"The day of fortune is like a harvest day, We must be busy when the Korn is ripe."
Okay, it has to be said I was concerned when this album crossed my desk. Nu/Alternative Metal mixed with dub step? It was like my worst nightmare had been plucked from my head, given a stage to grandstand upon and then people were being charged to experience it. Korn have been a major part of my life since their beginnings in 1993 and I have always looked to their music in some of the darkest days of my life. So you see my concern?
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Unfounded methinks as the album was inserted into my CD drive and the tones began to pound from my speakers. Many people will be put off by the collaboration with giants in the world of dub step and give this a miss. I have to say that would be a hasty action considering there are skillfully crafted pieces contained within this album.
It takes a gigantic step towards bringing a new wave of Metal into the market that could do with a healthy injection of innovation. Korn consistently put themselves into the heart of the innovative process and creativity with their attempts to break new ground with their music. The effort alone in that regard should be appreciated!
There are many positives to this album that really should make any critics stand back and take notice. The tone of the album, entirely, lends itself fantastically to Davis' voice. They seem to co-exist in symbiosis and harmonise well. Taking a band that have been on the scene for such a long time (when the average shelf life of bands these days is not extensive), it's fantastic to see the experimental nature of the beast they created still evolving and thriving.
Charles Darwin once stated that: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."
In a world where changes are taking place every day in many ways, the future of music lies with taking leaps into the unknown and chances on the unpredictable. We may hit many evolutionary dead ends on the way but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Back with the album itself and to the finely crafted music within. I have to say my impressions were very favourable. What has been created here is a foray into a new musical style, although one major competitor coined the phase 'Metal-step' which I have no real regard for.
This album sees Korn really hitting their stride with such tracks as 'Get Up!' and 'Chaos Lives In Everything'. A couple of very memorable tunes there which had me up and thoroughly enjoying, even creating a few new fans when I played them to people who had not (I know, unreal right?) heard of Korn.
When you all take the plunge, and I know you Korn fans out there shall certainly do so, pay special attention to 'Sanctuary'. The slightly demented timbre in Davis' voice really lends itself beautifully to the whole track and truly struck a chord within me. In my opinion this is where the new Metal really hammers home to the listener and gives them an impression of just how evolved and accomplished Korn have become in the Metal arena. Slightly screeching electronica with a fantastically voiced overlay of lyrical ability gives this track a pathway direct to your senses and works them like a bitch!
I could go on, highlighting all the individual tracks for their innovative nature and finely crafted material but that would be a terrible way to handle this album. In a piece such as this where so much effort, skill and experience has been put into it I think attention should be paid to the entire creation. So, in keeping with that, here what you do have is an album which, although has not evolved fully into its own, is by no means an evolutionary dead end.
Some of the most successful bands to date have embraced the philosophy that in order to thrive, survive and expand you must evolve with the ever changing times. There are people in the Metal community who will not like this newly created beast and who will be gnawing in despair at the dub-step collaboration.
All I will say is that a lot of those who do not evolve are forever relegated to the bargain bins and back catalogues of music stockists. Tracks can be legendary and stand the test of time, weathering trends fantastically in this world, but sooner or later you have to evolve music with the times, sad fact.
Korn have done this and done it well methinks. They have taken their expertise in the arena of Metal and broke new in-roads into an evolved form of Metal. It may not be to everybody's taste and it may not be perfect but this creation has a lot going for it and is a must listen to fans of music and Korn alike.
From a person who likes his Metal animalistic, raw and guttural I have to say this album really opened my eyes to a new style of Metal. Not mind-blowing but certainly worthy of a place on your CD rack or in your legally downloaded playlist!
An evolved beast this is!
On a personal note it's been a while for me on the writing front but can I just say, what a way to break that quiet period, by reviewing an album from a band I grew up with and love to this very day! HELL YEAH!