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Once upon a time, Slipknot was my number one favorite band. While other bands have since claimed that top spot, I've still got a soft spot for them, and I've been looking forward to their next album, their first in six years. The anticipation has put me on a bit of a Slipknot kick lately, and I decided to fire up their first concert DVD, 2002's Disasterpieces.
Review by Crispy
Added: December 21, 2014
For the few that don't know, Slipknot is a nu-metal band hailing from Iowa who are well known for their unique look: the band plays wearing masks and identical jumpsuits. Along with their given names, each member has taken on a pseudonym: the numbers zero through eight. That's right, it's a nine person band. At the time of Disasterpieces, those nine were vocalist Corey Taylor (8), guitarists Jim Root (4) and Mick Thompson (7), bassist Paul Gray (2), drummer Joey Jordison (1), DJ Sid Wilson (0), sampler Craig Jones (5), and percussionists Chris Fehn (3) and Shawn Crahan (6). They were one of nu-metal's heavyweights in its heyday at the turn of the millennium, and this concert took place in London on February 16, 2002 when their popularity was at a peak. Their set list that evening was:
- People = Shit
-Sid's Turntable Solo
-Joey's Drum Solo
-The Heretic Anthem
-Spit it Out
-Wait and Bleed
A damned nice collection off the first two albums there. Hell, twelve years later a lot of those songs are still a staple of their concerts, and it was nice seeing Purity (a song that was originally removed from their first album for copyright violation allegations) and Eeyore (the self-titled's "secret" track) get their time to shine as well. It takes more than a good set list to make a concert DVD worth watching though, and boy does Slipknot deliver. Their high energy show is pure chaos, and they utilized close to thirty cameras to capture it all. Most of the members even had cameras attached to their mask to catch their perspective, and Mick had one on the headstock of his guitar. Good thing, because there's a lot of shit going on. Along with their percussive duties, Chris and Shawn spend a lot of time running around providing backing vocals and just generally running amok. Likewise, Sid has always been known for his fifteen to twenty foot stage dives, and jumps at least four to five times throughout the show. To say nothing of his tendency to run up the back of the set and drop the ten feet behind his turntables, or hang off of Shawn's drums and headbang in unison with the clown. I'll admit that all of this extra curricular activity may lend a little bit of credence to their detractors' claims that their large roster is just another useless gimmick, but it sure is fun to watch! Plus, they added a second disc that included all their music videos up to this point, plus a few songs from the concert where you have control of the camera angles. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take advantage of this since I watched it on a console so I don't know how well it worked in application, but it sounds good on paper.
With all that said, some decisions were made in the editing room that brought the overall enjoyment down a few notches. For starters, there's an average of one second between cuts. Epileptic maggots need not apply. This has been lauded in most reviews, but I certainly could have lived without it. Sure, it was great during the scenes where the band was simply headbanging, but all those antics I talked about before were lost in the shuffle. For example, each of Sid's crazy jumps were interrupted with at least two or three cuts. It'd be awesome if they just kept a single camera angle, especially the POV cam, throughout the dive, but unfortunately, the constant switching is jarring enough to slow down your reaction time, so by the time you realize what just happened, it's already done. Even letting the scenes play for two to three seconds apiece during some of the more active moments would have been an improvement. You'd still get that chaotic feeling, but at least our brains get a chance to register what we're seeing. Plus, in between some of the songs they added grainy footage of the band getting dressed or the crew setting up the stage. It would have been an interested bit to catch in the extras maybe, but it's totally unwanted just plopped in the middle of the concert. It kills every bit of momentum the show has going for it, and even worse, they really aren't that entertaining.
That aside, this is a damned fine DVD and a must for any maggot's collection. Especially for those who don't appreciate the softer aspects that's been added to their sound since their third album. I absolutely loved this back in high school, and twelve years later, I still enjoyed the shit out of it. 8/10.
Rest in Peace: Paul Gray (04/08/1972 - 05/24/2010)