Live Review: Korn "The Path of Totality" CD Release Show — The Palladium, Hollywood
Wed, 07 Dec 2011 08:49:55
"Motherfuckers, Korn is not going anywhere," declared singer Jonathan Davis in front of a packed Palladium during the band's record release show last night for The Path of Totality.
He and his band mates aren't fucking around.
They're here to stay, and last night ostensibly manifested their immortality. For ninety minutes, Korn—Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer [guitar], Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizu [drums], and Ray Luzier [drums]—drove attendees down The Path of Totality. That road was bload-soaked, beautiful, and utterly brilliant.
Assaulting the stage with "Get Up!", Korn dropped an aural atomic bomb. Their partner-in-crime on the song Skrillex joined on guitar, and collectively they opened the flood gates with an avalanche of distortion and dubstep wobbles. Glow sticks were tossed about and a mosh pit split the center of the ballroom. Amidst the deluge, each member of Korn shined as a master of his instrument.
Within all of the spacey electronic sounds tempering The Path of Totality, Shaffer's riffage truly stood out. He's one of the most inventive and inspiring artists to ever pick up an axe, and his performance illuminated that tenfold. As lights flashed on screens above and behind the band, Shaffer's impeccably timed polyrhythmic pummeling punctuated the power of "Kill Mercy Within" and "Illuminati". At all the right moments, he unleashed an intricate, infectious riff or a mind-bending lead line. With an airy darkness, he stepped into bona fide rock god status via flawless delivery on the complex, "Way Too Far". Shaffer is a true guitar great, and it's because he fills in spaces like David Gilmour but with a twisted heavy sensibility akin to Dimebag Darrell. However, this sound belongs to him and him alone.
Spinning sticks, drum maestro Luzier powered through "My Wall" with paramount percussive prowess. Simultaneously, Fieldy's trademark bass rumble accentuated the madness of "Chaos Lives In Everything", rattling the very venue like only he can. Keyboardist Zac Baird remained the ultimate sonic mad scientist, weaving in and out of keyboard lines enhancing the enchanting madness of "Narcissistic Cannibal". Wes Geer gave Shaffer a perfect counterpart, especially on the new material, adding in a one-of-a-kind flavor with impressive touches.
Davis has not only reached The Path of Totality but a new plateau as both a lyricist and frontman. He worked the crowd, transferring his uncontainable passion and fervor for the music to them, while bleeding out every inch of his soul through the songs. "Chaos Lives In Everything" saw him volley between schizophrenic howling and comfortingly haunting whispers, while "Way Too Far" gave him space to reach his most malevolent and marvelously melodic points. With lights flashing all around, he spoke after "Narcissistic Cannibal", "I just want to thank all of the metal people and electronic people who came out tonight. You guys have opened fucking minds".
Korn effectively built the perfect middle ground between Deadmau5 and Metallica, merging electronic and rock like no one before or anyone to come. Capitalizing on that revolutionary energy, they didn't stop there. "Here to Stay" and "Freak On A Leash" rumbled with a vibrant 21st century vigor, while "Falling Away From Me" was more hypnotic than ever.
A true treat came with first album gem, "Predictable". The band sped everything up, adding slight complexities to this classic that kicked ass on pretty much every level. A cover of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" allowed Davis and Shaffer to look in impeccably with the singer reaching unparalleled heights vocally and the guitarist tearing through a face-melting solo. "Shoots and Ladders" morphed into a neck-snapping rendition of Metallica's "One" as "Got the Life" and "Blind" provided the ultimate final conclusion.
Excision and Datsik also continued the groundbreaking theme of the evening. Datsik's metal-inflected dubstep featured a rapturous cut-up of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" as a cavalcade of bass and synth rapturously took over the room. Meanwhile, Excision kicked off his set with Slayer's "Raining Blood" chopped and screwed dubstep-style. Alongside an earthshattering "X-Rated", he also dropped in a remix of "Fuels the Comedy" one of two impressive bonus tracks from The Path of Totality. As a special surprise, Davis joined Excision for the other Path bonus cut, "Tension". Slinky and snaky, Davis let out a creepy laugh, delving into the song's entrancingly evil hook.
Davis publicly thanked not only his band mates but management team and, of course, the fans as smiles abounded.
He deserves the real thanks though. He spearheaded another musical revolution…He deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Trent Reznor, Kurt Cobain, and James Hetfield because he's not fucking going anywhere…
When did you first hear Korn? Were you there last night?
See our review of The Path of Totality here!
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!