Alternative Metal

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Alternative Metal, or Alt Metal for short, is a sub-genre of metal music that has it's roots in the mid-1980s. It's sound comes from the mixing of metal with elements that are uncharacteristic to the metal genre, such as funk and hip-hop, but not in such an experimental way as to be considered Avant-Garde Metal. Some of these alternative metal fusions gave risen to some distinct sub-genres of it's own, with Nu Metal being a notable metal movement from the mid-1990s.

Alternative Metal Sub-Genres

Funk Metal

Nu Metal

Rap Metal

Sub-genre collaborators (+ Child subs and Heavy Alternative Rock):

alternative metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

ALICE IN CHAINS Dirt Album Cover Dirt
ALICE IN CHAINS
4.38 | 130 ratings
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FAITH NO MORE Angel Dust Album Cover Angel Dust
FAITH NO MORE
4.37 | 105 ratings
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TREMONTI Cauterize Album Cover Cauterize
TREMONTI
4.75 | 6 ratings
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TOOL Ænima Album Cover Ænima
TOOL
4.21 | 101 ratings
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NOTHINGFACE Violence Album Cover Violence
NOTHINGFACE
4.52 | 9 ratings
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SYSTEM OF A DOWN Toxicity Album Cover Toxicity
SYSTEM OF A DOWN
4.19 | 103 ratings
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DEFTONES White Pony Album Cover White Pony
DEFTONES
4.29 | 24 ratings
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DEFTONES Ohms Album Cover Ohms
DEFTONES
4.50 | 9 ratings
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KATATONIA The Fall Of Hearts Album Cover The Fall Of Hearts
KATATONIA
4.26 | 24 ratings
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KATATONIA Viva Emptiness Album Cover Viva Emptiness
KATATONIA
4.22 | 39 ratings
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TREMONTI All I Was Album Cover All I Was
TREMONTI
4.50 | 8 ratings
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MUSHROOMHEAD XIII Album Cover XIII
MUSHROOMHEAD
4.55 | 6 ratings
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alternative metal online videos

alternative metal New Releases

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Meanwhile
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KLONE
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Sky Void of Stars
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KATATONIA
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alternative metal Music Reviews

KATATONIA Sky Void of Stars

Album · 2023 · Alternative Metal
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lukretion
Katatonia are a bona fide metal institution. With 12 full-length albums under their belt, the Stockholm-based trailblazers have been leaders in redefining the sound of the genre, building from their death/doom origins in the 1990s to gradually incorporate post-rock, dark rock, and progressive metal elements into their music. On January, 20th, 2023 the band will release their latest effort Sky Void of Stars via Napalm Records. Comprised of 10 songs (plus 1 bonus-track), once again all penned by vocalist and founding member Jonas Renkse, the anticipation for the follow-up to 2020’s City Burials is sky high. Can the dark metal icons pull off yet another masterpiece? Or are the years taking a toll on their creativity?

These were some of the questions going through my head as I pressed “PLAY” to stream the promo provided by Napalm Records. My trepidation was further enhanced by the fact that I wasn’t overly impressed with the band’s previous LP City Burials - an album that walked a fine line between understated mellowness and plodding torpor, but did not always manage to stay on the right side of it. Fortunately, Sky Void of Stars blew all my concerns out of the water, and stands magnificently as one of the best albums Katatonia ever made.

With the new LP, the Swedes have attempted something very bold. They have taken the most distinctive aspects of their sound over the last 20 years, and pushed each separate element to a further extreme, all in the space of the same record. If you have been following the release of the three album singles, you will know exactly what I mean. The first single “Atrium” was a gloriously catchy, deceptively simple goth tune that could by all means be a new “Teargas” or “My Twin” for the band. Next, Katatonia dropped “Austerity”, an incredible tour-de-force that manages to distillate in just under 4 minutes the essence of modern progressive metal, from angular riffing to complex polyrhythms, all without losing sight of melody. The final single “Birds” took us yet on another stylistic turn: it’s a more straightforward, heavier piece that harks back to the sound Katatonia pioneered in the early 2000s, on their Viva Emptiness album in particular, with its austere atmosphere, sinister melodies and urgent pacing.

Taken together, the three singles capture exactly what you can expect to find on Sky Void of Stars: catchy, electronic-laden gothic anthems, punishing progressive beasts, and heavy-hitting slabs of sinister dark metal. “Hang on a second”, you ask, “how can these disparate styles coexist on the same LP?”. While the three singles may point to a scattershot album that does not quite know which direction to take, the real beauty of Sky Void of Stars lies in how naturally and elegantly Katatonia managed to weave together these different sonic niches to form a strikingly coherent whole.

