Korn have always been a band to walk their own path, defying your logic and points with every step. From their first album at the advent of nu-metal creating a down tuned funk sound with bagpipes to working with electronic music visionaries such as Skrillex, every album throws up a curve ball while still staying true to the bands sound. Who else can do that?
They are a band of complex, conflicting and strong personalities. Five, sometimes four, parts that shouldn’t fit to the naked eye yet click with ferocious incision. From the timid frontman Jonathan Davis who could scream up a hurricane to the hip hop loving larger than life Fieldy to born again Christian Head. Who else can do that?
In a genre that so many bands hide in the studio for years creating a sub standard album, Korn with Swiss watch engineering precision drop a new one almost every two years. Their work rate and passion for their art not dimmed by trivial matters such as a virus. Who else can do that?
So as sure as two years have passed since the beautifully haunting The Nothing, Korn are back with Requiem.
Released under the backdrop of Fieldy’s hiatus from the band that does nothing to diminish the work. The album is full of what you expect – that fantastic dual guitar magic-potion-interactions between Head and Munky, that tight as a frogs bottom rhythm section and Davis’s clean clear vocal lullaby harmonies interspersed with scatter gun growls of despair.
Let The Dark Do The Rest and Start The Healing have Munky and Head’s guitars razor sharp, interlaying with each other that only Korn can do, as they combine with Davis vocals which juxtapose between soothing and hurt.
Lost In The Grandeur is a raged filled guitar scratching menacing monster as Davis’s trademark serial killer style of vocals centre’s the sound.
Penance To Sorrow brings Davis 80’s pop goth sensibilities to fore with his knack of finding a beautiful harmony for a chorus that sticks in your brain long after the song has finished.
The album finishes with Worst Is On It’s Way which brings many of Korn different flavours into one melting pot. The jagged rhythm, the guitar effects, big chorus and that scat vocal power which explodes on impact as it hits your ears. It’s a head exploding beauty.
Korn’s fourteenth album in twenty eight years is an extraordinary piece of musical art. It’s a refined, classy well oiled machine of power, angst and spite. It’s fresh sounding yet still undeniably Korn. As Davis himself sings ‘there’s that sound, it’s constant and profound’.
Album Review By Iain McCallum