Review by Joshua Sindell
By now, Iowa’s biggest-ever metal band Slipknot have been thoroughly covered in more than a few home-video releases, with hours of biographical, live concert and in-studio footage already available. But in the time between Slipknot’s fourth and fifth albums, the band had to endure the departure of two crucial founding members; parting ways with drummer Joey Jordison, and mourning bassist Paul Gray’s tragic death. When the headlining tour to promote .5: The Gray Chapter marked Slipknot’s first-ever Mexican concert, the band’s percussionist (and documentarian) Shawn “Clown” Crahan sought to honour the rabid audience there with a new movie that captured both “The Nine” and its fans at an intense peak.
The result is Day Of The Gusano: a powerhouse blast through roughly 75 minutes of Slipknot at their best in front of an excitable Mexico City audience, many of whom are interviewed in cutaway instalments. As a tribute to its following, the movie breaks little ground–you see one group of fans gathered backstage, overjoyed to meet its heroes, you’ve pretty much seen them all–and despite Crahan’s intentions, these scenes don’t rise above the formulaic.
The concert itself, however, is a welcome reminder of Slipknot’s intensity. Singer Corey Taylor punishes his throat for more than an hour, addressing the crowd in Spanish in between the strenuous workout. Drummer Jay Weinberg is a worthy successor to Jordison, and the film enjoys showing shot after shot of his hyperactive feet on the kick-drums. It’ll be up to fans to decide if they really need yet another Slipknot video concert in their collection, but in Gusano’s defence, “Custer” cuts a huge swath of audio violence that leaves deep scars, and the now-expected “Spit It Out”/”jump the fuck up!” moment has gotten increasingly more chaotic, now that the band’s “maggots” are saving up their energy for that particular command from Taylor. At the end of a particularly hard-played show, it’s clear that Day Of The Gusano showcases a night to remember.
(Slipknot: Day Of The Gusano is released by Eagle Rock Entertainment on Blu-ray, DVD, CD, LP and digital formats Oct. 20, 2017.)