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MUDVAYNE The End of All Things to Come Album Cover The End of All Things to Come
4.52 | 12 ratings
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MUDVAYNE L.D. 50 Album Cover L.D. 50
4.48 | 12 ratings
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4.61 | 6 ratings
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MUDVAYNE Mudvayne Album Cover Mudvayne
4.24 | 8 ratings
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KORN Korn Album Cover Korn
3.94 | 27 ratings
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SOULFLY 3 Album Cover 3
4.06 | 9 ratings
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LIMP BIZKIT The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) Album Cover The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1)
4.02 | 8 ratings
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COAL CHAMBER Chamber Music Album Cover Chamber Music
4.13 | 5 ratings
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MUDVAYNE Lost and Found Album Cover Lost and Found
4.02 | 7 ratings
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SLIPKNOT Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. Album Cover Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.
3.91 | 14 ratings
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NOTHINGFACE Violence Album Cover Violence
4.01 | 5 ratings
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KORN Issues Album Cover Issues
3.79 | 20 ratings
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The Rhapsody Tapes
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DISTURBED The Sickness

Album · 2000 · Nu Metal
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"Duh duh duh-duh-duh... Duh duh duh-duh... Oh wah-ah-ah-ah!!!"

Released in 2000, Disturbed's debut album came at just the right time as nu metal was creeping into the mainstream and making itself one of the biggest genres in the world (albeit, only briefly). With countless bands coming out of the woodwork and jumping on the bandwagon, only a few of them were able to transcend the sub-genre from which they came and become credible bands.

Disturbed are one of those bands.

You probably wouldn't have thought it back in the day, mind you. Musically this album fits right in with the nu metal fad. Heavy, groove-laden tracks, angst-ridden lyrics, de-tuned guitars with no solos in sight... So what set Disturbed apart from the rest?

With their hit single, 'Down With the Sickness' and it's legendary opening of "oh-wah-ah-ah-ah" that would go on to spawn countless internet memes, puns and pop-culture references, it was vocalist David Draiman's unique style that instantly gave the band their own identity. And it's stood the test of time, because Disturbed would go on to "oh-wah-ah-ah" their way to being one of metals most beloved bands.

Unfortunately, none of that was really all too evident in their debut release, as 'The Sickness', despite a few standout tracks, really suffers from the same mediocrity that a lot of groups suffered from back then. Sure, there's a few hits in here, 'Voices' is an absolute classic, and 'The Game', 'Fear', 'Meaning of Life' and the aforementioned 'Down With the Sickness' are all valid reasons for owning this record and really highlight the significance of Draiman's vocals. But then sadly, a lot of the other tracks just seem to be there to fill time, with special mention going to 'Conflict'... a song in which the word "enemy" (pronounced "en-na-may") is sung a staggering 52 times! Please, no more!

Overall 'The Sickness' is not a terrible record, it's just not really all that memorable either. Well produced and accompanied by a couple of hit singles, it did what it was meant to do and helped put Disturbed on the map.

"Oh wah-ah-ah-ah".

MUDVAYNE The Beginning Of All Things To End

Boxset / Compilation · 2001 · Nu Metal
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In 1997 Mudvayne released an 8-track EP titled Kill, I Oughtta. According to the band this was in order to meet a grassroots demand that had been growing for several months before it's release for studio material. The EP was rather good and it eventually led to Mudvayne releasing their actual debut in 2000, L.D. 50, and them skyrocketing in popularity. In the wake of the success of L.D. 50, Mudvayne decided it would re-release Kill, I Oughtta to their now vastly larger fan-base. A well intentioned decision, as the band claimed to protect their fans from scammers and bootleggers who claimed they had access to the EP.

The compilation / EP hybrid would come to be known as The Beginning Of All Things to End, and was released in 2001, a year after the release of L.D. 50. The release is undoubtedly better than the 1997 EP it's based off of, as it contains all it's contents as well as two remixes of Dig (the hit single off of L.D. 50) and a 17 minute long experimental electronic track from which L.D. 50's name was based off of. The remixes are what you'd expect from the early 00's- the first one a techno/eurodance style (not good sounding with a heavy metal band) and the other being a sort of industrial metal remix that disassociates things like the guitar and bass from one another and intersperses them in solo parts of the song. 'L.D. 50' if it were to be compared to something, is like Orbital on either meth or steroids. Maybe both. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it as I'm not really an experienced connoisseur of avant-garde music, but it's safe to say I don't return to it to much looking for enjoyment.

