It’s the Jackson, er, Four…
Jonathan Deamer
17:14 7th November 2005

two and a half stars

Slipknot LiveFor the first time in the ten years they’ve been together, and just in time for Christmas, Slipknot have decided to put their infamous live show onto cold, hard plastic.  Last year’s ‘Subliminal Verses’ tour won them the Metal Hammer award for Best Live Act, so here they’ve tried to faithfully recapture the experience for their loyal army of what they like to call ‘maggots’ – that’s fans to you and me.

The problem with reproducing a Slipknot gig on CD though is that it’s like building the Taj Mahal out of Lego.  Sure, it’s the same basic idea, but it’s not quite as breathtaking, not quite as enormous, and nowhere near as good.  It’s difficult to argue that going to see nine men in masks, famed for copious use of the word ‘motherfucker’ and carrying out vital bodily functions onstage is going to be all about the music, maaan.  With Slipknot, the spectacle’s equally important, and this album just doesn’t allow you to feel the full force of their stadium theatrics.   Whereas 2002’s ‘Disasterpieces’ DVD showed drummer Joey Jordison’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 band’s interaction with the audience is redundant – without the visuals it’s just some bloke repeatedly shouting “Jump the fuck up!”

‘9.0:Live’ isn’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.

It’s that old cliché 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 they’d been given socks instead.