Nu Metal

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Nu metal is a genre which stemmed from alternative metal that emerged in the 1990's. Like it's parent genre, it also draws in different sounds previously not mixed with heavy metal. It takes heavy influence from groove metal, funk metal, hardcore punk, grunge, and other late 80's/early 90's genres. Also like alternative metal, nu metal often showcases off-kilter, syncopated guitar sections, usually with little-to-no guitar solos and unusual time signatures. What differentiated nu metal greatly from other metal subgenres however was it's hip-hop elements, such as sampling, turntablism, and electronic infusions. This hip-hop influence can also put rapping at the forefront, but nu metal can also showcase clean singing, screaming, and growling.

The creation of nu metal came with the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, along many other genres such as groove metal, metalcore, and industrial metal. One of nu metal's biggest breakouts onto the scene was with Korn's self-titled debut in 1994, which is often considered to be one of the most important records in the development of the genre. Other acts continued to emerge following Korn's debut, such as Slipknot, Nothingface, Mudvayne, Coal Chamber, Staind, and others later in the 90's and continuing into the 2000's.

Although many consider nu metal to be a reasonable facet to metal music, many bands labeled as such have gone on to reject it as a sort of cultural misnomer. Many bands such as Staind and Korn recognize "nu metal" as a mark of inadequacy that people use do discredit the music that they make. Others like Coal Chamber and Limp Bizkit stand by the label, expressing that they believe nu metal to be something that "broke musical ground", as Coal Chamber vocalist Dez Fafara said. To this day, the legitimacy of the mark of nu metal is one still debated heatedly throughout the metal world.

In the 2010's a hybrid fusion of metalcore and nu metal came with bands like Atilla and Issues, as well as albums from previously established metalcore acts like Suicide Silences's The Black Crown (2011) and Of Mice and Men's Restoring Force (2014). These albums and acts incorporated metalcore vocals along with aforementioned nu metal characteristics like turntabalism.

- Biography written by aglasshouse.

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nu 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.

KORN Take a Look in the Mirror

Album · 2003 · Nu Metal
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Unitron
Take a Look in the Mirror is a bit of a weird album in terms of how it places in Korn's discography. Instead of acting as a branch between the moody and trip hop inspired Issues and Untouchables to See You on the Other Side's industrial crunch, there's nothing electronic at all. It does have some of the melody of Untouchables, but a rawness more in line with the first couple albums. There's even a rap metal song in the middle of the album like Life is Peachy, this time with Nas instead of Chino.

This is one of their albums that I've listened to the least, but it's really only because of how amazing what it sits between. While it's not as consistent as its two predecessors or two following albums, there's some favorites of mine on here. Did My Time opens with a sludgy riff right out of a Floor album, and a beautifully haunting bridge. Everything I've Known and When Will This End follow suit. The sarcastic middle-finger Y'all Want a Single is a classic jumpdafuckup banger. Fieldy's bass rattles like crazy on this album, yet the tone is so deep.

An underrated album that I should listen to more often.

BLOODYWOOD Rakshak

Album · 2022 · Nu Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Seems like India is finally coming of age in the world of metal music with some excellent bands emerging from this second most populous nation on the planet therefore the potential is limitless in what to expect however for the most part Indian metal acts have been staunchly emulating their Western idols instead of incorporating their homegrown folk music into the tapestry. Well all that’s changing and the New Delhi act BLOODYWOOD has emerged to add a bit of Bengali folk to its saucy mix of nu metal, rap metal and metalcore.

This band features only three members: Jayant Bhadula / Vocals, Raoul Kerr / Rap Vocals and Karan Katiyar / Guitars, Flutes but these guys have a full sound for sure. This band actually started out as nothing more than a parody band that uploaded metal versions of pop songs onto YouTube but as after a few years these guys got the creative bug and started to craft their own musical style having realized the untapped potential of fusing Indian folk sounds with the 21st century bombast of slickly produced extreme metal. The band sites 90s bands like Linkin Park, Rage Against The Machine, System of a Down, Alter Bridge and Limp Bizkit as the main musical influences and indeed these bands’ styles are present in BLOODYWOOD’s music.

BLOODYWOOD released an album of metal versions of pop covers in 2017 on an album titled “Anti-Pop Vol 1” but finally in 2022 the band releases its true debut album RAKSHAK (रक्षक in Hindi script and means “protector”) of all original material and i have to say that this band’s version of nu metal blows away some of the influences that inspired it! This album features ten knockout tracks that add up to 47 minutes of your life. It’s hard to categorize this music because it takes the basic alternative metal heft of a band like System of a Down only often delivered in a more intense metalcore ferocity but includes sections of rap metal that evoke classic Rage Against The Machine and nu metal styles courtesy of Linkin Park, Korn and Limp Bizkit. Add the super catchy sounds of Benglai folk music, you know the kind of catchy Indian music heard in Bollywood soundtracks and even a touch of Western folk metal and you have a recipe for a very catchy nu metal fusion that keeps the oft derided metal subgenre relevant in the 21st century.

