For the first time in the ten years theyâ€™ve been together, and just in time for Christmas, Slipknot have decided to put their infamous live show onto cold, hard plastic. Last yearâ€™s â€˜Subliminal Versesâ€™ tour won them the Metal Hammer award for Best Live Act, so here theyâ€™ve tried to faithfully recapture the experience for their loyal army of what they like to call â€˜maggotsâ€™ â€“ thatâ€™s fans to you and me.
The problem with reproducing a Slipknot gig on CD though is that itâ€™s like building the Taj Mahal out of Lego. Sure, itâ€™s the same basic idea, but itâ€™s not quite as breathtaking, not quite as enormous, and nowhere near as good. Itâ€™s difficult to argue that going to see nine men in masks, famed for copious use of the word â€˜motherfuckerâ€™ and carrying out vital bodily functions onstage is going to be all about the music, maaan. With Slipknot, the spectacleâ€™s equally important, and this album just doesnâ€™t allow you to feel the full force of their stadium theatrics. Whereas 2002â€™s â€˜Disasterpiecesâ€™ DVD showed drummer Joey Jordisonâ€™s solo on a kit that rose in the air and spun upside down like a percussion rollercoaster, all you get here is the sound of lightning fast fills on a snare that sounds like a giant ping-pong ball. Even the bandâ€™s interaction with the audience is redundant â€“ without the visuals itâ€™s just some bloke repeatedly shouting â€œJump the fuck up!â€
â€˜9.0:Liveâ€™ isnâ€™t redeemed by the music itself either. Onstage antics aside, Slipknot have shown themselves to be a genuinely innovative band, moving metal beyond braindead chugga-chugga riffage. On this recording however, all notion of subtlety is lost: without Ross Robinson at the helm, intricate samples and scratches are replaced by a sludgy guitar that seems to be mangled with a fist more than played.
Itâ€™s that old clichÃ© with retrospective collections: great as a curio for completist fans, but purely as a listening experience, the less said the better. Come 25th December, a lot of black-clad teenagers are going to wish theyâ€™d been given socks instead.