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Korn: The Path of Totality - Album Review

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by Rod Whitfield (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and musician from Melbourne, Australia. Visit me at:
Published January 26th 2012

Wow, I'm really surprised. Surprised at how this album has got under my skin. This normally heavy band have teamed up with various electronic music producers such as Skrillex, Excision and Noisia and made what is essentially a Korn-ified dubstep album.

I consider myself a definite Korn fan, although I'm of the belief that they haven't managed to match the power and originality of their first three album. What's more, is that I generally despise electronic music. Let's qualify that a little further, I generally despise all-electronic music. A little electronica is fine if used tastefully, skillfully and to embellish real instrumentation.

The surprise comes from the fact that this album is more or less an electronic/dubstep album, with Jonathon Davis' simultaneously bleak and electrifying vocals and lyrics out front. But thankfully, it does not sound like weak, repetitive, cheesy disco music for eccy-heads to wave their glow sticks to, as I feared it might when I first heard that they were doing an album like this. God forbid. It sounds like dark, powerful, expansive industrial rock music. The style seems to suit Korn's music to absolute perfection. They've dabbled in electronica on previous albums (check out Coming Undone from the See You on the Other Side album), and the transition from their traditional alternative metal sound to the industrial/electronic/dubby approach on this record is virtually seamless and extremely convincing.

It also suits the band in a philosophical and directional sense. This is a band that has always experimented and been highly adventurous with their sound. With varying degrees of success of course. From the raw, garagey nu-metal assault of their debut, to the hip-hop stylings that were smattered throughout the Follow the Leader album, to the aforementioned forays into electronica, to the stripped back return to their garage days on their last album Remember Who you Are, these guys have never remained in their cushy comfort zone, they've always explored new musical territory.

So there's no surprise that they've done an album like this. The revelation is simply how well done it is. I would consider this to be their best album since Follow the Leader. Another well known, long running heavy band released a fairly bizarre collaboration recently (they shall remain nameless, but you know who I'm talking about). Korn's makes theirs sound like they shouldn't have even bothered.
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Why? Because it's a unique album
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