KORN ARE HERE TO STAY
Korn: 'The Serenity Of Suffering'
Released 21st October 2016 (Roadrunner)
Attention all nu-Metal fans! Dig out your old ADIDAS tracksuit, re-dread your hair, and think grungy, self-loathing thoughts, because that's right, the nineties have returned.
Well, maybe not quite. But with Korn's latest studio effort, 'The Serenity Of Suffering', you'll be transported back to that golden age of alternative music, long before Facetweet or Instabook, when the music was edgy, and the fans were even edgier.
When TSOS was first announced, many speculated that our nu-Metal Godfathers would rediscover their primal roots, moving away from the electronic direction seen on the last couple of albums. I too was hoping to feel some of that primitive energy from the early albums, and I was anything but disappointed.
The record (yes, I'll be using fancy music lingo today) starts off at full throttle with 'Insane', a track that does everything but beat around the bush. If anything, it sets fire to the bush. And while you stand there, watching your entire garden burn to the ground, you can't help but bang your head to the infectious down-tuned riffage that Munky, Head and Fieldy bring to the table.
And then there's the vocals – oh sweet Satan, the vocals! It's a rare and beautiful thing when a vocalist not only maintains the strength of their voice, but continues to improve over the span of their career. Jonathan Davis' growls are nothing short of masterful on 'Rotting In Vain', with a manic jibber-jabber vocal break reminiscent of the one in 'Freak On A Leash'.
It's when we hit track three, 'Black Is The Soul', that the record transitions from mosh to melancholy and yes, the synthesisers do really come out to play here, but it's not a bad thing. The tempo comes down a few notches, and while this could be considered one of the 'softer' tracks on the album, it also contains one of the HEAVIEST moments, with a groovy bridge in which Davis growls "give me back my life" over and over again. The raw emotion in his voice is enough to give you goosebumps – or if you're vegan, tofu-bumps.
Many of the following tracks, such as 'Take Me' and 'A Different World' feature a very similar structure, with relatively heavy, groove-laden verses, and choruses slathered in so much melody that you'll think you're high on unicorn dust. 'Die Yet Another Night' is a personal favourite, as Jonathan's indistinct mutterings throughout the verses are utterly invasive. Get out of our heads, Mr Davis!
With grim titles such as 'The Hating' and 'Everything Falls Apart', you can tell what you're getting yourself into before you press play. They'll leave you feeling weepy and dead inside, but then again, what else were you expecting from a Korn album? Just make sure you've got some tissues handy. Even brutal people need to cry sometimes.
I've yet to comment on the mesmerising musicianship from Ray Luzier, the band's drummer since 2007. While not a part of the original line-up that brought us 'Issues' and 'Follow The Leader', he really shines throughout this record, holding the groove so tightly that he's pretty much strangling it. Just wait until 'Calling Me Too Soon' blasts through your speakers and you'll see exactly what I mean.
Overall, 'The Serenity Of Suffering' is a big deal. A lot of old bands have lost their spark in recent years, so it's refreshing to know that some legendary Metal outfits are still making relevant music. There's nothing dated or retro about this record, in fact it's incredibly modern, but it somehow manages to channel a lot of that same energy heard in the methed-up nineties. And for those who will moan about the synth, I beg you to give it a chance. In my opinion, this album wouldn't be as skull-punching without it.
Final thought? KORN ARE HERE TO STAY.
You can order 'The Serenity Of Suffering' in several formats at Amazon right here
Korn released 'A Different World' from 'The Serenity Of Suffering' two weeks ago. It's a standout track from 'The Serenity Of Suffering' and features Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor on guest vocals. The animated piece takes you inside a man's eerie and demented mind and was conceptualized by Mexican short film director, Luis Tellez (The Great Journey, Terrible Boy).
Korn earlier announced a UK tour for this December with Limp Bizkit in tow. Full dates are as follows:
Korn tell us: "We’re really proud of our new album and we can't wait to play these songs for our amazing fans in the UK as they are some of the best in the world! This tour is gonna be sick!"
Korn's video for the album's first single, 'Rotting In Vain' has just under seven million views to date and stars 'Sons Of Anarchy' actor Tommy Flanagan together with the band. Check out the clip, directed by renowned rock lensman, Dean Karr here:
You can order 'The Serenity of Suffering' right here as well as album tracks 'Rotting In Vain' and 'Insane'.