Album Reviews

Korn – The Nothing Review

Released by Roadrunner Records

Release Date: September 13th, 2019

Genre: Nu Metal

 

Line Up:

Jonathan Davis – Vocals

James Shaffer – Guitars

Reginald Arvizu – Bass

Brian Welch – Guitars

Ray Luzier – Drums

 

Tracklist:

1. The End Begins

2. Cold

3. You’ll Never Find Me

4. The Darkness Is Revealing

5. Idiosyncrasy

6. The Seduction Of Indulgence

7. Finally Free

8. Can You Hear Me

9. The Ringmaster

10. Gravity Of Discomfort

11. [email protected]

12. This Loss

13. Surrender To Failure

 

Over the last 25 years of career, nu-metal pioneers Korn have remained one of the most popular acts in mainstream music, even though they have been through periods of major success and turbulent times. The return of guitarist Brian Welch has contributed in revitalizing the band and bringing their melodies to the levels of their earliest days. This year, Korn are back with their thirteenth effort entitled “The Nothing” and it seems they still have a lot to offer to their audience. The new studio record is full of strong instrumentation, vibrant melodies, and emotional lyrics, providing a combination of aggressive flows and groove rhythms. Jonathan Davis provides one of his most expressive vocal interpretations of his strong lyrics for which the tragic death of his wife has been a major influence. Each song documents the different stages of grief, representing the variety of emotions in a cathartic and introspective vision of the frontman of the band.

With the 90 seconds intro “The End Begins”, full of haunting bagpipes and screaming in tears Jonathan Davis in the background, the listener gets a direct entry into the world of emotional overload of loss and pain. The improvement of his vocal abilities is evident with “Cold” and “You’ll Never Find Me”, with the traumatic interpretation of the lyrics and the great quality of his growling along with the clean parts. The heavy and ferocious guitars in “Cold” and the pounding drums in “You’ll Never Find Me” combined with a slower melodic verse at the first and more progressive parts at the second give birth to these two outstanding tracks. The claustrophobic guitar riffs in “The Darkness Is Revealing” give place to the heavy smashing tune “Idiosyncrasy” with the catchiest of choruses and an excellent industrial riff at the midsection. Davis winces “God is making fun of me, he’s up there laughing, can’t you see?”

The explicit gothic noir “The Seduction Of Indulgence”, a short interlude for the odd guitar tones intro of “Finally Free”, a dynamic banger with melancholic vocal lines and a huge chorus keep up the exorcism of the demons process. Moreover, the great sense of despair that comes out of the chilling and haunting music and lyrics of “Can You Hear Me” shows that the pain and grief are unavoidable. This brutality of reality is presented with this powerful ballad, while “The Ringmaster” shows the variety of Davis vocal range in the company of particular cymbal work.

“Gravity Of Discomfort” presents a lot of background music effects, while the lyrics show the effort of facing the tragedies of life in a cathartic process. What follows next is an affecting track entitled “[email protected]” where the strong bass lines and full thrash drumming parts with heavy guitar riffs knock hard. What follows is one of the deepest songs on the album, “This Loss”, very realistic expression of how many terrible things can happen in life, the melancholic and realistic representation of suffering, one of the most outstanding tracks of the record. The final piece and one of the slowest ones are “Surrender To Failure”, maybe a hard listening anxiety-inducing melody. The lyrics refer to the acceptance of the destiny of a person that has done a lot of good actions in life. There is always a price to pay, misfortune haunts all good things and this consequence is horrifying.

“The Nothing” is undoubtedly a very painful record, but also the most important one in the last decade for the nu-metal pillars Korn. Even though there is diffuse suffering and sadness, it’s very important to notice the amazing ability of expression of feelings through the compositions and lyricism. These emotions are enhanced to the maximum level by the impressive interpretation of frontman Jonathan Davis and the great talent of the musicians of the band. There is a real cathartic process through the songs, an attempt of acceptance of the brutality of life and healing through the mourning process. Undoubtedly, “The Nothing” is the most authentic piece of work from Korn, a studio album that keeps the legacy of a veteran band, that will not get lost in the shuffle.

 

Ratings: 9/10

Written by: Katerina Paisoglou

My Global Mind – Staff Writer

 

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