Words by Shannon-Lee Sloane {The Colourful Writer}

Let me set the scene: It’s the mid 90’s. I am in high school. All my mates are wearing Adidas hoodies and track pants. Everyone is blown away by a new band; a new sound. It speaks to us all on a new level to anything else we’ve experienced up until now. The music is heavy and melodic. The fashion that comes with this new band is dark, unique, relaxed, but cool as heck. The music speaks to our angst filled minds and provides a new obsession for many. The band tours Australia. They are playing the iconic Festival Hall or “Festy Hall” as it was affectionately known by many. I arrive at the gig. I rush to the front. Get my spot on the barrier. The band starts to play. I look around me and see a sea of familiar and eager faces. These are my people. Literally, my group of mates from high school are all there. Majority guys with a few girls in the mix. I am one of those girls. I am madly in love with Korn and I am lost in the moment of seeing them take over the stage at Festival Hall in Brisbane. I am hooked. …but I never wore the Adidas tracksuits, just for the record. 

Fast forward to the future. The now. Right now. I sit with earphones in my laptop. I am tired as heck from a mixture of recently moving house, working my ass off and looking after my three kids who are on extended school holidays because Covid is a thing. I have just finished doing this week’s gig guide for Good Call Live, my music site I have managed for a few years now. And what am I listening to? The new album from Korn. The band who all those years ago, in the 90’s when I was a young impressionable angst filled youth, swept me away with their nu metal madness. Forming in 1993, the band are known to have been the pioneers of the genre and for bringing it into our homes and our hearts. Their self-titled debut album and the one that followed, ‘Life Is Peachy’ were two albums that I played on repeat. With frontman Jonathan Davis fronting the band with his unmistakable vocals and “rumbumdumrundundarribble” that only he can do. Along with guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer (who I had a massive crush on in high school) and Brian “Head” Welch, bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, and drummer Ray Luzier; this is Korn.

Thing is though, the band have done just a few amazing things since their inception and since my young ears heard them for the first time. Korn has sold 40 million albums worldwide, won two Grammys, toured the world many times and gifted us all with their nu metal music sound, energy and vibes through their dedication to their art. So what’s the new album like? Is it as good as those earlier albums I was so obsessed with? The simple answer? Yes. The long answer? Well… let me explain…

It will sound cliché as hell, but there is without a doubt, a maturity to this album. The band have clearly come a long way. They’ve lived their lives and they’ve done it all while making music together. They have matured, and so has their music. But even in its maturity, it is still the sound of the original Korn, an incredibly recognisable sound. ‘Requiem’ is set for release Friday, February 4th, 2022 via Loma Vista Recordings. An album long awaited by fans and no doubt to be loved by new listeners too. 

Forgotten is the album opener and was recently released as a single on January 13. From the get go, there is that unmistakable sound, the drum sticks hitting fast pace, the heavy and deep bassline, the solid 7 string guitars and then comes Jonathon’s vocals, the voice of nu metal in all its glory. Bam. Korn are back with a vengeance. And are by no means, forgotten. 

Let The Dark Do The Rest begins with an eerie, out of tune sound like wind chimes in a gentle breeze before the track actually hits. This track is one of my favourites. The verses are more gently delivered with the chorus packing a much heavier punch. “You make me sick…” 

Start The Healing was released as the first single from the album along with a music video featuring the guys performing the track surrounded by towering amps. This track is a worthy first single release, catchy and hooky. The lyrics really hit me too. 

“…I should’ve been good
I should’ve been down
I couldn’t let go
What could I do?
I can take it all away, the feelings
Break apart the pain and start the healing…”

Lost In The Grandeur is another stand out track for me. This one is killer. The sound of the guitar strings being scratched like a DJ at a new record really gives it a vibe that can’t be denied. This one was released this week as another little taste of what’s to come with the full album release. Moments of this track take me back to early Korn days. I find myself reminiscing about my youth again, growing up is hard, so many emotions as your body and mind transition from a child to an adult, but with music, it is just that little bit more bearable. Even now I am in my 40’s I find Korn’s music calming to my soul. Just like I did when I was playing tracks like Ball Tongue (the second track from their debut self titled album) for the first time. That track is timeless.

Disconnect is another example of the maturity in their music. Although it begins sounding like their earlier stuff, this track has a certain depth to it, cleaner layers and a gothic vibe. “Dark is light, hidden from the eye. The pain I have I can’t conceal, the hurt inside has got so real…”

Hopeless and Beaten gives me huge doom metal vibes. Bring back the riff, but slower. Sludgy metal energies here. I love this for Korn. I feel like this is another element to their sound that has been touched on previously but perhaps not like this. Their press releases surrounding this new album release have spoken of how with this album they had the freedom of time. Due to Covid and lockdowns and lack of touring and shows, they had more time to really engulf themselves in making this album with no time constraints. It shows in tracks like this. 

Penance To Sorrow slows things down a little, melodic vocals. My Confession funks it up a bit, I find myself grooving along in my seat with some hip hop energies flowing through this track. Worst Is On It’s Way features some out of tune distorted sounds to kick things off with echoing effects on the guitars that give it some real kick. Jonathan’s trademark flipping from scat to clean vocal to growl features here. It’s a perfect yielding to an album that all true Korn fans will appreciate. The track literally echoes you out of the album. Until the next time.

Pre-order ‘Requiem’ HERE

Korn have also announced their ‘Requiem Mass’ – Global Livestream – more details HERE
It’s time to #StartTheHealing.

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With thanks to Dallas Does PR

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