Written By Braddon S. Williams

Slipknot

Slipknot emerged from their Iowa Hell in 1999 to deliver their self-titled major label album debut.

The 9 headed metal beast exploded onto concert stages as part of Ozzfest that year and if memory serves me right, this album dropped the day they appeared in Noblesville, IN, at the Deer Creek amphitheater.

I was at that show, but unfortunately I missed Slipknot’s set. I have since seen them many times live, where they are quite dominant.

As much as they are known (rightly so) as a live act, Slipknot have made some pretty impressive music in the studio, too.

The Slipknot album was produced by Ross Robinson, and has an explosive mix that somehow manages to capture the contributions of all 9 members of the band without sounding too crowded.

Memorable songs for me include Surfacing, Spit It Out, Eyeless, (sic), and the amazing blast of metal/punk fury Eeyore.

Corey Taylor and the rest of the masked marauders deliver a hammering display of unbridled aggression that delivers more adrenaline than a keg of espresso.

https://youtu.be/ZPUZwriSX4M

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

XIX by Slipknot

“So walk with me, walk with me

Don’t let this symbolism kill your heart

Walk with me, walk with me

Just like we should have done right from the start

Walk with me, walk with me

Don’t let this fucking world tear you apart”

Bryson Hubbard

Bryson’s Picks

Motionless-in-White-motionless-in-white-37815829-500-281On this date in history, 8/14/2015, Slipknot, Lamb Of God, Bullet For My Valentine, and Motionless In White combined to play an impressive show at Deer Creek. I had seen each of these bands at least twice, but the teaming up of 4 such diverse bands made for a really enjoyable time.  Motionless In White kicked off the show with youthful energy and the charismatic presence of Chris Motionless, a less menacing version of the goth icon, Marilyn Manson. Whether one labels them metalcore, goth metal, or whatever other metal subgenre one wants to use, Motionless In White write great songs that translate well in big outdoor shows.

 

imagesBullet For My Valentine played the best show I have ever seen them play, doubtless spurred on by what preceded them and mindful of the titans that would follow. They had just released Venom, their 5th album, and it seemed they were fired up to make it successful.

Lamb Of God also had recently released a new album, VII: Sturm und Drang, the latest in a long line of crushing collections of brilliantly constructed mosh inducing mayhem.

Lamb-of-God

Indeed, as someone who was up in the lawn area, the pits were quite volatile and ferocious, a perfect accompaniment to the precision attack of the Richmond, Virginia maestros.

Few bands could follow Lamb Of God on a good night, but Slipknot are one of them, and follow they did, playing probably the most impressive set I’ve yet to see them play.

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Everything was louder, brighter, simply MORE…a 9 ring circus from Hell…the Iowa based madmen bring the spectacle and I’m quite sure they have done for young metal fans what Kiss did for me in my formative years, which is to say they act as a gateway to so much discovery. One just has to peek behind that door and walk in to a world of music and entertainment.

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 8/13/2008, the inaugural edition of the Mayhem Festival arrived at Deer Creek In Noblesville just in time to fill the void left by the dearly departed Ozzfest, which had ceased to be a touring fest after the free show the previous year.

Mayhems’ first lineup featured Slipknot, Disturbed, Dragonforce, Mastodon, Machine Head, Airbourne, Five Finger Death Punch, Walls Of Jericho, Dead Broke, Underoath, 36 Crazyfists, The Red Chord, Black Tide, and Suicide Silence.

I always love finding a band I’ve never heard before and getting to witness a set that makes me a fan. Such was the case with Suicide Silence…they just took that stage and OWNED IT…just an absolutely crushing set of brutality, insane energy, and pure confidence.

The Red Chord made me a fan, too. I didn’t get to see much of their set because I was in the process of meeting Machine Head when they were on stage, but as I was talking to Rob Flynn, he suddenly jumped up on a chair and told me to check out an event that was taking place during The Red Chord’s set.

They did a “Wall Of Death” that was utterly crazy…first time I had ever seen one of those. Rob Flynn, who has most likely seen everything that metal has to offer, took the time to make sure I got to see it, and I glanced over at him and marveled at the gleam in his eyes and the huge grin on his face and realized that he is just as much a fan of our beloved metal music as I am. Needless to say, my love of Machine Head grew 3 sizes that day, much like the Grinch’s heart in the Dr. Seuss fable.

