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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MUDVAYNE L.D. 50 Album Cover L.D. 50
MUDVAYNE
4.28 | 16 ratings
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NOTHINGFACE Violence Album Cover Violence
NOTHINGFACE
4.40 | 6 ratings
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MUDVAYNE Lost and Found Album Cover Lost and Found
MUDVAYNE
3.91 | 10 ratings
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MUSHROOMHEAD XX Album Cover XX
MUSHROOMHEAD
3.88 | 8 ratings
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LINKIN PARK Hybrid Theory Album Cover Hybrid Theory
LINKIN PARK
3.72 | 25 ratings
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KORN Korn Album Cover Korn
KORN
3.68 | 32 ratings
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MUDVAYNE The End of All Things to Come Album Cover The End of All Things to Come
MUDVAYNE
3.69 | 16 ratings
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NOTHINGFACE An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity Album Cover An Audio Guide to Everyday Atrocity
NOTHINGFACE
3.83 | 6 ratings
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LINKIN PARK Meteora Album Cover Meteora
LINKIN PARK
3.65 | 22 ratings
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STAIND Tormented Album Cover Tormented
STAIND
3.79 | 7 ratings
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KORN See You on the Other Side Album Cover See You on the Other Side
KORN
3.57 | 18 ratings
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KORN Issues Album Cover Issues
KORN
3.56 | 23 ratings
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nu metal Music Reviews

FLAW Vol. IV Because Of The Brave

Album · 2019 · Nu Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
I really enjoyed the 2001 debut album Through The Eyes from Kentucky Nu Metal band Flaw, they were always one of the more underrated bands from that particular subgenre and the quality of their debut is up there with any of their more famous peers. I saw them live in 2002 and they were really good. Maybe the market was just saturated, at the time, maybe they didn’t get the right exposure, who knows? Maybe the manager didn’t land them the right tour…who knows? All I know is it sure as hell wasn’t for lack of brilliant songs that they aren’t as big as they should be. The follow up, Endangered Species was pretty good, but it came out when Nu Metal was falling off the map and hardly anyone heard it. I wanted it but didn’t ever find it in any music stores at the time, and this was before the internet was an obvious way to get albums. I’m sure you could, but I didn’t think of it yet.

Cut another 15 years forward to 2019, the band have gone through line-up changes (Wikipedia lists 19 ex-members, that’s up there with Cradle Of Filth and Annihilator for turnover), solo albums, a self-produced album and a reunion/comeback. The second album since their comeback, Vol. IV Because Of The Brave is now out, and it reminds me once again what a solid and dependable band Flaw are. It reminds me what an excellent vocalist Chris Volz is. It reminds me how entertaining Nu Metal can be when its done right.

It’s a decent album. 35 minutes, doesn’t overstay its welcome. Fair production job. Good solid songs. A typically excellent vocal performance from Chris Volz. There’s also a few surprises. ‘Wake Up’ for example sounds a bit more like Korn than Flaw. The album closer, ‘Lest We Forget’ is pretty interesting too. Its sort of mid paced alternative metal with spoken word kind of reminds me a tiny bit of what Queensryche were doing on American Soldier.

Highlights include the opening one-two punch of ‘Persistence’ and ‘Walk The Line’ as well as single ‘Conquer This Climb’ (which seems to be a bit more modern and almost slightly Djent flavoured for the first few seconds before it turns to the classic Flaw sound – but with a rather tasty guitar solo).

If you have any inclination to check out Flaw for the first time, then obviously, go for their by now classic debut first. This is good but its not as good as the first two albums. But if you are a fan you can relax knowing the band are still here, still putting out music, and aren’t disappointing. Overall; A welcome addition to the Flaw catalogue, if you are into that sort of thing (which I certainly am).

KORN Korn

Album · 1994 · Nu Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Perhaps more than any other band other than Nirvana, KORN (stylized as KoЯn) completely changed the world of metal music with a style that was equally loathed as it was eagerly embraced by an appetite for everything alternative in the early 90s. This Bakersfield, CA band only formed in 1993 and after one simple demo tape and a few live gigs already found itself with a record contract and was releasing its first album from the very next year in 1994. This was the era when glam metal and everything 80s was being thrown out the window and suddenly anything that sounded new and alternative was skyrocketing up the charts and laughing all the way to the bank. KoЯn was very much riding this new wave of deemphasizing hairspray fueled bands that cranked out cheesy ballads along with high-fueled guitar solos which started to get a little stale by the early 90s and KoЯn positioned itself to jump on the scene at the very right time.