While nu metal is hardly my main forte of music, i do like the genre when done correctly but bands like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit despite having their moments have always failed to deliver an entire album’s worth of creative bliss and that’s exactly what BLOODYWOOD delivers on RAKSHAK! This is super catchy stuff that avoids the kitschiest moments of nu metal and focuses on the strengths which involves intensely loud yet catchy guitar riffs, alternating rapped and screamed lyrics which happen to be in not only English but also Hindi and Punjabi. The band isn’t just a bunch of pretty faces either and lyrically focuses on political issues and other biting subject matter. The guitar riffs are crunchy and loud as fuck while the melodic Bengali folk sounds add a pacifying timelessness to the mix. The addition of piano rolls and clean vocal melodic emotive tugs mixed with rapped lyrics clearly come from the Linkin Park playbook but actually i think these guys succeed better in crafting an entire album’s worth of interesting material.

True this one won’t lure in the nu metal haters but for those with an open mind of fusion metal where the metal parts are merely a significant ingredient to making an ethnic folk style of music more energetic along with hip hop styles in somewhat of a Bollywood production style, then you can’t go wrong with this one. There’s not a single track that stagnates and BLOODYWOOD even adds moments of choral music and other surprises throughout the album which insures that it doesn’t end up becoming a parody of itself. I’ve always loved Indian music and to hear it in tandem with the best parts of nu metal, rap metal and metalcore is really a treat. This band has become somewhat of a thing in its homeland and judging from this album i can understand why. As the mixing of melding of global musical styles continue to hybridize, this will surely catch on across the globe since it’s so catchy and instantly lovable.

PUYA Puya

Album · 1995 · Nu Metal
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Unitron
One of the reasons why I love nu metal is because you never know what different musical elements to expect in any different artist. Puya takes the groovy nu metal base sound, and blends it seamlessly with funky latin jazz and various kinds of hispanic music. It's probably the only metal album in existence where a conga line could fit right alongside a moshpit.

Throughout the whole album the band is complimenting funky bass licks, thrashing and groovy riffs, fat horns, energetic vocals that switch between hardcore rapping, gang vocals, and some great melodies here and there. It's just so damn fun, and whenever I hear this I wish more metal bands would experiment with the funkier and smoother sides of jazz instead of dissonant improv stuff. Siguelo Pa Llá is by far the most infectious, sounding like a funk metal band collided with an old bossa nova band and came out all the better for it. Bembelé starts out sounding like something from the amazing soundtrack to Lupin the 3rd, and Chisme has such smooth swaggering horns right out of a 70's jazz funk classic.

Jazz funk and metal is a match made in heaven, just not enough have realized it.

LIMP BIZKIT Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water

Album · 2000 · Nu Metal
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Unitron
"If I say fuck two more times, that's forty-six fucks in this fucked up rhyme"

That line is one of the greatest lyrics in all of metal, and if the album title of Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water wasn't enough of a giveaway, this isn't a band or album that takes itself seriously outside of musically. It's only now that people are finally starting to realize Limp Bizkit is on a similar wavelength to Primus of making fun of themselves all the while creating fantastic unique music that really can't be copied.

Chocolate Starfish combines all that made Three Dollar Bill and Significant Other such amazing albums, and goes further. The post-metal is taken to a new height with a song like Boiler, with massive riffs creating an earth-shattering wall of sound. The softer side of the band that first showed up on Significant Other is significantly improved with songs like Hold On, It'll Be Ok, and The One. If only there was more electronic alt rock, as the post-rock and trip hop elements makes these that much better. The pure hip hop tracks are increased as well, with the bonus single It's Like That Y'all that comes with some versions of the album being among the band's best. Not only does it feature hip hop legends Run DMC, but it has what's maybe DJ Lethal's best production.

The album is most known of course for its jumpdafuckup bangers like Hot Dog, My Generation, Full Nelson, and of course ROLLIN' ROLLIN' ROLLIN', which is easily one of the most iconic songs of the 00's, and for good reason. These are just instant hooks. For an album that's so long, there's little filler, the variety and quality of said variation makes this an album that works as both an album listen and every song working perfectly in any fitting playlist.

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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).

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.

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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