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 Viva Emptiness Album Cover Viva Emptiness
KATATONIA
4.22 | 38 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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TREMONTI All I Was Album Cover All I Was
TREMONTI
4.50 | 8 ratings
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MUDVAYNE L.D. 50 Album Cover L.D. 50
MUDVAYNE
4.23 | 22 ratings
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alternative metal online videos

alternative metal New Releases

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The End So Far
Album
SLIPKNOT (IA)
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Glitch
Single
PARKWAY DRIVE
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The Sky Between Us
Album
MYOSOTIS
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Aero
Single
MYOSOTIS
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Inaccuracy
Single
MYOSOTIS
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Chiron
Single
MYOSOTIS
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Skyseeker
Single
MYOSOTIS
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Darker Still
Album
PARKWAY DRIVE
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Pike 327 - Carnival of Chicken Wire
Live album
BUCKETHEAD
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Pike 326 - Live From The Boombox
Live album
BUCKETHEAD
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Pike 324 - Live Sprinkles
Live album
BUCKETHEAD
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Pike 323 - Thank You Taylor
Album
BUCKETHEAD
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Westgate Under Fire
Album
DUB WAR
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Hypnosis
Album
POLLUTION
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The Brawl
Album
RECKLESS HIGH
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Phalaris
Album
DIR EN GREY
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And It Weighs...
Album
COLORMASK
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Midnight
Album
DYING DESOLATION
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Our Last Day
Single
DYING DESOLATION
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After Us
Single
DYING DESOLATION
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Midnight
Single
DYING DESOLATION
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Rotoscope
EP
SPIRITBOX
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Pike 317 - Live Feathers
Live album
BUCKETHEAD
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Firewater Sessions
EP
FRAXURES
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Heavy Pendulum
Album
CAVE IN
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Fuckin' Up
Single
JYNX
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Rift
EP
COMMENCE
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Conspiranoid
EP
PRIMUS
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Pike 309 - Cosmic Oven
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BUCKETHEAD
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Kings Today
EP
SICKSENSE
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It's Not Easy Being Human
Album
ISLANDER
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Get Your Dose Now!
Album
DIRTY SHIRT
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Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Live album
ARCHITECTS
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Rakshak
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BLOODYWOOD
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Califas Worldwide
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(HƏD) P.E.
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Pike 306 - The Toy Cupboard
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BUCKETHEAD
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Dimorphous Display
Single
LOATHE
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Requiem
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KORN
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alternative metal Music Reviews

SLIPKNOT (IA) The End So Far

Album · 2022 · Nu Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
I’ve said it before, but Slipknot album releases aren’t just album releases, they are life events as memorable as major elections, weddings, funerals, graduations and the start of new jobs for me. They serve as a significant moment against which memories will be anchored and where eras start and end. They provoke large quantities of discussion with friends, and the sort of in-depth analysis on your own normally only seen with Metallica or Tool album releases.

Not counting their 1996 demo album; 2022’s The End So Far is Iowan metal band Slipknot’s seventh full-length studio album. It follows up 2019’s really excellent We Are Not Your Kind record, and compared to the band’s typical timeline of going on break for many years between records, does so fairly quickly.

In the media, the band had been talking previously about wanting to make a big departure in sound, however saving that for on the next album after this, so this album feels in part like a progression and also in parts like a nostalgic regression and farewell to their origins and legacy. That sort of oil and water contradictory set of aims (Hey, I guess getting nine people to agree to one vision involves a lot of compromise) basically summarizes the whole record for me. Its trying to do two quite opposite things at the same time. There are notable, blatant and really on-the-nose call-backs to the old days, moments deliberately written to please old fans and keep the band aligned with the (glorious) past, but there are also departures, progressions and evolutions designed to bring the band into the (different) future.

