28 November, 2011

Review: Korn - The Path of Totality

The 10th album in this nu metal band's storied career has escaped and I'm here to squeeze the life out of it.

I admit, Korn isn't a band that is ever on my radar and I didn't even bother following the release date information about this album, so it kind of caught me by surprise when it landed on my doorstep, or something. I quickly popped this thing into my massive sound system and let it rip. And boy was I fuckin' surprised.

This ditty is experimental to say the least. It is a mixture of the Korn sound (which is clear as day, as you are never confused as to what band made this shit) and a bunch of electronic house shit I would never fuckin' listen to otherwise. But is it a massive shitfest like Lou Reed and Metallica's abortionaholic Lulu? Fuck no. It is actually, quite surprisingly, damn good.

Let's rate the tracks (mixer, producer, or whatever you want to call it in parentheses):

1. "Chaos Lives in Everything" (Skrillex) - A nice little intro into this new sound. Kicks off like I'm getting assaulted or raped at some techno rave. Then the vocals kick in and I'm not totally on board but it doesn't take long for the totality (see what I did?) of sound to wash over me and I'm cool with what I'm hearing. Good beat, melody, and overall atmosphere. 85 out of 100

2. "Kill Mercy Within" (Noisia) - The opening reminds me a bit of Mastodon. There is a nice bit of subtlety that leads into a cool NIN type thing. It's not an awesome track, nor do I feel violated in any way. I'm liking it enough that I don't feel like going immediately to the next track. Great thing is that it's short and doesn't overstay its welcome. 80 out of 100

3. "My Wall" (Excision) - No subtlety. Nice beat. Nothing special. The melody isn't all that memorable. But like the previous track, it is short and even if I'm not digging it too much, I'm not subjected to five minutes or more of it (fuck you, Lulu). 76 out of 100

4. "Narcissistic Cannibal" (Skrillex, Kill the Noise) - Holy fuck this is awesome. Orgasmic. It could win in a knife fight with the best Korn has ever offered. Superb beat, melody, vocals, and overall construction. Reminds me of those good old days, chillin' out in New Jersey metal clubs that played all kinds of shit, like God Lives Underwater to Orgy. In fact, those are the two bands that come to mind as I listen to this track over and over. Fuckin' love the motherfuck out of this track. 98 out of 100

5. "Illuminati" (Excision, Downlink) - Bow down before the one you serve, you're going to get what you deserve! No? Okay, so it is a bit more original than that. But it's a tad inspired. Still, that was a great song and this is the bastard child of its ethereal inspiration. I dig the beat but I actually really like the later shift to a quieter head-space. Would have liked a bit more of that as it would have set the track apart even more. 83 out of 100

6. "Burn the Obedient" (Noisia) - The song asks me if I am scared, and I am... but not of a piece of music. That's fuckin ridiculous. But maybe I should be because I'm not totally in love with this one. It's not bad but without the proper amount of alcohol, drugs, or brain damage, I don't think I will be listening to it ever again. 70 out of 100

7. "Sanctuary" (Downlink) - The opening is trying the patience of my ears to be buzzzzzzzed like a mad fuckin' beehive. There is an okay melody hidden tightly away in some sections of this one but my sensitive ears are on fire from the buzzzzzzzz and only exasperating my tinnitus. Still, it is somewhat saved by listenable sections and so I survive. 75 out of 100

8. "Let's Go" (Noisia) - It's a happy little number. Upbeat like an anxious 20-year old club chick demonstrating her willingness to please any man who will drown out the daddy-issue noises in her brainz. And just like her, I am over and done with it quickly and nearly forgotten, but still holding onto the memory that something kind of fun just happened. 78 out of 100

9. "Get Up!" (Skrillex) - Woohoo! I am in the new TRON movie! Well, that's how I felt when it started. Anyway, this is a bit all over the place but I am digging it. Beats, vocal melodies, hardcore stuff, and a cool groove thang. There is kind of a riffing on the techno stuff past the midpoint that is cool but also has some jarring male vocal line that sounds like someone having a finger pushed too far up their asshole. I have to take off 5 points just for that. What the fuck? 80 out of 100

10. "Way Too Far" (12th Planet) - Apparently someone fell and broke a leg. I like the heavier shit in this track, followed by the big melodies. It's an interesting mix of genres, from hardcore barking to the chorus, if we want to call it that, being a bit poppy. I'd say this is one of the more daring and standout tracks. Maybe not my favorite but I respect it for trying some cool shit. 90 out of 100

11. "Bleeding Out" (Feed Me) - Opens pretty and then kicks some fuckin' ass about a minute in, then shifts to hauntingly melodic. I could see this working either with all this tech behind it or purely as part of a normal Korn set. It has a classic feel to it while sounding current. It even brings back the bagpipes for good measure. It's all kinds of cool. 95 out of 100

12. "Fuels the Comedy" (Kill the Noise) - One of the two bonus tracks that you may or may not have on your purchase. Rap metal is sometimes cool and sometimes not. This is one of those not times. But right around the two minute mark the track goes in a cool direction and I would like to hear that song more than this one. 70 out of 100

13. "Tension" (Excision, Datsik, Downlink) - I go in and out of love throughout its nearly four minutes. It plods a long spookily and parts of the vocal phrasing toward the end's a lot of fun. It's one of those things you probably either love or hate and I'm going to go with love. 87 out of 100

Overall
83 out of 100

It is actually an 82 if we include the bonus tracks but I am going to bump it up to the 83 anyway. That would make it a B-grade album. Has some excellent stuff on it but also some so-so to borderline not-so-good material. However, nothing on the album stands out as awful (fuck you, Lulu). It's not the band's best work but it is a quality release nonetheless and a big surprise when you consider the change in musical direction. As experimental metal band albums go, this one is a winner.

Fuck you very much, again, Loutallica.


5 comments:

  1. Fuckin' love the motherfuck out of this review. 98 out of 100. - Heathen

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  2. good review, good album

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