Korn "The Path of Totality" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 05 Dec 2011 16:16:32
The Path of Totality is another modern classic from the kings of pushing the envelope—Korn. [Buy the album here!]
In many ways, record number ten is the band's most revolutionary yet. No one has ever integrated electronic music into rock 'n' roll quite like Korn has. Of course, Nine Inch Nails and Ministry gave birth to industrial rock, but the genre has never been as danceably deadly as it is on The Path of Totality.
Korn have effectively brought the rave world into the moshpit, but they've done it with poetry, panache, and a whole lot of power. That's the most mind-bending aspect of The Path of Totality. These four individuals—Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizu, and Ray Luzier—aren't adopting a sound. They're creating one entirely, and it's as corrosive and catchy as any of their best work.
Alongside Skrillex, Korn kick everything off with "Chaos Lives In Everything". A giant swell envelopes danceable beats as Shaffer's unmistakable riffing punctuates moments of psychotic vocal violence from Davis.
In fact, the singer and guitarist intertwine seamlessly, especially once a massive hook and staggering distortion descend during the hook. Think of them as a 21st century Robert Plant and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin, and you're halfway there. Davis remains utterly demonic during the track's whispered break; the "chaos" subsides as he exclaims, "sometimes I worry, sometimes I'm sorry, sometimes just want to kiss that frown" before a death metal growl roars with Skrillex's trademark wobbles.
Shaffer's topsy-turvy axe-work drives "Kill Mercy Within" as NOISIA adds an airy darkness. Davis delivers one of the album's most massive refrains and it's clear that a new dawn for metal and electronic music has commenced. The drilling dubstep of Excision filters through Fieldy's funked-out bass during "My Wall", which showcases another echo of the damned from the depths of Davis's soul. "Burn the Obedient" cackles with another extreme groove predicated on some of the heaviest hypnosis the singer has ever exorcised. He exposes secret cults on "Illuminati" with a little assistance from Excision and Downlink, while bitch-slapping self-serving assholes on "Narcissistic Cannibal" to the tune of more Skrillex and Kill the Noise madness. "Sanctuary" is a brilliant gothic masterpiece that should be licensed immediately for every forthcoming Underworld and Resident Evil film.
During "Let's Go", a thrash chug devolves into more dubstep wizardry. The band treads the spaciest places they've ever been during the expansive, evolutionary, and entrancing epic, "Way Too Far". Davis makes way for another Satanic yowl amongst his clearest crooning. 12th planet orbits around it all flawlessly.
There's no clearer proof of Korn's genius than "Bleeding Out" featuring Feed Me. It's a piano-driven masterpiece steeped in blood and Davis's most revealing and raw lyrics ever. The bagpipes scream during the bridge as screw gun sounds careen, opening the gates of hell for the singer once more.
This is Korn at their best. It's a landmark for heavy music. It's The Path of Totality.
When did you first hear Korn?
Jonathan Davis talks the album here!
See celebrities and musicians share how they discovered Korn here!
See our exclusive video interview with James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn about The Path of Totality here!
Watch our video interview with James "Munky" Shaffer of Korn about "Narcissistic Cannibal" here!
Watch the lyric video for "Narcissistic Cannibal" here!
Watch Munky remember his favorite Edgar Allan Poe story here!
See Jonathan Davis and Munky remember Life Is Peachy in this exclusive interview here! Read our exclusive interview with Jonathan Davis of Korn about electronic music here!