Review Summary: A great live package, and a great addition to any Slipknot fan's collection. A solid buy, despite some obvious flaws
Slipknot seems to be a band that either you love or hate. For the record, I have never heard anyone say they are "just alright." Whenever I hear people talk of Slipknot, its usually "they're great, awesome, amazing, etc." or its "they suck more than..." (well, you get what I'm saying.) When this live album was released, Slipknot had released three studio albums (and three successful ones they were), with this being their first live album (I won't count Disasterpieces because it was a DVD release.) The Nine show what they are made of on this disc, and any fan of Slipknot should not be disappointed.
With this CD being two discs, you get a lot for what you are paying for. Right from the get-go, with the blistering opener The Blister Exists (no pun intended) the band shows why they are one of the strongest heavy metal bands out there; they ooze talent all over the board, with great guitar work, superb drumming, and a huge roaring crowd to support them. This live CD has a lot of great work when it comes to instrumentation, from the shredding solo of Pulse Of The Maggots, to the tight chugging rhythm guitars in Before I Forget. The bass work also is more upfront, with songs like Iowa and Vermilion showing what Paul Grey could do with his four string beast. Joey Jordison's drumming is a standout on pretty much every track, needless to say, with Chris and Clown providing a solid percussion section throughout. Even DJ Sid Wilson and 133's turn tables and sampling work is mixed so that it is clearly heard.
If you haven't noticed, I didn't talk about Corey Taylor's vocals yet. This is where some of my complaints start. It seems like Corey's vocals are more hit-and-miss than they should be. In all honesty he sounds fine on songs such as The Nameless, Vermilion, and The Blister Exists. But on songs like (sic) [with most of the lyrics being poorly sung], some parts of Pulse Of The Maggots, and Disasterpiece, they seem to be on the weaker side. Another complaint, and this only applies to one song, is the shortened version of Iowa. The performance itself is fine; in fact, it sounds pretty good! But it is only seven-ish minutes long. Now I can understand why they shortened it (the original song is fifteen minutes long) but why not leave this off the album and replace it if possible?
Either way, this two-disc live album is worth the ownership for any Slipknot fan. For the price it is, it is well worth the purchase. For non-Slipknot fans, stay away from this album. For people looking to get into Slipknot, just get their compilation that came out last year called "Antennas To Hell."