While we're at it I might as well review the original material that was featured on Kill, I Oughtta, as it was the main attraction for original buyers and is admittedly the best part of this release. Being from the 90's, the music takes elements from then-current nu metal artists. The opener 'Poop Loser' with it's sophisticated motif of "you're a motherfucking piece of shit/and you'll never amount to nothin'" is extremely similar of something Jonathan Davis would, and in fact did sort of do on many of Korn's albums. Granted, Chad Gracey and Davis are much different, but it is more or less an ode to their influencers. 'Seed' is really where the album begins, acting as a much stronger and more powerful opening. From there heavy crunch of the overly aggressive guitar and bass coincide well with the almost drug fueled vocal techniques of Gracey. His voice held, and continued to hold a subtle amount of emotional value as he constantly switches from clean to scream vocals on a dime, often at unpredictable times. The strength of much of the tracks of Mudvayne's catchiness, of which there are a heavy amount. The almost deriding style of the vocals mixed with raw instrumentation such as this make for a sort of masochistic experience. Mudvayne's performance seems like a haphazard and painful one, but in reality it's just a facade, and acts more as an aesthetic. Kill, I Oughtta isn't exactly as progressive as the band would later become only 3 years later, but it is a great slice of what comprised the alternative/nu-metal scene in the mid-late 90's.

The Beginning of All Things to End acts as a sort of alternative debut to L.D. 50, appealing to a more commercial audience and to those who weren't as fond of the band's 2000 album. As a Mudvayne fan myself however, I'd wholeheartedly say it's worthwhile piece of material.


Album · 1994 · Nu Metal
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Mashing up meaty alternative metal (on which I can taste the influence of the more accessible moments on Mr Bungle's debut album) and hip-hop beats, and then bringing in the vocal stylings of Jonathan Davis (much imitated afterwards, but unique when this came out), Korn's debut album set the model for nu metal, and as fashionable as it may be to dismiss it on that basis, I can't quite bring myself to.

The fact is that there are a very few albums out there which can simultaneously claim to have originated a subgenre and to be one of the best examples thereof; Black Sabbath's debut is that for 1970s metal, Cowboys From Hell is that for groove metal, and this is the breakthrough album for the nu metal genre. As much as nu metal became associated in later years (not wholly unfairly) with utter frat boy-esque crassness - like jock rock with more rapping and heavier riffs - Davis and crew are clearly much more thoughtful than they are often given credit for.

Davis' lyrics, in particular, deserve praise, tackling subjects from high school bullying (Faget) to sexual abuse and the all too common failure of adults to take childrens' concerns seriously (Daddy). Yes, if you see them written down they don't look like anything special, but as is often the case with lyrics the manner of delivery is as important as the specific words used, and Davis here hits on a lyrical style perfectly tailored both for his vocal approach and the new musical landscape the band explore here.

Some are inclined to run down nu metal simply because they don't think that a fruitful union between metal and hip-hop is even possible outside the occasional novelty number. Those willing to reject such arbitrary barriers, however, will find a lot to enjoy here. Plus the band clearly have a fun sense of humour, as witnessed by the inclusion at the end of the "Michael and Geri" hidden track, a bit of found audio capturing a man getting absurdly angry about a bit of automobile maintenance.

KORN The Serenity of Suffering

Album · 2016 · Nu Metal
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Korn is back with their twelfth studio album, The Serenity of Suffering, and has not left fans disappointed. The band has called it a "back to our roots" album like they did with Korn III. The difference is that The Serenity of Suffering does feel more like an actual return to form and doesn't leave the listener scratching their heads in confusion.

