Thursday, January 05, 2006

Korn - See You on the Other Side CD Review

If founding member of Korn, Head, leaving the band because he “found Jesus” wasn’t a sign of this band’s demise, as well as the band already releasing a “Best of” disc, I don’t know what else you could be looking for. Head, in this situation, was the smart one and got out at a good time… well, maybe a little bit late, but at least he moved on before See You on the Other Side was let loose on the scene.

This cd, Korn’s sixth full length studio effort, sees the band experimenting much more than they have in the past. In a day and age where most successful bands are content to keep churning out the same cd over and over again, Korn should be applauded for showing some progression, right? Right?

I suppose, but only if you don’t care about quality in your music. With nu-metal, the genre that Korn helped spearhead, being viewed mostly as a joke nowadays, at least Korn recognized that a change is something they needed. Actually, it could just be dumb luck that they modified their sound now, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s just too bad, though, that the execution of their experimentation came off so poorly.

There are still some trademark Korn sounds on this album, such as Jonathan Davis’ unique voice, even if is only used by him to croon out horribly written lyrics such as “What’s it like decapitated / Can you see me fascinated” from “Love Song” or “Everybody’s raped / Lying to your face / Kicks you in the gut / Slayed you here all messed up” from “Politics”. There’s also some use of bagpipes, which could have actually been done without, and every now and then the guitars have that old school Korn thickness. Other than those few items, this is a new and bastardized version of Korn.

Instead of the meaty slap-bass, crunch-o-rific riffs, and unintelligent yet aggressive vocal attacks of old, you’ll now have odd ballads (“Open Up” and “Tearjerker”), dancy vocals and beats (“Twisted Transistor”), hand claps (“Coming Undone”), nu-hop-metal (“For No One”), strings (“Seen It All”), and general lacklusterness (everything else). Instead of looking at all of the good trends in heavy music that have proliferated in the last couple of years, Korn thought it would be good to make use of all the clichés that nu-metal has tried to shed in the last half decade. Bad move. Thanks for setting the genre back 3 years.

The only positive to really come out of this cd is that it quite easily put Korn back on top in their rival popularity contest with Limp Bizkit with the peer group being steroid pumping jocks, wannabe troublemaking fifth graders, and backwater hick metalheads. Then again, it wouldn’t take much to top The Unquestionable Truth pt. 1, but we’ll let that go. Any way you look at it, both albums are utter garbage and shouldn’t be bought by anyone with half a mind… or even a quarter of one.

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