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Slipknot - June 10th, 2005 - Dublin, Ireland @ RDS Arena

By: Ken McGrath

Shadows Fall have already completed their set and the mighty Helmet are three songs deep by the time Blistering.com makes it out to the RDS and upon entering it’s clear why this venue isn’t used for gigs very often. Resembling the inside of a disused train station the hall is long and wide. Two rows of pillars run the length of the venue, dividing the space into three equal parts, the naked looking stage situated at the far end of the middle run. From the rear end of the hall it sure doesn’t make for spectacular viewing, besides the sound is terrible, the guitars buzzing with a horrible, tinny ring. The closer to the stage you moved the better the sound quality got, meaning that those who weren’t pushed about seeing Helmet anyway and stood near the back were left with the opinion that the band were shit, whereas those who moved forward were rewarded with some heavy, aural delights. Mountain sized, stop-start riffs were wheeled around as if it was the most natural thing in the world (to Page Hamilton it probably is), the likes of ‘In The Meantime’, ‘Just Another Victim’ and the cracking, ‘Wilma’s Rainbow’ all living up to the promise. For once reality managed to outshine the legend. Too bad the majority of the crowd don’t seem to realise just how legendary and influential Helmet were, and indeed, still are. Believe it or not tonight marks Slipknots first ever headlining show in the Republic Of Ireland. They have in the past headlined in Northern Ireland and played support to Metallica, but this is their first time topping the bill down south. And it’s a disappointment. Immediately it becomes apparent that Clown isn’t present, Corey Taylor revealing later that he has remained off the tour, due to personal family issues. Slipknot of course were always the sort of band that could afford to lose at least three members and not suffer because of it, but it’s not where the problem lies tonight. Slipknot, it appears have lost their edge and their anger. The sense of danger and the unexpected that propelled them through their formative years has taken a sideline. The songs are great that can’t be taken away from them, those off of ‘Iowa’ especially so, brimming as they are with fire and fury, however the likes of ‘Spit It Out’ and ‘Wait And Bleed’, even the mighty ‘Vermillion’ sadly never explode on the level that you would expect them to. Over the course of their existence they’ve become one of the biggest metal bands on the planet, selling shed loads of records and merchandise, they’ve spawned numerous side-projects and throughout they’ve managed to be thoroughly demanding, stupidly theatrical and uncompromisingly heavy. Possibly it was just an off night, but it really does seem like the ‘Knot have passed their prime. [END]

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