So, speaking of harkening back to the late 90’s/early 00’s; there are a lot of moments on this record that are clearly meant to evoke the sound or spirit of great moments from the band’s early days; there’s a little vocal tail here that is clearly meant to remind you of “Purity” and a drum & bass thing that is overtly trying to remind people of “Eyeless” and you may notice for a second or two, a drum part trying to remind you of “The Blister Exists” or a breakdown that is clearly meant to imitate that 3:11 groove from “Three Nil.” There’s a moment of creepy tinkling additional percussion that exists specifically to remind people of the intro to “Scissors” for a second. There’s also creepy churning guitar parts here and there that evoke “Gently” or “Iowa” for a second, although more subtly than the aforementioned things. Its usually only a couple of seconds each, but it often feels like the have written a really modern record and then went “oh no, it needs to sound more like Slipknot…” and then just thrown in some extra cheeky nostalgic icing on the cake to stop it sounding too different. Many songs that aren’t even so specifically hinting directly at specific previous songs, sometimes its just some extra DJ-scratching here, or keg smashes there. to remind people of the old days. The biggest thing however, is probably the entire song “Yen” which seems designed to give people “Vermillion” vibes (although maybe that’s not fair, perhaps its just continuing the tradition of those type of songs, which “Killpop” also did). Although Corey has said in the media that it is about his wife, the disturbing obsessive lyrics seem to be more in the vein of “The Collector” influenced “Prosthetics.”

Apart from the aforementioned very clear nods towards the early days, which feel like garnish rather than the main course, the actual song-writing feels more like a mixture between their two previous records, .5 The Gray Chapter & WANYK, than anything they made their name on way back when. Now don’t come at me with a history lesson, I know Slipknot have been putting clean vocals into heavy songs ever since their debut self-titled album (eg. “Me Inside” and even before that if you count demos) but there was a notable switchover at some point (possibly “Sulfer” from All Hope Is Gone?) where a song with a good start and heavy verse would be dominated by a big radio chorus that somehow makes the whole song feel safer and smaller and less blistering. The guitar lines here would usually also feel less metallic and more alternative-rock. (Around the time everyone on the internet incorrectly decided to say “sounds too much like Stone Sour” every time Slipknot did anything). With a few notable exceptions (“Sarcastrophe,” “Custer,” “The Negative One”), 2014’s .5 The Gray Chapter album was perhaps the worst offender of this stylistic decision where a radio chorus off-balanced the rest of the song, but it is also present in part on WANYK and present quite a bit here on TESF. You could take that thing as one of the dividing lines which could be considered the difference between classic and modern Slipknot song writing.

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s all very interesting and everything, but the quality of an album always lives and dies on the strength of the tunes.” I agree. A direction you like, or a direction you aren’t keen on will generate discussion, but what will make you decide if you like it or not will usually just be how much you like the songs.

The songs have pros and cons. Cons: The lyrics aren’t great at times. It feels like it is missing one more fast song. It is probably their least heavy album to date overall. Some of the experimentation doesn’t work so well. If you can’t get over how pandering it feels, some of the fan-service feels distracting. It isn’t as instantly gratifying as most Slipknot albums. While many songs are quite satisfying when they’re on, few leave the sort of lasting impression that older Slipknot albums did and you get a bit of a sense that in a few albums time, the songs from this will be a bit forgotten. You can’t imagine much from this record overtaking classics from Joey’s era in the setlist live or on compilations and playlists.

Pros: It is concise and succinct compared to some of their previous albums. It features arguably the best lead guitar / guitar solos of any Slipknot record to date. Jay Weinberg’s drumming is unrestrained and much more confident than back in 2014. Some of the experimentation works well, and you certainly can’t say its devoid of ideas or creative spark. If you can get over how pandering it sometimes feels, on a gut level all the keg smashing/DJ scratching/double kick and blast beating stuff is just great fun. It gets better with repeat listens. With the exception of the opening track, the album sequencing works well so there are highlights throughout, so its not frontloaded and there’s no dip on the second half.

The one song unarguably generating the most discussion on the whole record is the opener “Adderall” which stylistically is the most unique and un-Slipknot moment on the record, coming across as some sort of mixture between Radiohead’s The King Of Limbs with QOTSA’s “Autopilot” and The Beatles’ in general. It seems a very clearly political decision to make it track 1 on the record, in a deliberate attempt to make this album stand out in their discography. Quite interesting since some reviews had been saying this album isn’t so much its own entity as just “WANYK-Part-2,” and there is a prominent interview circulating at time of writing with a key band member suggesting that the album was rushed, and that Shawn had said just to get it over with and that it wasn’t a real album, just an extension of the WANYK touring cycle. Of course, I guess that interview could be a) incorrect, or b) Shawn could have changed his mind later, or c) it was just a passing comment out of context. Whatever the case, sticking the very out-of-character jangly prog-pop song first seems like an identity-creating decision. The song probably wouldn’t have generated such large volumes of discussion had it just been track 10 like “Spiders” was. The album might flow better though. Then again, maybe opening the album with “The Dying Song” would then have been too close to “Unsainted” and thus fueled more “WANYK-Part-2” critiscisms. Who knows?