A lot of it has to do with the sequencing of the tracklist. The way it keeps building and releasing tension - alternating driving uptempos with mellower songs, heavy demanding pieces with sudden bursts of melodic accessibility - is absolutely pitch-perfect. The shifts are gradual and natural. Take the first three tracks on the LP. Opener “Austerity” takes no prisoners. Drummer Daniel Moilanen is on fire: his urgent, tentacular performance is astonishing, making it almost impossible to count the time signatures. Niklas Sandin’s pulsating bass is no less impressive both in the faster, more technically demanding parts and in the mellower jazzy bridge. Meanwhile, Anders Nyström and Roger Öjersson churn out some beautifully complex riffs, before Öjersson unleashes a shimmering solo halfway through the song (the first of many he performs on this record). Renkse’s voice is warm and inviting as usual, but his melodies are oblique and unpredictable, making for a rather claustrophobic start to the album. How do you come down from such a high-pressure, high-impact track? “Colossal Shade” dials things down gradually with its catchier melodies, bouncy mid-tempo and poppy electronic undertones, but there is a darkness lurking beneath the surface, in the heavy chug of the guitars and the dissonant bridge, which ushers in those Viva Emptiness vibes I was mentioning earlier. With “Opaline”, the comedown is complete. Together with “Atrium”, the song is probably the most accessible of the whole album, with its infectious electro-goth undercurrents and mellow keyboard lines, all converging into a majestic, melancholy-infused chorus that brings to mind the band’s best work on The Great Cold Distance.

The rest of the album ebbs and flows in a similar fashion. “Birds” and “Author” dial up the tension again - the latter packing a lugubrious chorus that takes me way back to those early Katatonia albums where Renkse had just started experimenting with clean-vocal (but pitch-black) melodies (Tonight’s Decision; Discouraged Ones). The mellow, vaguely psychedelic “Drab Moon” softens the blows, while “Impermanence” is a spellbinding heavy ballad that features co-vocals by Joel Ekelöf (Soen) as well as some beautifully mournful guitar leads that hark back to the band’s early doom days. “Sclera” is a masterpiece in understatement, with its barely hinted melodies, scattered drumming and evocative electronic effects. The crescendo from verse to pre-chorus to chorus is mesmerizing, and builds the perfect tension for the subsequent track “Atrium”, which is the other melodic centrepiece of the album after “Opaline”. Sky Void of Stars closes as it started, with another crushingly progressive piece. This time extending to over 6 minutes in length, “No Beacon To Illuminate Our Fall” is an ever-changing beast that builds on twisted riffs and bleak vocal lines that keep mutating and evolving, leaving the listener with little to latch on and no clear sense of what may come next.

The record is further graced by a masterful production by Danish wizard Jacob Hansen: warm and natural, yet clinically clean, it achieves a beautiful separation between frequencies in the mix, ensuring that each instrument is clearly heard at all times, from Sandin’s bass, to the two guitars, to the keyboard effects, to Moilanen’s various drum components. The end result is particularly admirable when one considers how richly textured the music is. The keyboards and electronic effects are omnipresent, but so are the drums and the guitars - the latter playing a much more prominent role than on City Burials. As a consequence, Sky Void of Stars feels heavier and fuller than its predecessor, but this is accomplished without sacrificing nuance or clarity.

With of Sky Void of Stars Katatonia have tried something bold and ambitious: to condense in the space a single LP the vast universe of styles and influences they have taken on board in the course of their three-decade career - from doom, to gothic metal, to electronica, to progressive rock. What’s more - instead of attempting to find a compromise between the different styles within each song, they pushed each different style to the fore across a different set of songs, merging them then into a coherent narrative by means of gradual shifts in tension and expressivity. In many ways, this is reminiscent of what Katatonia tried to do on City Burials, but with much better results, as the new album sounds crisper and more dynamic, and it achieves a better balance between mellow and upbeat moments as well as between guitar-driven music and futuristic electronic elements.

The flip side of this ambitious endeavour is that Sky Void of Stars is not an easy record to take in: there is a lot going on and the album requires a dedicated investment in time and active listening on the part of the audience. It is, however, worthy of every second of your time, because Sky Void of Stars is absolutely brilliant, and perhaps even the pinnacle of the Katatonia’s entire discography.

