December 10, 2006

Music DVD Review: Slipknot - Voliminal: Inside the Nine

Slipknot have had an interesting journey. A journey that I am not terribly familiar with, outside of the fact that their music keeps getting better. I remember many moons ago when I first picked up that CD with the word "Slipknot" emblazoned across it with those nine guys in masks posing on the cover. I thought it was a decent album, but I quickly moved onto their masked competition in Mushroomhead. I skipped over their sophomore release, Iowa, and moved right onto Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, and fell in love. This DVD set chronicles their 28 month world tour that took this 9 piece to the far reaches of the globe, where they played for sold out crowds on a regular basis.

This two disk set is a massive undertaking. It was the brainchild of M. Shawn Crahan, also known as Clown, who personally went on a culling expedition through the hundreds of hours of tape in order to piece together this 90 minute documentary. I call it a documentary in the loosest sense of the term, as this is more a stream of conciousness look into the beast that is the Slipknot touring machine.

I was enthralled and bored by the documentary. It is fascinating that for as interesting as this band must be, and the footage that they must have, that we have to spend time with a roadie (or whoever) throwing up. I can understand why a rock band would have something like that, but I just don't see the need for it. In my opinion this is just more time taken away from seeing the band in action.

To say this is not what I expected would be an understatement. I had been hoping for a slightlyh more standard documentary with some mayhem thrown in. Instead, the final product is all mayhem. Watch the band as the warm up, as they screw around, and as they play onstage. The best part is watching them perform. It is not recorded as official live stuff, and frankly the audio is near unlistenable, you can just about make out what song they are playing but nothing more. What makes this so good to watch is watching them onstage. These guys know their way around the stage, and keeping 9 guys from tripping over each other is no small feat. This shows the whole package. The music has become increasingly complex, and with that they combine the live show. The energy is plainly evident, and I can watch Joey Jordison play drums forever, he is an amazing talent.

The second disk is even better than the first. It may not have quite as much footage, but I was fascinated more by it. First up, it contains all of the videos that they created for the third album, including "Duality" and "Before I Forget." Each of their videos is quite good, and I have never seen any of them before. The second segment is a group of interviews with each of the nine, sans masks. This interview cluster gives an inside look at the behemoth that is Slipknot. The clips humanize them, and show just how dedicated they are to the band and their vision. Lastly, there are live performances from around the globe of nine songs, including "Eyeless," "The Heretic Anthem," and one of my favorite tracks "The Blister Exists."

This is a disk that takes the good and the bad and mixes it up in a big edgey metal blender. It is an outpouring from the underbelly of a band that many love to hate, while just as many just love. It is a message from a band that celebrates its longevity and calls their fans "maggots." It is a set that has plenty that you will want to watch over and over, and other parts you may never wish to see again. That said, it has limited replay value, and will probably disappoint many viewers.


As an added bonus, here is a picture where you can match the mask and number to the face obscured behind it.


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