As much as some diehard fans may feel otherwise; for me the album as a whole isn’t flawless, and not every song is utter timeless gold …but it isn’t a poor album either and there are some nice highlights. If you like the band at their heavier, then “Hivemind,” “Warranty” “Heirloom” and “Hell” are going to be enjoyable. I certainly enjoy them. If you like the band being moody and dark, you’ll enjoy “Medicine For The Dead,” “De Sade” and “Finale” (with its memorable choir section part). I’ve seen people online saying these are the finest moments on the album, and I don’t disagree.

Ok. I misspoke earlier. Its not always 100% all about the songs. While not as important; Little things like the artwork, the reputation/reviews and the production can play a part in your opinion and enjoyment of albums too, even if maybe they shouldn’t. The artwork is the same usual thing they’ve been doing since Vol. 3. Unremarkable really. Unlikely to affect your opinion one way or the other. The reviews have been mixed, there’s a lot of “bold new direction” comments and yet also a lot of “same old, same old” comments, and basically every song has been called out as the best or the worst one. Tough record to pin a consensus on. There’s as many different views of the record as there are listeners of it. I think the only thing people are in agreement on generally is that it isn’t as good as the first three records (but realistically “what is, right?”). The production job is ok. The previous album was produced by Greg Feldman with co-production credits for the band, whereas this album is produced by the band with coproduction credits from Joe Barresi. Part of that was due to the pandemic and the difficulty of getting a nine-person band and the production team in one room at the same time. It is better than the somewhat thin production of .5, but not as clear and well-balanced as WANYK which I feel set the standard of what modern mature Slipknot could and should sound like. The production job here really lets you know there are nine members, its quite layered and rewards repeat listens so you can figure out what Craig, Sid or Shawn are doing at any given moment, when last time you were only focusing on the drums and guitars, but it can be a bit cacophonous, messy and slightly overwhelming at points and could give a bad first impression.

The band are so incredibly important and popular that I don’t need to recommend you get this album, but my one recommendation would be not to trust any gut reaction or first impression, and give it some serious dedicated no-distractions time to get in multiple repeat listens before forming an opinion. I’ve been listening to it basically on repeat since it was released at time of writing, and my opinion of it has changed and evolved numerous times since then. This is a grower for sure, and its biggest charms aren’t necessarily readily apparent on first listen.

PARKWAY DRIVE Darker Still

Album · 2022 · Alternative Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
To say I was highly anticipating this album would be something of an understatement. Australian metalcore turned stadium band Parkway Drive’s 2015 album Ire had been my album of the decade, their 2018 album Reverence was a very strong follow-up, and when I saw them live it was and remains to this day, the (no exaggeration) best concert I have ever seen. Better than Rammstein, Alice Cooper, Slipknot, Ghost, Tool or any other famously good live band I’ve ever got a chance to see. Since those two concerts I saw from that tour (one at Download Festival and one in Cardiff headlining) my estimation of the band has only been higher and higher over time.

When I heard the first single from this album, “Glitch,” I was a bit underwhelmed to be honest, but then the second single “The Greatest Fear” got me properly excited, and having listened to “Glitch” so many times since then, I actually really like it now too.

Now, realistically, I can never expect this album to be as good as Ire, literal album of the entire decade, but if they could make something even half as good as Reverence then I’d still be a very happy customer, and it would still be an album of the year contender. The first time I listened to the record in full, it didn’t totally land with me. Part of that was my fault, I rushed in right as it came out, listening to it for a song or two in the shower, then a song or two when I was getting ready for work and the kids were screaming, and then listening to the rest at work in one earphone only whilst preoccupied.

