Korn — "Korn III – Remember Who You Are" Review 5 out of 5 Stars
Wed, 14 Jul 2010 06:30:40
A new Korn record is always a very special thing. I can vividly remember getting each of their albums because they engaged listeners unlike no one else. In 1998, The Korn Campaign surrounding the release of Follow the Leader brought fans close to the band on a political campaign-style tour, where Korn did insanely long meet-and-greets, signing autographs forever in places like Nashua, NH. Then the Family Values tour further solidified Korn's status as hard rock heavyweights as Follow the Leader brought heavy metal back to the forefront of pop culture. They didn't just meet fans for Issues a year later though; they actually chose pieces of fan art to adorn the cover of their fourth album and then celebrated its release by playing it front-to-back at the legendary Apollo Theater. Those are just two prime examples of how important we, the general public, are to this band. There are many more, but it'd take a lot more than one simple review to chronicle all of them adequately.
That said, Korn III — Remember Who You Are is completely for the fans.
It's got that gripping catharsis that made millions of people believers on Korn and Life Is Peachy. However, Korn stand even stronger than they did during those first two Ross Robinson-produced masterpieces. This new album is for the "Children of the Korn".
Korn practically crucified themselves to create this offering though, and the results make for a modern metal classic. Korn III — Remember Who You Are brings listeners back to the heart of Bakersfield with the band. The first single is even named after a neighboring town, "Oildale." The song thrashes with a buzzsaw riff from James "Munky" Shaffer. The tone and groove are instantly recognizable, but there's a sense of refinement and ravenous focus. That's what makes the song an instant throat-slasher of an anthem. Shaffer practically rips the strings off his guitar, and every nuance is audible because of Ross Robinson's down-n-dirty production. Fieldy's bass weaves in and around Ray Luzier's percussive palette, and the song remains a rhythmic steamroller. Jonathan Davis makes hell hypnotizing though, once his choral exorcism commences and the demons come out during the bridge. Korn aren't just dangerous here; they're fucking deadly…
"Pop a Pill" catalogs psychosis with a neck-breaking guitar line and Davis's infectious insanity on the hook. Meanwhile, "Fear is a Place to Live" thrives on the chaotic vocal-and-guitar combo, snapping in and out of guttural grooves with gusto. "Lead the Parade" is downright scary—seguing from a frenetic verse into a satanically soothing chorus. "The Past" slows things down just enough to kill. Davis channels Robert Smith via Lucifer on the verse, while the lyrics resonate with a painful poetry that'll make anyone that listens to it think. "Never Around" and "Let the Guilt Go" let the freaks loose through bouncy brutality that only a Korn this unhinged could unearth. "Are You Ready to Live?" allows listeners into some of the darkest places Korn has ever ventured, and it's strangely beautiful in how bloody it is.
The closing track, "Holding All these Lies," says it all though. A speed metal intro ignites a hauntingly horrific voice, before the refrain takes hold. The ending evolves into a tear-filled finale that's unforgettable.
This record is so special because it's for everyone that Korn's music ever helped or meant something to. They've remembered who they are and so much more…
Do you want to see Korn unseat Eminem on the Billboard Top 200? I do!
Check out our video interview with Munky below!