Sound — 8
You've got a backstage pass for the Slipknot show, so be prepared for plenty of up-close-and-personal rehearsals, crying fans, and drinking-induced vomit. The latest 2-disc DVD package by Slipknot Voliminal: Inside The Nine is definitely a gift to fans that might be curious as to know what exactly goes on when the masked band isn't taking the stage. The first disc shows all the behind-the-scene action in an unorthodox format, complete with choppy editing and absolutely no specific chronology. While this unique approach might have some a bit antsy, Slipknot fans will likely find it a fascinating peek into the day-to-day antics of the band. If you're looking for a live concert performance shown in full and without any random clips edited in, go directly to disc 2. The first disc is collection of video snippets that includes more than 80 minutes of footage taken by percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan. And while it's definitely exploring one side to Slipknot, it only gives partial attention to the music. You're more likely to find one of the road crew chugging a bottle of hard liquor after a bet from the band, then periodically vomiting throughout the rest of the DVD. This is not to say disc 1 doesn't give you moments of live footage here and there. In one scene you see a fantastic practice (unmasked) done in some general rehearsal space. Even though the bandmembers' faces are blurred out to keep the masked show fresh, it's a great peek at the band's performance skills without thousands of screaming fans. Another extremely cool moment comes with a video taken from the audience, showing drummer Joey Jordison and his kit being turned on its side and Jordison playing on unfazed like old school Tommy Lee. While the artistic approach to disc 1 can be appreciated, it's disc 2 that will give viewers a bit more of Slipknot's music. The disc includes concert footage from all over the world, featuring The Blister Exists, Eyeless, Duality, and Vermillion. The first disc teases you a lot by showing you tiny segments of Vermillion being practiced at rehearsal and then played briefly onstage, so it's great to finally see it done in full.
Content — 8
You'll be thrown off a bit by the first disc, which is more dedicated to the band and their handheld cameras. It's an interesting view, but you may find it hard to sit through all that disc in one sitting. There are so many little editing cuts along the way, that you'll definitely be giving your mind an exercise if anything. Disc 2 is the must-see in terms of the content, particularly due to the interview feature. The best moment in the 2-disc collection comes during a chat with Corey Taylor, who shares his feelings about everything from his less-than-perfect relationship with his father to the obstacles that the band faced in its early days. I believe Taylor says, Being in Slipknot is like having cysts removed from your body -- basically meaning that while the band has been through hell, it's well worth it at the end of the day. Well said, Mr. Taylor. Slipknot also provides 5 music videos and a series of bonus footage to accompany the DVD. All in all, the band definitely thought outside of the box on Voliminal, and that is respectable. While the first disc might be lost on those who aren't diehard fans, most will still be entertained at the misadventures that go on backstage.
Production Quality — 8
The production style covers the gamut in Voliminal. There is more of an artistic approach to the first disc, which includes un obscene amount scenes that had to be edited in (hats off to that editor all the way). Primus also opted for a more avant garde look to its latest DVD, and it's great to see other bands also thinking in new ways. Although the overall look of disc 1 won't appeal to everyone, it's a novel approach. Fans are treated to a more traditional look with the interview section on disc 2. While there are some interesting angles used during the interview, you're still able to focus in on the expressions that each band member conveys. The live footage is a bit more chaotic in terms of camera use, but there is obviously a huge difference between the sedate interviews and the adrenaline-injected performances. In each case, there was plenty of thought that went behind the setup.
Overall Impression — 8
It's hard to get a full read on Voliminal when you first pop in disc 1, which is all over the place at times. There are quite a few mini-stories that you'll see maybe 5 seconds of on the DVD, and you kind of wish you knew just a bit more about each scene. Fans will definitely be satisfied with the variety of footage that is used in the first disc, however, and it's the kind of DVD that you'll be able to discover new things with each viewing. The highlights come in the interviews, where you're able to see the real people behind the masks. As behind-the-scenes as the first disc may seem to be, it's the interviews that take place in the bandmates' real-life settings that give you the best insight into the emotions that drive Slipknot's music.