My initial gut reaction was something along the lines of “Oh, they’ve gone too clean, too commercial, too stadium and the good bits of Nu Metal that they’d mixed into the last two albums have been replaced with the bad bits of Nu Metal.” However, I’d paid for it, so I was damn well going to listen to it again and again, in all sorts of different conditions, walking, driving, working, resting, on in the background and hyper focused.

…Well, I’m glad I put the effort in and didn’t go off my initial disappointed reaction, because this album is a delight. Its definitely more of a grower and a slow burn than the instant gratification of Deep Blue or Ire, and its less an obvious natural progression than Reverence was, but the more you listen to it, the more you see why this was absolutely the right album for them to make.

There’s no getting away from it, Parkway Drive are a massive band now, who play big stages to big crowds, and they just couldn’t get away with Killing With A Smile-level heaviness anymore… it just wouldn’t sound right on those big stages. While my initial assessment that this album is cleaner and more commercial than previous records, and that there are more touches of Nu Metal in the sound, it is in all the right ways. This album is an album to jump up and down to, an album to sing along to, an album to have a good time with, an album that sounds like a party, perfect fodder for big concert fun. The songs are deliberately designed to worm their way into your memory and make you want to move.

I wouldn’t say its been dumbed down, its been stream-lined for maximum fist pumping. Songs like “Soul Bleach” and “Like Napalm” just feel good. Dynamic, catchy, crunchy and bouncy. ‘Napalm also has some really tasty lead guitar lines that would feel at home on a European heavy metal festival. I love how Parkway mix that element in more and more as their albums go on.

Its not all festival bopping bouncy fun though. The album does feature some diversity, a few slower more contemplative, darker moments. There are strings, moody moments and a touch of class. The title track is quite understated and subtle (well, at least until the huge November Rain music video mountain top style guitar solo bursts out), and the closer “From The Heart Of Darkness” tries to be a hybrid of the heavy and quiet ones and succeeds really well, with the violins adding a really triumphant feel.

I could talk for hours about this album, but at the end of the day, I think the take home message of the entire review is going to be, “don’t listen to your cynical first impressions, just let it wash over you, accept it for what it is, and with repeat listens it will seriously frow on you.” I really love it now. I find myself singing “Imperial Heretic” in the shower or when doing the dishes without even realising it.

BUCKETHEAD Enter the Chicken Instrumentals

Album · 2022 · Alternative Metal
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siLLy puPPy
And for the 22nd release of BUCKETHEAD in the year 2022, the chicken lover throws another curve ball and revisits an old friend only in all instrumental form. ENTER THE CHICKEN INSTRUMENTALS has been released outside of the PIKE series and is sort of the companion album for the original ENTER THE CHICKEN album which was released all the way back in 2005. Unlike the original album which was released on Serj Tankian’s Serjical Strike label, this one is only available on BH’s Bandcamp age as a lossless digital recording.

Honestly i don’t see the point in instrumental versions of albums that feature lyrics. I’ve never been a fan and i almost always ignore such releases as they are nothing more than cash in on the diehards endeavors. Having said that even though i wasn’t keen on listening to this, i have to admit that these tracks do indeed make decent instrumentals even if not as awesome as were with the myriad vocalists that appeared on the original ENTER THE CHICKEN. The original is one of my favorite older BUCKETHEAD releases and the fact he teamed up with so much talent was a major plus, something sorely lacking in the PIKE series.

This one doesn’t feature twelve tracks like the original ENTER THE CHICKEN but rather only seven. This one is missing the “Intro,” “We Are One,” “Three Fingers,” “The Hand” and a short “Interlude.” It does feature the track “Shen Chi” which was only featured as a bonus track on later editions of ENTER THE CHICKEN. Actually there are a few vocals featured on this but only on the spoken word sample starting “Botnus,” one of BH’s most popular live tunes and for great reason, this one showcases BH’s guitar shredding abilities as well as a serious riffing machine.

This release is sort of cheating in the fact that both “Nottingham Lace” and “Shen Chi” were already instrumentals on the original ENTER THE CHICKEN so really there are only five stripped down vocalless selections. It seems odd to find an all-instrumental pick of tracks of a 17-year old album but considering BH just lost a bunch of expensive guitars perhaps he’s cashing in to replace them. While i was expecting to hate this instrumental album i was pleasantly surprised that it works somewhat although i still much prefer the original. Another glaring reality is that the material here makes many of the more recent PIKEs sound like generic crap. Luckily there aren’t a lot of vocal-filled BH albums so i doubt this will be a trend.