With its eponymous debut album KoЯn dropped a bomb on the world with a completely new metal paradigm that put the ultimate face on the exploding world of the everything alternative world of the 90s. With the appearances of a schizoid hip hop group playing a down-tuned grunge funk, this band adopted the aggressive guitar angst of alternative metal and mixed into elements of hip hop, funk, industrial and grunge. One of the more notable attributes of the nu metal sound was the use of seven-stringed guitars that were down-tuned to sound more like a bass. The use of DJ’s and samplings also blurred the lines between electronic music like techno and turntablism and once KoЯn dropped its bomb on an unsuspecting world, the aftermath left old bands in the dust with glam metal going extinct and older extreme metal bands following in the wake by crafting more alternative sounding albums throughout the 90s. Coupled with the creepy themes like child abuse, drug use and bullying, this album struck a few nerves at the time.

KoЯn’s debut album had somewhat of a slow start commercially and while sales weren’t stellar in the beginning, the band did launch a tidal wave of nu wave metal bands that followed. With acts like Coal Chamber and Limp Bizkit getting into the act the genre was picking up steam rather intensely and KoЯn’s debut album finally hit the album charts and subsequently was certified gold. While forming in Bakersfield, the band moved together in Huntington Beach in the LA area where they crafted all the songs for their debut and even at that stage were attracting crowds just from the rehearsals in their garage which clearly was a sign that the band was honing in on the zeitgeist of the era. It seems that Nirvana pretty much changed the musical compass to point towards anything with a grungy sound and KoЯn took that sound into completely different areas.

While many consider this debut to be the band’s best effort, i’m completely in opposition to those claims as i find that the band hadn’t really quite honed its own idiosyncratic sound so perfectly quite yet. While the down-tuned dueling guitar riffs, the grungy yet funkified bass and atmospheric backdrops had already gestated into the mid-tempo nu metal style that eschewed guitar solos and focused on heavy syncopation and Jonathon Davis’ agro-metal vocal deliveries coupled with the detached introverted utterances, the KoЯn exhibited many of its influences clearly on its sleeves as well. Sometimes a little too clearly for my personal liking. True that the album has the rawest nu metal sound before the sub-genre became quite popular and subsequently over-produced but i personally find that the albums that had all slick production techniques to suit this style of metal quite perfectly. Commercial yes and in many cases pathetic, but KoЯn is one of the bands from this era that i actually like quite much.

The album starts off fairly well with the bass driven funk grooves, twin guitar assaults and the insane asylum vocal styles that alternate with the sedated semi-whispers. The tracks all have that classic nu metal nonchalant way of keeping things mid-tempo but heavily distorted with a rather unimpressive percussive drive that merely keeps the beat. One of the more interesting aspects of KoЯn is the use of bagpipes as heard on the beginning of “Shoots And Ladders.” The band certainly came up with an original sound however as the album carries on it becomes more obvious that one of the primary influences was “The Real Thing” album by Faith No More at least in the guitar riffing department with Davis’ cleaner vocal styles emulating Mike Patton on many occasions.

Overall KoЯn’s debut album is not a bad one and single-handedly change the metal paradigm throughout the 90s. Personally i find this debut to be a bit on the long side with a few too many Faith No More worship sessions and the irritating silence that finds creepy abused kid sounds into the seventeen minutes is a bit too much. I think the band’s future releases are much more interesting and more diverse however there’s no denying that it all started here and that the earlier tracks starting with “Blind” up to “Shoots And Ladders” are all pretty cool. This is actually an album that i wafer on quite a bit. Sometimes it sounds brilliant and other times it completely turns me off but as a music critic who judges things fairly by their merits it do have to say that this is fairly unique and even the nu metal acts that jumped on the bandwagon didn’t display their brand of alternative nation with the same amount of finesse. This is lower on my list solely due to the fact that the string of albums that follow are much more consistently pleasant.

PAPA ROACH Lovehatetragedy

Album · 2002 · Nu Metal
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martindavey87
By 2002, nu metal had peaked. With world domination accomplished, the only way forward was down, and with that, so many bands that were “on top of the world” found themselves quickly discarded and back down from massive festivals to small clubs. And while a handful of groups, most notably Linkin Park, were able to outlive the subgenre, one of the bigger casualties was Californian quartet, Papa Roach.

The Roach’s 2000 major label debut, ‘Infest’, saw the band at the forefront of the scene, with a number of major hit singles, in particular, ‘Last Resort’, transcend the metal genre and branch out to casual radio listeners. In 2000, Papa Roach were arguably one of the biggest bands on the planet. But by the time they released 2002’s follow-up, ‘Lovehatetragedy’, nu metal was in decline, and unfortunately so was the group’s popularity.

Which is a shame, because ‘Lovehatetragedy’ isn’t a bad album, but it’s a clear reflection of where the subgenre was headed. There’s just something about the record that doesn’t quite have the same punch as before. It’s like ‘Infest’ made a huge statement, and now they’re just coasting the waves. Perhaps all the lyrical themes were already passé, or the lack of rapping and more focus on radio-friendly rock took away some of the edge of what originally made the band stand out?

