Key Points:

Masked metallers Slipknot brought their unique brand of metal chaos to Auckland last night. Reviewer Scott Kara reports.

Where: Trusts Stadium, Auckland

When: Wednesday, October 23

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Hey look, it's Corey Taylor, the masked singer of Slipknot, behind us in the beer queue. Oh no, sorry, it's just some loyal maggot fan of the band wearing a replica of one of Taylor's old masks.

It's a kind of mangled gimp mask with dreads sprouting out of it and a stark contrast to the fetching, white ice hockey-style creation (kind of like Jason Voorhees in

Friday The 13th

) the singer wears during tonight's 90 minute show.

What this young mask-wearing maggot sums up is the sense of occassion a Slipknot concert is. Not that everyone dresses up and the main uniform is black band shirts, dominated by Slipknot, of course, with a healthy number of disciples for support band Machine Head dotted around, and the obligatory Iron Maiden, Metallica and Slayer followers.

This is devotion stuff and with the crowd in fine voice Taylor hardly needs to sing the numb-skull, but fun chorus of "If you're 555, then I'm 666" on the manic

Heretic Anthem

.

Forget the

Phantom

, this is real deal theatre. There's the likes of Clown, one of the band's founders and devoted father of four, beating a beer keg with a baseball bat, drummer Joey Jordison has a ghoulish presence up the back, the others are a mix of meancing and mental as they lurch around the stage, and Taylor is out front as ring leader.

From Slipknot's recently released album,

All Hope Has Gone

, they play

Psychosocial

(it's brutal verse a knee rattler, the lovey dovey chorus not so impressive) and new single

Dead Memories

, a lighter, more accessible Slipknot tune. But tonight, as Taylor says, it's about "playing favourites". So we get classic stormers like

Duality

and because it's nearly 10 years since their first album they do

Prosthetics

, a trippy and searing epic which is proof that back in the late 90s Slipknot were far more than just a corny nu metal band.

Gone are the gruesome obscenities, the vommiting, and fights and now it's more about heavy, melodic brutality which makes this show a far tighter and more solid one than their 2005 Big Day Out performance.

The encore includes a vicious version of

People = Shit

and rampant highlight,

(Sic)

, with its devilish sample "Here comes the pain", a fitting end to a savage night.

(Sic)

indeed.