[Originally written for The Metal Observer]

ALICE IN CHAINS Rainier Fog

Album · 2018 · Alternative Metal
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UMUR
"Rainier Fog" is the 6th full-length studio album by US heavy/hard rock act Alice in Chains. The album was released through BMG in August 2018. It´s the successor to "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here" from 2013. The basic tracks were recorded at Studio X in Seattle, which marks the first time since their 1995 eponymously titled album, that the band recorded in their hometown. The title of the album refers to the great Mount Rainier, which overlooks the city of Seattle. Alice in Chains tapped Nick Raskulinecz to produce the album. Raskulinecz also helmed the recordings of "Black Gives Way to Blue (2009)" and "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013)".

Stylistically "Rainier Fog" continues the heavy hard rock sound of its two direct predecessors. Dark and melancholic vocal harmonies, soaring guitar solos, and heavy riffs and rhyhms...the sound of Alice in Chains as we know them. The dissonant staccato power chord rhythm guitar figure, opening "The One You Know" (the album opener) took me a little off guard, but other than that "Rainier Fog" features very few surprises if you are familiar with "Black Gives Way to Blue (2009)" and "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here (2013)". The album features both heavy rockers and more mellow acoustic tinged tracks, so in that respect it´s a dynamic album. Evaluating the album it´s not many tracks I remember after listening to it though, and while each track individually is strong and instantly enjoyable, the bottom line is, that too many sound too much alike or just aren´t instantly catchy enough. Given a bit more time the tracks do become easier to tell apart though and a little patience may be the key here to enjoying the album more.

So while "Rainier Fog" is arguably another quality release by Alice in Chains, when it comes to the quality of the sound production and the high level musicianship, it does suffer from some of the same issues as the two direct predecessors. There´re not much difference in pace, riff/rhythm style, or vocal style, and the lack of development of sound has also become a slight issue three albums down the line from the comeback. To satisfy this listener more instantly catchy melodies and hook laden riffs are required (which especially their first two albums were loaded with). Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

SEPULTURA Roots

Album · 1996 · Alternative Metal
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UMUR
"Roots" is the 6th full-length studio album by Brazilian thrash/groove/alternative metal act Sepultura. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in February 1996. It´s the successor to "Chaos A.D." from 1993. Sepultura had long wanted to incorporate more latin rhythms and ethnic Brazilian themes and atmospheres to their music, and they dipped their toes in that pool on "Chaos A.D. (1993)". On "Roots" they went all in though, even travelling to the Amazonas to record with the Xavante tribe (a tribe chant is heard on a couple of tracks on the album).

Stylistically Sepultura completely left their thrash metal roots behind on "Roots", so in this case back to the roots doesn´t mean a return to the sound of early Sepultura, but a visit to the roots (the indigenous cultures of Brazil) of their country. So this is basically ethnic influenced groove/alternative metal with a strong emphasis and focus on groove and adventurous percussion. Sepultura used to churn out one sharp and memorable riff after another, but here the riffs seem to have taken a backseat, because most of them are just downtuned groovy drones, which don´t stand out much from each other. I´m not completely out of line if I call this an album without a single memorable riff (alright...I´ll go as far as to call the main riff on "Roots Bloody Roots" semi-catchy, but that´s about it). Sepultura have dropped playing guitar solos too, so as written above the focus is very different from the preceding releases by the band.

Max Cavalera´s voice and vocal style has also changed quite a bit. He used to have a deep aggressive shouting vocal style, but here he has opted to scream a lot and his vocals are also often put through effects. The band are as well playing as ever and especially the drumming by Igor Cavalera is both busy and creative. "Roots" is also a well produced release (produced by Ross Robinson), so it´s a quality release on most parameters. There aren´t that many tracks which stand out though, and featuring 17 tracks (the number of tracks vary a little depending on which edition of the album you have) and a total playing time of 66:55 "Roots" is also way too long, overstaying its welcome by many tracks. Standout tracks are "Roots Bloody Roots", "Ratamahatta", and the tribal chant/percussion track "Itsári". The remaining tracks are just there. They aren´t as such of a bad quality, but they just aren´t memorable and several lack direction and hooks.