BUCKETHEAD Pike 327 - Carnival of Chicken Wire

Live album · 2022 · Alternative Metal
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siLLy puPPy
PIKE 327 - CARNIVAL OF CHICKEN WIRE 26th installment of 2022 Everything played NOT by BUCKETHEAD. It’s LIVE, duh! Total playing time 28 MINUTES and 41 SECONDS All instrumental as always! Yep, still true despite being a live album

Well i guess BUCKETHEAD is trying to cash in on some live recordings to replace all those stolen guitars that he lost in recent times. Suddenly a flood of live releases are finding their way out of the coop and for the first time BH has released several live releases simultaneously. Following the odd PIKE out album cover of “Live From A Boombox” comes another set of live numbers titled CARNIVAL OF CHICKEN WIRE.

This one features six tracks and keeps it under a half hour of playing time. A lot of these tracks have been featured on other live releases such as the feisty opening “Jordan” which seems to be a crowd pleaser. After the energetic opener BH slows the tempo down a bit with “The Interworld And The New Innocence” which emphasizes those famous echoey guitar sounds and then builds up steam to a bluesy rock shredding extravaganza. 
 “Redeem Team” picks up the pace again with a melodic guitar riff. The track picks up pace and becomes a crunchy alt metal rocker. “Toy Store” features a nice processed guitar effect sound. This one features some interesting technical workouts. It merges perfectly into another long time crowd pleaser, “Welcome To Bucketheadland” which is basically a BH anthem at this point. “Siege Engine” finishes this release off with an energetic guitar performance but the track itself is rather generic and monotonous.

Overall this is an OK live set but not as interesting as “Live Sprinkles.” Basically the track selection is not that wonderful and although everything is interesting to hear in a live setting, i’m not a huge live album fan in the first place and BH doesn’t do anything remarkable to distinguish from the studio recordings. It truly seems like cashing in is the modus operandi du jour. Oh well. Another PIKE i will never be revisiting.

BUCKETHEAD Pike 326 - Live From The Boombox

Live album · 2022 · Alternative Metal
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siLLy puPPy
PIKE 326 - LIVE FROM THE BOOMBOX 25th installment of 2022 Everything played NOT by BUCKETHEAD. It’s LIVE, duh! Total playing time 28 MINUTES and 48 SECONDS All instrumental as always! Yep, still true despite being a live album

I absolutely knew once the floodgates were opened for live releases to come out as PIKEs that there would be an incessant flow and it turns out i was correct. PIKE 326 has emerged as another live release titled LIVE FROM THE BOOMBOX. The album cover is notable for falling completely out of character from the comic book PIKE design. This simply features a photo with a BUCKETHEAD and a BOOMBOX photoshopped and posing on a slap of concrete on the shore.

Unlike the previous “Live Sprinkles” which was a staggering 50 minutes long, LIVE FROM THE BOOMBOX clocks in at a standard PIKE running time of around 30 minutes which is personally all i really have an attention span for PIKEs these days so thank dog for that. This one features only six tracks but there are some crowd pleases on board here. The picks are mostly out of the alternative metal camp with “Big Sur Moon” and “Flare” leading the way. BH feistily performs with passion.

“Gory Head Stump” is a bouncy fun number with an incessant bouncing groove that also keeps the energy high however it wouldn’t be a BH live release without a slower number, in this case a classic live number in his playbook called “Soothsayer.” Although it starts out mellow it climaxes with a scorching guitar solo. Likewise “Ghose of Broken Eggs” dishes out some psychedelic wah-wah pedal effects in the beginning and slowly ratchets up the blues rock intensity. The concluding “Fountains of the Forgotten” closes the PIKE with a bit of energetic heft with squealing guitar licks and heavy metal fortitude.

This is a decent LIVE PIKE that features some excellent material from BUCKETHEAD’s vast canon but at the same time there is nothing super compelling about this release either. It’s an OK half hour of live energy but not something that beckons a return visit either. Nice but only good and not much else. Considering the number of LIVE PIKEs coming out i’m sure there will be a whole lot more where this came from.

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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