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RATING: 8.5/10

From dream sequences in the head of a couple of guys from Des Moines, Iowa to the reality of performing in front of 80,000 people at England's Download festival as the headliner, SLIPKNOT came, saw, conquered, and crushed into dust. Image oversaturation and the hollow claims of illegitimacy from the purists can take nothing away from the fact that for over a decade strong (since 1999's self-titled brute) a talented and creative rabble of defiantly oppositional Iowans achieved success on its own terms and have a loyal legion of maggots to thank for it. That one of those Iowans with the dream is no longer with us — bassist Paul Gray to whom this DVD is dedicated — is the only part of "[Sic]nesses" that saddens and disappoints.

Watching Gray destroy Download with his comrades during an 18-song set of visual shock and auditory awe is the ultimate tribute. If there is one thing that SLIPKNOT knows it is how to entertain and fire up an audience. The on-stage display of controlled chaos, the continual raising of fever pitch intensity felt from 80,000 maniacs, the pure adrenaline of cuts from the first two albums ("Sic", "Eyeless", "People = Shit", "Surfacing", etc) and the unforgettable anthems of the next two ("Before I Forget", "Psychosocial", etc) meet to once again remind naysayers and fans alike that SLIPKNOT has a dearth of rivals when it comes to live performance. Pushing the needle into the red is the reality of headlining Download that seems to give those on stage an extra boost of energy. When vocalist Corey Taylor continually thanks the British maggots for their long-time, undying support and expresses his feelings about a dream gig unfolding in front of his eyes it is with the utmost sincerity, making the concert experience for the viewer of this DVD that much more engaging.

The other main feature of the DVD is percussionist and director M. Shawn "Clown" Crahan's full-length film "Audible Visions of (Sic)nesses", which works as a sort of narrative-free and interview-less documentary of the "All Hope is Gone" tour. Weaving often macabre, distinctively SLIPKNOT imagery into a fabric made of performance clips (and even those are seen and heard through Crahan's artistic filter) and a smartly edited series of tour moments, the film is not quite like anything you'll have seen on a music DVD and sure as hell isn't a traditional tour document. The inclusion of four superb videos of songs from "All Hope is Gone", as well as "The Making of Snuff" (an absolute must-see along with the actual video), end up almost as important to the success of "[Sic]nesses" as the concert and film portions. This one is well worth the price of admission, especially if you're a maggot. Excellent stuff.


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