A few quick words about Walls Of Jericho before I get back to the mighty Machine Head…they were so amazing! Candace Kucsulain, the ginger headed female lead singer of the metalcore band, was literally like the Tasmanian Devil, exhorting the metal masses to start circle pits, crowd surf, and just jump up and down and scream their heads off. She knows how to get a crowd into it, and her band used that skill set to great advantage.

I put them right up there with Suicide Silence on the intensity Richter Scale! Machine Head were the final band on the second stage, and they were phenomenal. Flynn’s vocals were just massive and perfect, and the band were tighter than anything this side of Megadeth…just a fine tuned killing machine, I mean Machine Fucking Head!

Mastodon began the proceedings on the main stage and brought their own precision to their unique brand of progressive metal. Brann Dailor is one of the best drummers in metal, perhaps in all of rock music, and his playing is the perfect style for the band’s ever shifting canvas of complex riffs.

I’m not a fan of Dragonforce (although I have to acknowledge that their guitar players are extremely gifted players…the vocals and rehashed Iron Maiden ripoff rhythm patterns by the drummer and bass player just ruin it for me), and I actively dislike Disturbed, so I took a break during their sets and gathered energy for the storm that is Slipknot.

The 9 finished the virginal edition of Mayhem with a colossal show that the Iowa bred madmen have perfected over the course of their long career…everything louder, brighter, faster, and crazier than everything else…and that’s a good way to close out a show that had just begun a great 8 year run!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

 

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 7/15/2012, the 5th installment of the Mayhem Festival made its annual visit to Deer Creek, and my friends and I were part of the metal masses in attendance.

This show featured Slipknot, Slayer, Motörhead, As I Lay Dying, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, Whitechapel, Upon A Burning Body, I The Breather, Dirtfedd, Betraying The Martyrs, Hemlock, and our hometown heroes, the mighty Threat Level.

I am unable to comment on each band, but will do my best to spotlight the bands I enjoyed the most and welcome comments from anyone in attendance who may wish to fill in the blanks and give a review on any of their favorites.

The first band to attract my interest was Upon A Burning Body, but as good as they were, they were absolutely obliterated by Whitechapel, who played a singularly vicious set, raising the brutality bar to the highest echelons of intensity.

Anthrax have long been a favorite of mine, and they appeared to be in fine form on this day, but I was only able to catch 2 or 3 songs before I had to make my way to the stage where my friends in Threat Level were set to detonate the crowd gathered for their crushing performance. The band; comprised of Frank Rapacki on vocals, Troy Welch on guitar, Jason Weaver on bass, and Chad Smith (not THAT Chad Smith) on drums, had won a regional battle of the bands to secure their spot on this show and they made the most of it, impressing the large and boisterous assembly awaiting the band’s powerful blend of groove and thrash metal, topped by Rapacki’s roaring voice. Some fierce pit action accompanied favorites from their Leading The Vicious and A World Beyond Devastation albums.

After a much needed break following Threat Level’s set, I was ready for the trinity of terror comprised of Motörhead, Slayer, and Slipknot. Lemmy and company were a band on my bucket list and they were every bit as wonderful as I expected them to be. Mickey Dee drummed like a man possessed, Phil Campbell provided the guitar carnage, and the immortal Lemmy played the superhuman, jet propulsion bass and rasped out his one of a kind and singularly irreplaceable vocals on a set full of thunderous Motörhead majesty, including  “Ace Of Spades”, and “Overkill”, with its 2 false endings and the furious finale with nothing but truth.

Slayer followed with their diabolical majesty, continuing the onslaught that wouldn’t abate until the concert ended. Dave Lombardo was still in the drum throne at this time, and for my money he is the undisputed king of metal drumming. Jeff Hanneman was absent by this time and Gary Holt from the band Exodus did an admirable job of filling some nearly impossible shoes to fill. Kerry King and Tom Araya did what they have always done, with King hammering the riffs with beastly intent and causing sonic disturbances and eardrum lacerations with his punishing leads, and Araya summoning up that VOICE, the mouthpiece for the Slaytanic war ensemble.

