Newest Review: ... is it is almost listenable. And in turn KoRn get to branch out despite the fact that it will obviously have many fans in doubt about it. I ... more
You sold your soul but it's all good
The Path Of Totality - Korn
Member Name: Mac83
The Path Of Totality - Korn
Advantages: Will eventually find your favourite
Disadvantages: Still miss the old koRn
So this album called "Path of Totality" is koRn's 10th studio album released in December last year, by this phenomenal American nu-metal band which without question is a killer that hits you in many way - it may be contentious, but doesn't that make it more intriguing and appealing? Like it or not, just the fact that KoRn can come out with an album like this, (and lets hope it's a one off sort of thing), just shows how much more KoRn have got to offer. What is supposed to make this album hot, is that the band have worked with artists you probably wouldn't want them to work with, to combine electro-dance, dubstep, hardcore house (rave music) into their distinctive angsty industrial metal sound. These artists are record producers/DJ's/ electro music producers Skillrix, Noisia, Feed Me, Downlink, Kill the Noise, Excision, 12th Planet - all individual artists.
"Path of Totality" shamelessly throws it out there to the world - experimentally - as if the people were guinea pigs and the truth is it is almost listenable. And in turn KoRn get to branch out despite the fact that it will obviously have many fans in doubt about it. I may have at first been in two minds about this album, but tried very much to get it, and got it eventually since it is definitely a grower with time. Naturally it was going to take time to adjust to "Path of Totality" - the new sound, the new vibe, BUT definitely the same ideas. Having said that though, when listening to any random track from the album, as soon as you hear Jonathan Davis's distinctive tone, we are back to the KoRn we used to know within one second of it which is so brilliantly a pleaser. Reinvention is good anyway - KoRn ought to have released something like this a while ago, but maybe more rightly so now, since it's their 10th album release. "Path of Totality" is like the rebirth of koRn's classic earlier albums - especially of the ones that we never forget.
The four guys/musicians/songwriters of the band Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu and Ray Luzier Ray (Ray, the drummer and newest member since 2009), have been together as KoRn since 1993. They are the Gods of nu-metal - nu-metal was named after them as they created it. After their positively received debut album of 1994 self-titled "Korn", they have only ever gone from strength to strength. Even after 2005, when "Head" (Brian Welch - one of the founders of the band and former guitarist) "found God" and decided to leave the band, they carried on and who would have thought KoRn could have continued the way they did.
Back to the current album, to tell the truth, if this was the first album release by the band, there might probably be no hope that it would have even been worth giving it a second thought on hearing it out. And as I first listened to the album, it felt really uncomfortable and little bit out of place. However as soon as vocals kick in I was surprised at how easily I forgot that the tracks were dominated by this electro sound as I was focused on Jonathan Davis's powerful input instead, his voice of course. He could essentially continue singing the way he does in every other album of theirs, no matter what ridiculous sound he was singing over and that is all that would really be needed to win us over. There is a mixture of different things going on in the album, like the crazy amazing vocals that he does in tracks like "Twist" and "Ball Tongue" which I noticed he also does here and mixes up onto bonus track 13 "Tension", which is probably the closest to the koRn we already know with the dark and disturbing feel and sound to it and of course featuring Jon Davis singing about how he loves the things that make you upset and how the more you hurt the stronger he gets...Well...at least its great to see someone being honest, right?
And eventually, believe it or not, it didn't take very long for me to single out my favourites from the entire album either, even if it did involve listening to the album over and over again to find them out. Tracks like the bonus track 12 "Fuels the Comedy", which ("Oh my god"), just has got to be listened to if it happens to be the only track on the album you do get to sample. I can not begin explaining how incredible that track is even if that heavy dubstep influence bothers you a lot, it is still the most real track of the album. Other of my favs include: track 9 "Get up!" (feat. Skillriex) in which Jonathan Davis demands for everyone to shut the **** up; track 3 "My Wall" where he talks about hiding in his space; track 4 "Narcissistic Cannibal" (feat. Skillrex & Kill the Noise) and the talking of bringing himself back from the dead; track 10 "Way too Far" (feat. Excision) check out the music video of koRn talking it way too far and track 7 "Sanctuary" (feat. Downlink) track 7 which I think is just ace. A couple of these are single releases and probably the more popular tracks of the album but that makes sense, as those are the better of the album. It was also really great to hear the band keeping it real by including into track 11 ("Bleeding out") some bagpipes again, played by Jon Davis.
Slightly hate to say it, but most of this album really worked. Many might not agree, but I thought Jonathan Davis's angst ridden vocals in fact works really well against this sort of sound as a creative and unique sound, fitting in without many issues with these producers Skrillex, 12th Planet etc. Basically the kind of sound you will find here is pretty much guitars turned all the way down, very little if hardly any obvious guitar riffs, actual drum playing or any of their characteristic dark tone they usually go for - in order to make space for techno rhythm, energetic beats and heavy bass-lines - so a mixture of basically techno, house and dubstep. And I know what your thinking, but there was something interesting there and I don't know if I could take another album of this, but for a one-off album I have actually enjoyed at least half of the album - which is not bad at all for something which was actually initially only supposed to be an EP release . And some more good news is that a good amount of tracks from "Path of Totality" are even slightly better than some of those bad tracks from albums "See you on the other side" (2005) and "I will protect you" (2008) combined.
"Path of Totality" is not an album of the highest quality when looking in to the koRn archive but it is a revolutionary album, and which is what koRn do best. This album has clearly got people talking and heated up about but if this is what koRn want to do, well that's their problem. The fact is it actually likeable and if anybody knows what they are doing, it is this band. Only thing is I wouldn't have a clue who to recommend the album to, but believe its probably one to make up your own view and opinion on. I mean, do the koRn fans like the album more than the fans of those music producers and lovers of that style of music, the other way round - or a bit of both? I don't know, but for me, whatever koRn create, will always be something worth making a fuss over, as in the end its likely to turn out to be an incredible piece of work; it always does and they rarely disappoint.
Summary: Definately a grower