Album: Korn III: Remember Who You Are
Genre: Nu Metal/Alternative Metal
Producer: Ross Robinson
Release Date: 13th July, 2010
Let’s face it, it doesn’t make sense. The word “evolution” has had positive connotations when associated with the multi-million selling behemoth that Korn is, particularly this past decade. In fact, “Evolution” was the title of the lead single off of their last record, and rightly so.
In the tradition of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, “Take A Look In The Mirror’s” inlay booklet had the band proudly proclaiming that all sounds on the album were made only by guitars, bass, drums and vocals, and that no studio trickery was involved. In short, old-school Korn – raw music made by (then) five guys playing in a studio, using no Pro-Tools or editing.
But it was 2005’s “See You On The Other Side” that had the band truly experimenting for the first time. Songwriting collaborations with The Matrix & Atticus Ross helped Korn chart new territory, and it yielded rich dividends too, for at a time when everything in the music industry was going down (the trend seems to be continuing to this day, unfortunately), the record was certified Platinum in the States while achieving Gold Certification in both Canada and Germany. And while 2007’s Nine Inch Nails-tinged untitled record was blasted away by critics, its Gold Certification in the States clearly highlighted that there were still many takers for the band when they were at the farthest from their beginning.
But with their new album, it is 1994 once again, or at least that seems to be their intention anyway. While on the surface we may delude ourselves into finding early, pre-Follow the Reaper Korn, scratching beneath the minimalist Ross Robinson production reveals a scary picture – a clueless band, well beyond its middle-age, with its members running aimlessly towards their youth. Fieldy’s funk-tinged five string basswork is still there and so are Jonathan’s angsty lyrics. But this is the first Korn album where former guitarist Brain “Head” Welch and former drummer David Silveria’s absence is remarkably apparent. Korn’s trademark guitar-assault looks meek and while Ray Luzier is a prolific drummer in his own right, tampering with the original Korn DNA has yielded an offspring that its parents won’t be too proud of, when all’s done and dusted.
So, while Korn’s back-to-basics approach might have many takers, and they may not be criticized solely for their intent, I’d much rather revisit their self-titled debut than listen to its rehashed and diluted version, one that is nowhere close to the original in its intensity, spirit or passion. Give this one a miss and it would almost be as if you didn’t miss a thing.
Download These: Oildale (Leave Me Alone), Let the Guilt Go