A crushing performance it was…and this left the 9, the masked minions of Mayhem, the circus of the damned known as Slipknot to take us to the finish line as only they can. Joey Jordison was the 3rd and final superpowered drummer I had the joy to witness back to back to back in this amazing display of ferocious multi limb dexterity. Corey Taylor added his voice to the hall of fame duo of Lemmy and Araya, and the rest of the Iowa based madmen did what they do, delivering visual thrills and chills and a whole lot of metallic bombast.

This one may not have been the strongest lineup overall, but it definitely was the one with the strongest 1-2-3 punch to end the show of any of the Mayhem Festivals.

Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

On this date in history, 7/13/2016, my friends and I braved some horrible weather to go see Slipknot and Marilyn Manson at Deer Creek. The show was originally set to feature Of Mice & Men also, but Mother Nature had other ideas. All things considered, we were extremely lucky to get to see the two headliners, because the sky was filled with lightning, thunder, and torrential rainfall.

When Manson took the stage he went right to work, but made sure to make one of his memorable comments, claiming that it wasn’t rain, it was God crying because Manson was here.

I have seen much better Manson performances, but even on a bad night there is something mesmerizing about his presence on a rock and roll stage. He can get by on less effort, but I long for the days when he tried a lot harder.

After an extra long set break, an announcement was made for everyone on the lawn to crowd in under the cover of the pavilion and finally Slipknot hit the stage. They made a valiant effort to give us our money’s worth, and I think they succeeded for the most part, but with the curfew I can’t help but feel we were cheated out of several songs.

This was my 8th time seeing both Manson and Slipknot, and on this night at least, I left the venue feeling that Slipknot was definitely the band that scored the victory. I look forward to increasing my numbers with both of these bands, because I know they both can deliver better the next time. The storm may have caused problems, but music won in the end.

Written By Braddon S. Williams AKA The Concert Critic

On This Date in History

imagesOn this date in history, 6/29/1999, I witnessed my second Ozzfest in the friendly confines of Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN. This one was one of the best lineups they ever had, in my humble opinion, featuring Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Slayer, Primus, Godsmack, System Of A Down, Apartment 26, all on the main stage, with Fear Factory, Static-X, Puya, Slipknot, Hed (Pe), Flashpoint, Pushmonkey, and Drain S.T.H. on the second stage. 88a04e3ef23045e4c5f262e8039b09df

For some unknown reason even to myself, I didn’t see any of the second stage bands that year, but I have heard from many sources that the first Indiana appearance of Slipknot was legendary. I know that Static-X and Fear Factory likely delivered crushing sets as well.

This was a concert of firsts for me. I saw System Of A Down, Godsmack, Slayer, and the mighty Black Sabbath for the first time at this show. I had seen Rob Zombie with White Zombie, but this was also the first time I saw him solo.

System Of A Down were up there doing what they do, and I was having a hard time wrapping my ears around it, having never properly heard them yet, but I started watching this guy who knew every word to every song and through his enthusiasm I caught their passion and became a fan instantly.

I went out and bought their debut cd the following day. Primus provided another first as they brought out Buckethead for an utterly mind blowing guitar solo segment during their performance. They also delighted the crowd by performing their self-penned theme song from the South Park tv show, creating a frenzied mosh pit that would have made Eric Cartman proud.

Speaking of frenzied mosh pits, Slayer came next and incinerated the playing field with their Slaytanic assault, melting faces and unleashing their legendary fury. I felt a little sorry for Deftones, who had to follow the blitzkrieg, but they are an amazing band in their own right, and they played great, as usual.

Rob Zombie put on a stunning visual overload type of show that he has made his career on, and proving beyond a doubt that he is one of the best metal headliners around. During “Thunder Kiss ’65”, Kerry King from Slayer joined Zombie on stage to deliver a ghoulish masterpiece.

imagesWhen Black Sabbath finally took the stage they opened with “War Pigs” and all the hair on my neck and arms literally stood up. I can’t begin to describe the glorious totality of that SOUND…Sabbath is like the slow moving lava cruising down the side of Mt. Doom, crushing all in its path in this infinitely compelling darkness. Without them, metal would have still been born one way or the other, but thankfully it WAS born with them, and this Ozzfest will always hold a special place in my heart. Sabbath and Slayer for the first time at the same concert? Yeah, that pretty much ruled!

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

 

On This Date in History