Korn: The Path of Totality

I honestly, didn’t think it was possible, but Korn have pushed boundaries again just one step farther doing something that hasn’t really been before until now. Once at the forefront of a musical revolution in which heavy metal and hip hop were combined to create Nu Metal, Korn are now at the cutting edge of another potential musical revolution, adding dubstep to the chemistry of the band.

Dubstep as i’m sure you’re all well aware, had been growing significantly in popularity and made famous by such artists as Excision, Nosia and Skrillex. We’ve also seen bands such as The Browning and Enter Shikari incorporate some elements of dubstep into their music, but none quite so exposed and distinct. I don’t want to generate an enormous amount of height about this record though. Yes it is something really new and unique, but keep in mind that this album isn’t in and of itself a musical revolution, however I would be willing to bet my life on more instances where we see/hear more dubstep in metal music.

One of the most interesting and slightly remarkable things about this album is Korn’s involvement with it. I mean, if anyone was going to do it, I would have bet Korn or Limp Bizkit would be the first ones to do it (imagine if Linkin Park put out an album like Hybrid Theory but with dubstep…HOLY SHIT!!!), so I wouldn’t say i’m surprised that Korn is making this leap. What is surprising though is the fact that Korn have been pretty lackluster for the better part of the last decade, releasing albums with little to no content worth listening to other than the singles. However, last year the band released an album that brought the band back to their roots and back to the top of everyone’s mind. Korn III: Remember Who You Are was a really strong and important record in that it was the third album that featured producer Ross Robinson, who produced the first two monumental Korn records. It’s also important because it revived the band’s failing career, putting them back at the top of festival bills and reminded people why the band were so important. Now the band have gone the extra mile and released an album as unique and novel as this…quite the feat if i do say so myself.

Now even though I’m really bringing the hype with this review, the album is not perfect and does have its own highs and lows. Songs like “Get Up!”, “Narcissistic Cannibal”, and “Chaos Lives in Everything” are easily the best and heaviest songs on the record, but there are other really strong songs. For the most part, every other song on this record features a different dubstep artist (Skrillex, Excision, 12th Planet, Feed Me, Nosia, Downlink, and Kill the Noise are all the artists), but the songs that have Skrillex featured on them are the best in my opinion. I think the reason that is though is that his style of manipulating dubstep is more accommodating to Korn’s style of music. Not to say that Excision and Downlink aren’t any good with Korn, but I think this album really tests the dynamism of dubstep as a growing genre. We now can see all the different ways dubstep can be manipulated and we can see how this will affect the context of other songs and I think this type of record will help develop the growth of dubstep.

I think my only real complaint about the record is that there isn’t really enough Korn in it. And what I mean by that is you hear a lot of Skrillex and Jonathan Davis or a lot of Nosia and Davis, but you don’t really hear a lot of the rest of the band, but I guess that’s just because of what dubstep sounds like. Either way it’s not a monumental flaw.

Anywho, I think this is not only a great record, but are huge step in musical history and I think we’ll see a lot more dubstep/metal records in years to come.


Luke Helker


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