12 November 2016

Korn - The Serenity Of Suffering

Korn (or KoRn, as I like to spell it) are a band who are a prime example of shooting your creative bolt early. Their debut album was excellent and still holds up today. However, it was all downhill after that with "Issues" being possibly the last album of theirs I actually enjoyed listening to. The last album of theirs I listened to - before this one - was "The Path Of Totality" and I laughed at it. The dub-step elements were fairly acceptable, even though they were a blatant cash-in of the dub-step trend at the time, but the lyrics which STILL harped on about school bullies were laughable. If you're still ranting about your school bullies twenty years after you've left school then I think you should seek some counselling or therapy, but that's just me. And for the record, the only other albums I've laughed at were Lou Reed - "Lulu" (a rambling incoherent mess) and Danzig - "Blackaciddevil" (trying to cash in on the 90's Industrial trend but was more like watching your middle-aged Uncle trying to body pop at a wedding). This album should be interesting and I'll listen to it with as open a mind as I can.

This is the 12th album by KoRn and according to Brian Welch - yup, he's back and this is the second album he's played on since his return - it is the heaviest they've sounded in a long time. I hope so, as I couldn't stomach another bloated, self indulgent, overproduced mess akin to "Follow The Leader" or an all-filler-hardly-any-killer rush job like "Life Is Peachy". Still, may as well get this fucker put to bed before Fieldy tries to do another rap album...

1) Insane - Well, this sounds like atypical KoRn so far...booming, rumbling intro which gives way to verses that are punctuated by guitar FX unit wankery whilst Jon Davis warbles some lyrics. There'll be a bit coming up soon where everything goes quiet save for one guitar and Jon then does the repeated whisper vocal thing...oops, not in this song. So far, an adequate but unspectacular opening.

2) Rotting In Vain - Erm...see above. This one is also the KoRn song where Fieldy does the slap-bass thing for the verses but the strings rattle like they're too light a gauge or something. The gonza batshit vocals make an appearence, and they're entertaining enough.

3) Black Is The Soul - This song with it's awesome intro sounds like it may be interesting. A slow one along the same vein as "Thoughtless" from the "Untouchables" album.  It was going well until we get to some funky-esque mid-section. At least we've had an interesting song.

4) The Hating - The opening lyrics earn a hearty "fuck the fuck off, and when you've fucked off, fuck off some more" for being a load of fifth-form pseudo-loneliness pretentious wank. Although, to be fair, you could say that about most of KoRn's lyrics. Yes, some bands have a general theme for their lyrics - Fear Factory do "Man vs Machine", Deicide do nasty songs about the Christian God and KoRn sing about being bullied. Dude, you're a multi-millionaire and have enjoyed success on a massive scale for at least twenty years. School bullies should no longer affect you. Get some counselling. Mind, the music is good on this song.

5) A Different World - Duet with Corey Taylor from Slipknot (a band who IMHO are extremely overrated, regardless of how ever much they brought heaviness to mall-rats). Again, some good music but the lyrics are more wet shit. Thankfully, it's over quickly.

6) Take Me - I'd rather not as you'd know doubt go into a rapid-fire scat rattle for a verse. Then whine your way through the chorus. Sing through your mouth and diaphragm, not your nose. Good music though.

7) Everything Falls Apart - They certainly do on this album. Mind, this song is bringing back some credibility. We may have avoided a potential shit-sandwich if the rest of the songs on this album are as good as this one. A slow, atmospheric number which a jumpy bit as well. Seems to be some kind of SFX on the vocals, which gives it a slight 80's synthpop vibe. But, as usual, the lyrics let it down. Well, they're not too bad on here and truly suit the music, but the repeated mantra of THERE IS NOTHING IN MY HEAD, whilst no doubt conveying a deep and emotional state, do lead to a set up for the biggest piss-taking since Fear Factory had the lyric I AM A TOOL in one of their songs ("Body Hammer" off "Demanufacture").

8) Die Yet Another Night - This one is ok. Some nice music which veers between the standard of guitar SFX verses and explosive, heavy choruses which are cemented by basslines that sound like Godzilla playing with a gigantic rubber band. Shame the vocals sound like Godzuki with his nuts in a blender...

9) When You're Not There - Tbh, not really much to say other than it's standard KoRn blueprint - guitar SFX verses and heavy, rumbling choruses. Vocal melodies in the chorus are really good. Should keep it up.

10) Next In Line - Discordant opening and weird verses. Sounds interesting and also some nice developments on this song. After the opening as mentioned above, things get all lush and epic sounding, which is nice.

11) Please Come For Me - Thumping opening which then leads to what sounds like crooning over electronic beats. This makes up the bulk of the song. It's not too bad but there is better on here.

Well, that was something that I'll not want to go through again. I'll get the elephant in the room out of the way first - the lyrics and vocals are in a huge state of arrested development. Yes, bullying is a serious thing. I have been subject to that when I was at school. But it doesn't still get me down. If it's still getting him down then counselling or something may be an idea. To give the album it's due, the music is really good with some interesting bits amid the KoRn trademarks of rumbling guitars, thumping slapping bass and SFX wizardry. There's not really much progression since the debut except the differences in production quality. The production job on here sounds expensive but at least it's not too over-produced. It's an OK album but not an essential one.

6 - Now I see where you were going, but you're not quite there.

Chris J.

Top Track: Erm...probably Everything Falls Apart for the music.

This album is available on iTunes.

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