"Roots" was an interesting experiment for its time and a hugely influential album on the groove/alternative metal scene, and it´s a unique album in Sepultura´s discography. In retrospect it made Sepultura even more successful and heightened their profile on the scene, which ultimately meant they attracted more fans and sold more albums. Check, check, check...the songs though...where are the songs? The memorable riffs, and vocal lines/hooks? To my ears much drown in the downtuned groove laden riffs and percussive experimentation, and I would much rather have had the band focus on writing memorable songs. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

SOUNDGARDEN Badmotorfinger

Album · 1991 · Alternative Metal
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UMUR
"Badmotorfinger" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US hard/heavy rock act Soundgarden. The album was released through A&M Records in September 1991. It´s the successor to "Louder than Love" from 1989 and there´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as bassist Hiro Yamamoto left Soundgarden shortly after the completion of the recording of "Louder than Love (1989)", and was replaced by Jason Everman (who came from a short stint playing guitar with Nirvana). Everman toured with Soundgarden in support of "Louder than Love (1989)", but left the band immediately after the touring cycle ended. Ben Shepherd replaced him joining Soundgarden in April 1990 in time to be an integral part of the songwriting and subsequent recording of "Badmotorfinger".

Stylistically "Badmotorfinger" continues the heavy/alternative rock sound of "Louder than Love (1989)". Heavy riffs and rhythms, an almost psychadelic and pretty different sounding lead guitar style (often close to dissonant), and Chris Cornell´s strong and distinct sounding voice and commanding delivery in front. He was at the top of his game on "Badmotorfinger", singing and screaming his lungs out. Some of the screams he performs on the album are otherworldly.

The material on the 12 track, 57:47 minutes long album are predominantly mid-paced and heavy, but album single and opener "Rusty Cage" stands out with its faster pace. Along with the two other album singles "Jesus Christ Pose" and "Outshined", "Rusty Cage" are also one of the standout tracks on the album. Because of its strong melody I´d also mention "Holy Water" among the highlights. The remaining tracks are generally well written, powerful, and memorable too, but there are a couple of tracks featured on the album which never stuck in my mind.

"Badmotorfinger" features an organic, powerful, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and add to that the high level musical performances and the predomintly strong and memorable songwriting and "Badmotorfinger" is a high quality release and a great follow-up to "Louder than Love (1989)", which helped push the band further towards the commercial success they would soon experience. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

FAITH NO MORE King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime

Album · 1995 · Alternative Metal
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SilentScream213
Most people seem to either love or hate Mike Patton, and while I don’t hate the man, I certainly don’t love his style. I don’t think he really changed Faith No More as a band or even stylistically because they were never a serious group, but Mike tends to just make whatever he touches… goofy. He’s got a good voice when he sings normally, but he’s also prone to making weird voices almost like he’s doing character impressions or something.

Anyway, the album is pretty standard fair from what anyone’s come to expect from Patton and Faith No More. An eclectic collection of funky Alt. Metal that doesn’t take itself seriously and occasionally has a good hook or two. None of the music here was memorable to me except “Take This Bottle” which is a Country-tinged track and seemingly a rather serious one at that, having themes of alcohol induced abuse and relationship breakdown complimenting the beautiful piano and simple melancholic chords. The title track and penultimate “The Last to Know” similarly had a more serious tone to them and succeeded in capturing my attention with commanding hooks and strong progression.

Other than that, nothing really grabbed me. The tracks here aren’t bad (save for “Ugly in the Morning”) but they don’t bring much to the table other than the band’s trademark quirkiness. And quirkiness alone isn’t winning any points.

alternative metal movie reviews

SLIPKNOT (IA) Day Of The Gusano

Movie · 2017 · Nu Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
***This review is regarding the single disc, UK Blu-Ray version only. Which contains the full uninterrupted concert only, with no special features or documentary footage.***

Now, you might be thinking ‘I’ve already got three Slipknot videos with concert footage on them’ if you already own Disasterpeices live in London from the Iowa touring cycle, (Sic)nesses live at Download festival 2009 on their first headline performance there during the All Hope Is Gone touring cycle, and the 2nd disc of the documentary release Voliminal Inside The Nine which had a smattering of live tracks from different dates and locations during the Vol. 3 touring cycle.

So what has Day Of The Gusano got to separate it from the others and make it worth buying as well? Well; first off, it is their first official concert video with the new rhythm section of Jay and Alex on drums and bass. Its their first ever show in Mexico City and the fans are energetic and grateful. Its their first video of a Knotfest performance and features all the associated spectacle and backdrops. It has songs from the .5 The Gray Chapter album, which obviously none of the previous videos will have had.

Comparing it to their other DVDs, there are 11 songs here that aren’t on Disaterpieces, including the rarely played ‘Metabolic’ off of Iowa, and ‘Me Inside’ & ‘Prosthetics’ off of the debut. There are 6 songs here that aren’t on (Sic)nesses at Download ’09. Compared to Voliminal‘s concert section, well, its a full length concert in a single location not just 9 random tracks from various locations, and none of it is in black & white.

