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Slipknot, Arena Birmingham review – Iowa metal-heads tear the roof off | reviews, news & interviews

Slipknot, Arena Birmingham review – Iowa metal-heads tear the roof off

Slipknot, Arena Birmingham review – Iowa metal-heads tear the roof off

Corey Taylor’s gang are just the tonic for the January blues

Slipknot: "not just dicks in masks"

Given Slipknot’s studied image as arch misanthropes, with their horror show costumes, aggressive posturing and frightening masks designed to put the wind up Middle America and everyone else for that matter, their imposing singer Corey Taylor spent an unexpected amount of time between songs on the Arena Birmingham’s stage this weekend preaching a gospel of sticking together in these trying times and of encouraging the band’s fans, the Maggots, to watch each other’s backs.

Given Slipknot’s studied image as arch misanthropes, with their horror show costumes, aggressive posturing and frightening masks designed to put the wind up Middle America and everyone else for that matter, their imposing singer Corey Taylor spent an unexpected amount of time between songs on the Arena Birmingham’s stage this weekend preaching a gospel of sticking together in these trying times and of encouraging the band’s fans, the Maggots, to watch each other’s backs. In fact, he seemed particularly keen to make it clear that Slipknot are “not just dicks in masks” with loud guitars and a theatrical stage presence. Albeit ones that have sold over 30 million records through the years.

For what it’s worth, the Maggots clearly embrace this sense of community too, and despite Slipknot’s loud and belligerent music, with titles like “Birth of the Cruel” and “New Abortion”, they were a crowd that displayed precious little lairyness towards one another. If anything, the Maggots that gathered in Birmingham were a surprisingly polite lot, seemingly buying into Taylor’s exclamations of “This is the only family you need” wholeheartedly. And given that the packed Arena Birmingham has a capacity of nigh on 16,000 people, that’s an awful lot of relatives. Such was their fanaticism though, almost every one of them seemed to be decked out in Slipknot merchandise of countless different designs.

Kicking off their punk-enhanced, heavy metal set with the glorious “Unsainted”, one of the highlights of last year’s magnificent We Are Not Your Kind album, it was clear from the first notes that Slipknot’s performance of extreme energy, theatrics and volume was going to sound surprisingly good in the enormous, barn-like Arena. Soon moving on with older tunes from their twenty-odd year career, such as “Disasterpiece”, “Eeyore” and an epic “Before I Forget”, it was also clear that this is a band whose music has stood the test of time far better than many of their contemporaries who also first came to prominence in the Nu-metal scene of the turn of the century. Nevertheless, Taylor was not too proud not to acknowledge Slipknot’s own music roots, and before piling into recent single “Nero Forte”, he gave a nod to Birmingham’s role as the spiritual birthplace of the whole heavy metal genre. Indeed, “Psychosocial” with Jim Root’s guitar athletics had almost everyone on their feet and headbanging like maniacs to the insistent groove.

Finishing their main set with the brutal one-two punch of last year’s stand-alone single “All Out Life”, with its “We are not your kind” mantra, and the vicious “Duality”, it was obvious that the Maggots were far from spent. However, it was not long before Iowa’s finest were back on stage and further pumping up the atmosphere into an ever-greater chaotic exuberance, finally finishing off with their theme tune of “People = Shit” and an anthemic “Surfacing” with its “Fuck this world / Fuck everything that you stand for” chorus. In fact, notwithstanding their lyrics and ear-bashing volume, Slipknot put on a surprisingly life-affirming show that was just tonic for the January blues.

This is a band whose music has stood the test of time far better than many of their contemporaries who also first came to prominence in the Nu-metal scene

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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