Slipknot: 9.0 Live

Adrien Begrand

The world's angriest band gets the double live treatment, with very intense results.


9.0 Live

Label: Roadrunner
US Release Date: 2005-11-01
UK Release Date: 2005-10-31
iTunes affiliate
Amazon affiliate

Love them or hate them, you have to respect how Slipknot have refused to bow down to anyone. The masked madmen have resolutely stuck to their guns from day one, and over the last decade, they have evolved from a bunch of anonymous, noisy kids from Iowa to an indisputable force in heavy music. Their self-titled 1999 debut album was groundbreaking in more ways than one; not only did it arrive at the perfect time, right as nu-metal was set to explode, but it also became the biggest selling extreme metal album at the time, becoming so ubiquitous among the kids, that it achieved the unthinkable, and was certified double platinum. 2001's bitter, misanthropic Iowa was even darker and harsher, highlighted by some spectacular production by Ross Robinson, and was certified platinum. Less than three years later, Vol. 3: Subliminal Verses spat in the faces of the band's many naysayers, the proving to all that Slipknot were capable of escaping the shackles of the stylistically limiting nu-metal sound, not to mention showing some actual maturity (more controlled anger instead of blind rage), the sharp production by Rick Rubin complementing the band's increased use of melodies. And yeah, that sucker went platinum, too.

The most important, and impressive aspect of Slipknot is their relationship with their extremely devoted fans, arguably the most fervently loyal bunch since the early days of Metallica two decades ago, as the 'knot take the whole "us versus them" idea to a new level. While the band and their legions of "Maggots" holler about people equaling shit while forming churning, brutal circle pits, when they talk about each other, it's like a twisted, fraternal love-in. Sort of the Fight Club of metal. By touring relentlessly, playing practically every corner of North America, the band did things the old-fashioned way, building a strong reputation as an extremely potent live act, and as the audiences grew exponentially, so did the album sales. After three very successful albums and all that insane touring, Slipknot are set to take a well-deserved break, so there's no better time than now to release a document, or reasonable facsimile thereof, of the definitive live Slipknot experience.

Ten seconds into the double live album 9.0 Live, the band shows just how masterful they are at winding a crowd up, as the set opens with a straight-faced announcement stating, "Due to unforeseen circumstances, Slipknot will not be performing." For a band who thrives on their fans channeling every ounce of rage in their pubescent bodies, it's a brilliant move, as a couple moments later, the nine members tear into "The Blister Exists", the crunching, churning riffs by guitarists Mick "7" Thompson and James "4" Root, coupled with the densely layered percussion, anchored by drummer Joey "1" Jordison making for a blistering combination. You can visualize the hurtling, moshing bodies. Corey Taylor's raspy snarl shows signs of serious wear, but especially during the more melodic moments of the performance, he manages to sound surprisingly versatile, his charismatic persona translating very well on record, as he commands, exhorts, and thanks the fans throughout the set, the kids hanging on his every word.

The 23-song set is divided neatly between the band's three albums. Disc One is highlighted by such tracks as the vicious "(sic)" and the psychotic "Eyeless" from the first album, as well as two of the more adventurous Subliminal Verses songs, the catchy "Before I Forget" and the brooding "Vermilion". However, the real fun is to be had during the second half, as the band kick off a ferocious run of ten songs, including the live rarity "Skin Ticket", and a searing version of "The Heretic Anthem", which leads into a decidedly evil performance of their dark masterwork, "Iowa". The hits (if you could call them hits) are reeled out near the end, led by the excellent recent tune "Duality", Iowa's charming feel-good anthem "People =Shit", and of course, their calling card, "Wait and Bleed".

While 9.0 Live is a very worthy live album, Live After Death or No Sleep Till Hammersmith this is not. Instead of putting an entire, complete single concert on disc, the band have culled various performances from a number of undisclosed locales, and while the performances are all good, it gets distracting when Taylor is talking to the kids in Phoenix one minute, Dallas the next, and the fine people of Las Vegas another. Also, while Taylor is in fine form, his vocals sound slightly hindered by his Leatherface mask, and at times the muffled tone lacks the necessary force on some tracks. The album production is punchy and crisp enough, but it lacks a muscular lower end, and while Jordison is an extremely talented drummer, his drum solo becomes tiresome barely a minute into it, proving once again, that no matter how great a drummer is, if the surname is neither Bonham nor Peart, a drum solo is always going to be a snoozefest.

Nonetheless, this is a fine way to close the latest chapter in Slipknot's career, a heartfelt thank you to all the maggots who help make the live experience so unforgettable. Nu-metal might be on its last legs as we speak, but we all know Slipknot ain't goin' nowhere. As long as there are people saying they won't last, Slipknot will continue to.


To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

Keep reading... Show less

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.