So, onto ‘Gusano itself. (If you didn’t know already or bother to google that, its Spanish for ‘Maggots’ by the way, which makes sense, since y’know, they call their fans ‘Maggots’ and its filmed in Mexico). The audio visual quality of the release is really high. The picture quality, camera work, variety of shots, editing and general watching experience of the concert are the best that Slipknot have had to date. It is beautiful to look at, and there’s nothing distracting or interrupting about the editing. The performance visually has lots of pyro and fireworks and big backdrops and set pieces, fancy lighting. There’s generally lots going on up there on stage… its big and flashy and never boring.

The mix and production are very good. The only niggle is that Corey’s vocals are a bit lower in the mix than any previous live efforts from the band, but that’s real nitpicking. Otherwise, the instruments are really clear and well balanced, you can make the kick drum out clearly in all situations, and its even easier to hear Craig and Sid’s stuff than usual too which helps you notice them a bit better. If there’s a key riff or drum fill or whatever its given priority and generally its all beefy, heavy and just plain well put together.

The band themselves’ performance will always make or break a concert though. All the audio visual quality in the world, with the most expensive fireworks and lighting can’t hide a crappy performance. Slipknot have been through different phases in that regard. Old bootlegs off of the first album cycle show them as a sort of messy raw jumble. On Iowa they were a tight well-oiled million dollar perfect live-band (I remember seeing them live in Belfast on that cycle and its still one of my favourite ever concert experiences all these years later). On Volume 3 they flipped between the two but generally they were let down by Corey’s vocals (both times I saw them on that cycle and indeed both their 9.0 Live album and Voliminal DVD from that cycle all suffered from Corey’s vocals not being as great as usual). On All Hope‘ however, they came back blazing and were incredible and put in career defining performances and Corey sounded like one of the world’s greatest ever frontmen.

Luckily, here, the band are really on top form. This is a fiery, energetic, fun performance that everybody seems into. There are no complaints about the new line up and they do a great job of trying to fill some pretty massive, childhood-defining, shoes. (Heck, Jay arguably plays ‘Vermilion’ better live here than on any of the other three officially released versions of it). The veteran members are all super practiced, tight and precise. Corey is really strong here, arguably the second-best that he’s ever been on an official release next to Download ’09. (There are some minor questions about that on ‘Sarcastrophe’ and ‘Prosthetics’ maybe, which are a bit sketchy perhaps, but for the majority of it he really, really nails it). Its also nice to see him making an effort to speak Spanish which he does rather a lot and appears really humble and grateful.

The one bit where all Slipknot concerts drag is during ‘Spit It Out’ when the band get all the audience to squat down so they can all jump (the fuck) up at the same key moment. The actual process of cajoling them all to squat down can be a bit boring to watch or listen to if you aren’t actually there yourself sometimes, but luckily here it really doesn’t drag on too long and they payoff is great; the image of the gigantic Mexican crowd all bouncing in unison is really rather impressive.

So just to go through the list: It looks great. It sounds great. The band play great. The setlist is different enough from previous live releases to be worth it. That setlist itself is also pretty great, doing a good job of pleasing fans with the songs they’d expect to hear (Old fans could never see a set without ‘(sic)’ or ‘Surfacing’ and newer fans would never accept a set without ‘Duality’ and ‘Psychosocial’ for example) with pleasing them by spicing things up a bit and not just repeating themselves every time. On a personal note as well, its just so damn nice that they played ‘Metabolic’ live. I’ve been banging on for years about it and how its my favourite Slipknot song and they’ve finally put it out on something. I’m very pleased about that. Underrated song!

Anyway, that’s just personal preference. Everyone has their pros and cons to any setlist by any band. I’m sure some people are gutted ‘Sulfur’ and ‘Left Behind’ are missing considering they were big singles. I myself am kind of surprised ‘Skeptic’ is missing. With its catchy-ass chorus its absolutely built for big audience sing-alongs. I’d have thought that would be in every live set ever following Paul’s death, but I guess maybe its too personal for them lyrically or something like that.

Overall; this is a damn fine release from the band and not one to miss out on. Not even if you’ve already got a lot of live material by them already, as discussed at the beginning. Its probably their best video album on purely video terms, and its really worthy of inclusion in your collection in the other aspects like tracklisting and performance. If you are desperate to see the documentary, don’t get this version, but if you, like me, only really want the concert then this is the perfect version (at the lowest price).

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 (IA) (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.

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