Album Review: New Korn singles show a return to old style

Music Review

Stephen Underwood, Reporter

Being a follower of the current hard rock and metal styles and trends in America, no local bands get my attention more than Korn and Adema. They are by far the most commercially successful bands in this town because they have achieved gold and platinum success.

Korn gained their success before other local bands with their 1994 self-titled debut album. Recently, they kicked off a new tour for their upcoming album The Serenity of Suffering, which from listening to particular tracks, gives the listener a sense of sarcasm, anger and mental confusion as lead singer Jon Davis has stated to the press about his voice and lyrics.

Korn has written dark material before, but this could arguably be the darkest record they’ve made since their first four albums in the 1990s.

They confirmed to the press and Billboard that despite their mainstream success, they wish to return to their “old school” Korn sound that originally made them famous in the nu metal genre.

Fans that miss Korn’s older heavier sound get more than they bargained for in some key tracks that really stand out, such as “Insane” and “Rotting in Vain,” which are also singles.

“Insane” opens the record as the first track. It has a brutal mix of melody and death metal. Its intentional sound is odd to hear on a Korn song because Jon Davis has said before in past interviews that when Korn started, they didn’t intend to be super heavy.

In 1999, he told Guitar World that he didn’t want to be the guy that only screams, but can’t really sing so he started improving his vocal abilities over the years. This song must obviously be an attempt to balance a hard sound with pop sensibilities. That makes the title definitely fit the song.

“Rotting in Vain” has Jon’s trademark growls that the older records had, like in songs such as “Twist,” “Clown,” or the classic “Blind.” This song offers something fresh though as well because it’s fast and really aggressive in tempo. This is likely due to the band’s original drummer, David Silveria, being replaced with Ray Luzier, who was previously in Army of Anyone. Ray has been labeled by the band and fans as having an energy live.

It’s clear his energy spills into the recording studio. The album, besides featuring a return to the Korn that made sick albums like “Korn,” “Life is Peachy,” “Follow the Leader” and “Issues,” features tracks that were likely never to happen by the band’s personal interests, let alone what the fans might want or expect.

Such tracks include “The Hating” and “A Different World.” “The Hating” for example, is strange in its title alone. Fans might confuse it for being a reworked or remixed track of “Hating” from the album “Untouchables.” Why have two songs with the same name? Fans that dig the collaborations Korn have done will be pleased to listen to “A Different World.” It features Corey Taylor from Slipknot and Stone Sour.

Davis told Fuse awhile back that he’s a big fan of Corey’s singing style, so this song should not come as such a shocking thing to fans. It’s still a miracle this song saw the light of day though. Davis has said that he’s actually tired of collaborations and just wants to focus on his own band. “The Serenity of Suffering” is scheduled for a CD and vinyl release in October.

The album can already be heard in its entirety on Apple iTunes. Some tracks have been bootlegged on the Internet if fans don’t want to buy the album, such as “Everything Falls Apart.”