Slipknot @ NIA (Birmingham)

When the opening act is one of Europe’s biggest selling metal bands, you know you’re in for something a little bit special. However, the heat in this 13,000 capacity arena is inexplicably unbearable. No, wait. It’s because Children of Bodom aren’t just on fire, they’re fucking incinerating and for their allotted 30 minutes they completely own the show. It’s just a shame that their mix is criminally quiet.

International metal titans Machine Head are tighter than a nun’s rectum and their epic thrash anthems have never sounded as good as they do steamrollering their way across an arena which is reduced to a warzone in mere seconds. Blistering lead guitars and an earth shattering rhythm section threaten to bring the rafters down in a cloud of chaos. Show’s over folks. Time to go home. There’s no force on earth that can possibly compete with Machine Head.

Wrong. With hydraulic risers, rotating drum kits and a vast array of pyrotechnics Slipknot put on one of the most impressive shows in the business. Discarding both their most accessible and recent material for the heavier stylings of unreleased ‘Get This’ and the first outings of ‘Prosthetics’ and ‘Only One’ in eight years, Slipknot are every bit as dangerous today as they were ten years ago. Having recovered from a bout of poor performances in recent years, as far as anybody here is concerned, tonight it could well be 1999 again. 


Ryan Neal


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