While it is a bit of a return to form, The Serenity of Suffering is more of an album that shows the band taking all that has made them so great in the past. There's the crushing heaviness of the debut, the atmosphere of Issues, and the experimentation of Untitled. As these three albums I've mentioned are among the band's best, it should come as no surprise that this is a pretty damn great album. The album immediately starts out strong with the opener "Insane", and from that the album never lets up with killer track after killer track. Even "A Different World", despite featuring Corey Taylor of Slipknot, is really good. I'm usually not much of a fan of Taylor's vocals, but he actually sounds really good here.

Jonathan Davis's vocals are at their very best on this entire album, his melancholic vocal melodies are absolutely beautiful. His vocals on "Next in Line" are certainly worth a mention. He's also brought back the scat vocals on the track "Rotting in Vain", which blend perfectly with the death vocals that are featured in that same part of the song. The only Korn song previously to feature death vocals was "Killing" from Untitled, but they are occasionally featured on the aforementioned "Rotting in Vain", "The Hating", and "Please Come for Me" on this album. The first two songs are coincidentally my favorites on the album.

Not only are the vocals top-notch, but so is everything else. There's killer riffs throughout the whole album, but especially the driving guitar after the choruses of "Die Yet Another Night" make me instantly bang my head. There are of course many crunching riffs, along with some more melodic guitar playing to balance it all out. Similar to Untitled, Korn has returned to the use of atmospheric electronics and a symphonic sound which really increases the impact of the whole vibe of the record.

This is easily the band's best album since Untitled, which is probably my favorite Korn album, so that's saying something. It won't turn the heads of the band's detractors, but I think it's up there with the band's best and a nice return to quality after three weak releases. Welcome back Korn! Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!


Album · 1994 · Nu Metal
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1994 was a strange year for metal, as it wasn't one type of metal's "year" like some years were. Throughout the 80's and early 90's, most genres of metal all had their years to shine. Of course there would always be some great albums from each genre, but many times one style reigned supreme.

I think this is when metal went sort of freestyle, and many bands ended up releasing some of their best and sadly most forgotten albums. A couple of perfect examples being Slayer's Divine Intervention and Helstar's Multiples of Black. Older metal artists had gone to try new things, such as Rob Halford with Fight and his solo material. There were great albums coming out from so many styles, and one band who happened to come around with something new was Korn.

Korn is a band that doesn't get much love anymore. On one side you've got the people who hated it from the start, then on the other you have those who think the band's debut was their only good album and the only good "Nu-metal" album. Nu-metal is infamous for creating a period of stagnation in the metal world, and ironically it ended up having it's dominating years just as every other genre. While I tend to agree that many nu-metal bands were pretty generic or terrible, there are a handful I do really like; Korn being one of them.

Korn's debut is pretty close to groove metal, and at it's core it is. What I think set the band apart was just how dark it was. However, this isn't dark in a gothic or doom metal sense. Korn's debut as well as Issues emit this feeling of complete garbage and being at the lowest point of one's life. This reflects all of vocalist Jonathan Davis's pain he went through quite well. The whole album has a low deep sound, with down-tuned guitar crunch, murky bass licks, and frantic drums. Despite the whole thing sounding like this, I think "Predictable" showcases it best with a slow but groovy dirge. The album does have it's variation though. The aforementioned song's bridge melds a grunge sound with atmospherics. "Shoots and Ladders", despite the lyrics just being a weird reciting of nursery rhymes, is the most unique song on the album with a pretty great bagpipe intro with the crunching guitars contrasting quite well.

One complaint I do have about the album, is that it can get a bit too disturbing sometimes. I love the song "Ball Tongue", but the sounds of Davis being hit over the heard with a board or something and yelling can make one uncomfortable. "Daddy", taking place as the longest song on the album, is also the most disturbing. I think just the fact that Davis used to cry while performing it explains it all.

Say what you will, but Korn's debut was a quite unique album at the time. Yes, it did eventually spawn a brigade of generic copycats and essentially became the glam metal of the late 90's/early 2000's, but didn't many highly-regarded albums do that? This isn't my favorite Korn album, that would go to Issues or Untitled, but it's certainly a pretty damn good album and just stands as another example of how varied the metal scene was during the early/mid-90s. Hope you found this review helpful, feel free to comment!

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SLIPKNOT (sic)nesses

Movie · 2010 · Nu Metal
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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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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.

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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