such as a perceived shortage of material from the ‘Iowa,’ album and that the documentary is very much in the Shaun Crahan style (as seen on the main Voliminal film and the All Hope is Gone bonus DVD) which I don’t personally care for but of course, you could indeed love this style. These minor and circumstantial niggles do nothing to detract from the sheer quality of the release. It may sound cheesy, but ‘(sic)nesses,’ proves why people love Slipknot so much.

MUDVAYNE All Access to All Things

Movie · 2003 · Nu Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Mudvayne’s second concert DVD, All Access To All Things features performances from Metallica’s 2003 Summer Sanitarium tour; filmed across three shows at three locations, Seattle, Salt Lake City and San Francisco. The DVD features 50 minutes worth of live performances adding up to a total of ten songs as well as forty minutes of behind the scenes footage like interviews on the tour bus or in the dressing room as well as the making of their music video for ‘World So Cold,’ which is available as a bonus feature.

The performances are of a pretty great quality and the sound and visuals are of an acceptable standard. The two greatest faults are that the bass drum sound is rather poor, but this is to be expected at a big outdoor show and is made up for by the fact that the rest of the sound is very good. The other flaw is that on about three songs, the editing becomes distracting for about a minute or so when it is decided that a bunch of really quick cuts are necessary.

Apart from these two minor flaws, All Access to All Things is an enjoyable DVD worthy of a place in any Mudvayne fan’s collection. The performances are tight, the behind the scenes sections are relatively interesting, (but thankfully you are given the option to watch just the concert, which is great for repeat viewings) and the track listing is good. Matt, Greg and Ryan absolutely nail every second of the performance, playing both tightly and energetically, and Chad adds some brilliant improvised vocals at the end of ‘Nothing To Gein,’ and ‘World So Cold,’

Chad can really pull it off live, delivering the clean vocals really well and the heavier vocals almost as well with very few exceptions, chiefly on the faster songs from LD.50 where it would be impossible for anyone to sing that fast, that close together without losing their breath. On this DVD the band appear without the make up which was the trademark of their early career and are playing in daylight at big outdoor events across three different shows.

If this is not to your tastes, you may want to consider Mudvayne’s first concert DVD ‘Live In Peoria,’ which features the band wearing makeup, indoors in a smaller venue, at night and all from a single concert.

In summary; if you don’t mind that the live sections are not from one single concert and can forgive the bass drum sound, you will find a very enjoyable DVD that stands up even now.

FAITH NO MORE You Fat Bastards / Who Cares A Lot?

Movie · 2006 · Alternative Metal
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Stooge
The Brixton Academy show captures the band in 1990, just as they were beginning to explode in an “Epic” fashion. Supporting their 1989 release “The Real Thing”, the setlist contains all but “Surprise! You’re Dead!” and “The Morning After” from that album. Two tracks from the pre-Patton era are performed “As The Worm Turns” and “We Care A Lot”, both of which are a good fit with Patton’s voice. This concert is well shot, and the band performs great. It makes me wish for a more extended Faith No More show to be released in the future.

The other part of the package is mainly to showcase their promotional videos. Music video compilations aren’t normally my cup of tea, but at least they integrate some other things into the mix to keep it interesting. You get snippets of interviews, behind the scenes footage, and outtakes to bridge some of the music videos. The music videos span going all the way to the Chuck Mosely days through to Album of the Year, ranging in quality to low budget/amateur rank (“Everything’s Ruined”, the Mosely era ones) to great production values (“Stripsearch”). However, I believe there are some official videos missing from the collection (“Ricochet” comes to mind). I guess having “Greatest Videos” in the title covers their a$$es in that regard.

This is a great package for those new to Faith No More, and it has strong re-play value.

KORN Korn: Steal This DVD - The Unauthorized Biography

Movie · 2006 · Nu Metal
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Larry Sakin
Documentaries about rock bands work on a formula. First, we have the all important formative years of the band, where we learn how the group struggled to learn their craft. Interviews with the band members, record company hacks, managers and DJs that cleared the way for eventual superstardom follow, giving the viewer a portrait of the turmoil, joy, and excesses that come with success. And finally, we have the where-are- they-now or what’s-to-happen with them sequence, which is supposed to answer the all important questions fans are supposed to have.

Steal This DVD, an unauthorized biography of the band Korn, is another in a long line of heavily formulaic views of a band that changed the rock world forever. But there are some differences here. At least with the other documentaries, you can listen to the bands music while the grand story unfolds, and possibly hear early interpretations of the songs that catapulted the band onto rock n’ roll radio. But because of some sticky licensing problems, viewers of Steal This DVD won’t even attain this modicum of satisfaction. The background music is eerily similar to that of Korn, but is just another copycat band grinding away.

So what we’re left with is a cut-and-paste production of other people interviewing the band, a lot of still photos of individual group members, and a great deal of detail on growing up in Bakersfield, California.

I’ve been to Bakersfield, and believe me, it’s no mystery why a group of guys from that dusty Central Valley area would produce the intensely angry funk-metal chords Korn is known for. Still, it occurs to me that major fans of Korn would already know how the damaging effects of a conservative California city impacted these superheroes of nu-metal. In fact, it’s hard to imagine there is any content on Steal This DVD that might illuminate Korn fans any more about the dark mystique that surrounds the band.

And if you don’t know very much about the group and their humble beginnings, maybe the time is right to really listen to singer-songwriter Jonathan Davis’ lyrics, because everything you need to know is right there. Davis has joined the ranks of songwriters who willingly split open their veins and bleed their madness onto an empty page, much like Kurt Cobain before him.

So I’m not really sure who the producers of Steal This DVD are looking to market this documentary to. Maybe they think there are enough die-hard fans out there that obsessively collect anything with the Korn brand on it, or that there are even more naive kids so unfamiliar with what makes Korn the brilliant band they are and need some kind of instructional DVD to help them “get it.” Whatever their direction may be, I think the producers are in for a huge surprise.

It would be so much better if the people who pumped these damned things out really thought like real fans do. They’d actually produce some interesting and entertaining packages that music lovers would appreciate. But unfortunately, the entertainment business too often conforms to the “biggest bang for a buck” theory, and cashes in by promoting anything that has a big-named group attached to it.

Consider this a caveat emptor, Korn fans. This trashy documentary won’t satisfy you until the next Korn release. Save your money, and listen to Life Is Peachy instead.

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