Still, for what it’s worth, this release has its merits. There’s some catchy, hook-laden tracks, and vocalist Jacoby Shaddix has improved as a singer, especially with more melodic-based vocal lines. There’s some nice guitar work too, though metal fans quickly tired of nu metals repetitive, de-tuned riffs, I personally think there’s some nice, tight playing here. Songs like ‘Black Clouds’, ‘She Loves Me Not’, ‘Time and Time Again’, ‘Life is a Bullet’, ‘Born With Nothing, Die With Everything’ and ‘M-80 (Explosive Energy Movement)’ are all decent tracks that show that the subgenre still had lots of potential left, even in its dying days.

And while Papa Roach will never reach the same heights they did in 2000, this album shows that they’re actually not as bad as most people will make them out to be.

PAPA ROACH Infest

Album · 2000 · Nu Metal
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siLLy puPPy
PAPA ROACH formed in Vacaville, CA in 1993 and then released a few EPs as well as their debut album “Old Friends From Young Years” on their independent label Onion Hardcore but for all intents and purposes those early albums were all but forgotten when the band got signed to the DreamWorks label where they debuted with the most successful album of their career called INFEST. During the millennial change the alternative 90s were still going strong and PAPA ROACH hit the right note with a Nirvana inspired grunge sound that incorporated Korn infused nu metal elements as well as the predominately rapped lyrics that were made popular by Rage Against The Machine. Add to that INFEST had a funky vibe too that seems to have taken a note or two from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

While many nu metal bands were cranking out the albums around this time, PAPA ROACH had a knack for crafting extremely catchy songs that had heavy metallic hooks and a dynamic production that made the tracks on INFEST utterly irresistible to many but as much love PAPA ROACH was finding success on the charts with an album that would eventually sell 3 million albums, the backlash against this nu metal style from traditional metalheads was fierce. Love em or hate em the floodgates opened once the band’s single “Last Resort” hit the airwaves. The track perfectly summed up the angsty turn of the clock millennial feel accompanied by a groovy bass heft, heavily distorted power grunge chords and Jacoby Shaddix’ youthful energetic style that was capitalizing on the current hip hop metal hybrids which were all the rage (against the machine).

INFEST is the culmination of personal tragedies represented in the lyrics along with extremely well placed tracks that were polished with excellent production techniques that were used as another instrument. The tracks are all quite different from each other with extremely melodic hooks as the common denominator. While other bands like Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park had a similarly styled mix of disparate sounds that were a grab bag of what the alternative 90s offered, PAPA ROACH actually pulled off an album that kept each track interesting enough to stand on its own outside of the context of the others and yet the album had an incredible flow that kept the listening experience vibrant from the opening title track to the closing “Thrown Away.” While many a metalhead was giving this band a heaping pile of hate, the band was laughing all the way to the bank as INFEST shot up to #5 on the Billboard charts and launched the band into a successful touring schedule.

As a Bay Area resident, “Last Resort” has been a staple on alternative rock radio for years and to be fair has been played to death and i never really bothered to check this album out since nu metal wasn’t exactly my favorite style either, however as a fan of Korn and a few tracks here and there by other bands i finally decided to check out this album and i was quite surprised at how much i loved it. Every track is infectious and although it comes off as a teenage angst rap metal marathon, more careful listening will reveal a highly developed sense of rhythmic layers and everything flows together quite perfectly. The album is quite heavy although the guitar chords are heavily distorted and sound more like grunge. There are clever uses of echoes, syncopations and the production is just perfect. The album ends a little strangely with clean vocals and a reggae rock ending that sounds more like Sublime, another 90s phenomenon. Haters will hate but when an album is this great i can’t help but love it.

LINKIN PARK Crawling

Single · 2001 · Nu Metal
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martindavey87
‘Crawling’ is the second single released for Linkin Park’s monumental 2000 debut album ‘Hybrid Theory’. It’s a solid nu metal track which helped usher the subgenre to a worldwide platform, gaining popularity among rock and non-rock fans alike. With its quiet verses and massively dramatic and heavy chorus, it’s a simple track which highlights vocalist Chester Bennington’s incredible range.

Overall however, of the numerous singles released for the bands debut, this is probably the weakest. I do like it in the context of the album, but never really find myself playing this one on its own. A live radio performance of ‘Papercut’ accompanies the main track, and is a decent enough listen which shows a young, energetic and enthusiastic band in their early days.

‘Hybrid Theory’ is one of the albums I credit for rejuvenating a then-stagnant metal scene at the turn of the century, and is absolutely essential to any music collection. But since CD singles are a thing of the past, ‘Crawling’ is best left to the absolute most die-hard collectors.

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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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