Editor's Rating

Have a listen to: "A Different World"

Rating out of 10

Korn – The Serenity Of Suffering

Release Date: 21st October 2016
Roadrunner Records

Korn may be one of the bands to thank/blame for the emergence of Nu Metal. The act may have also been one of the most popular alternative bands towards the end of the 90s and early 00s. Though, ever since their dubstep album, ‘The Path of Totally’ in 2012, Korn have been somewhat of a Marmite band. Even loyal fans of old have questioned what Korn will unleash next. Even its follow-up album in 2013, ‘The Paradigm Shift’, which saw the return of founding guitarist Brian “Head” Welch was met with very mixed responses. However, new album, ‘The Serenity of Suffering’, might just win over some of those fans that lost their faith in the nu metal pioneers.

Korn has always had a dark and gritty tone to their sound, thier trademark deep bassy feel is recognisable by anyone. That same tone once again floods nearly every song on this new release. That’s one thing I feel I can always count on them for, to unleash a barrage of heavy as fuck riffs to bang my head to.

Opening track ‘Insane’ launches into them very quickly, along with a huge Jonathan Davis roar. With that segment alone I can picture the frontman’s long hair flailing around in an aggressive manner. The opener also contains the creepiness in Korn’s song writing, eerie melodies and teasing cleans that would make a normal person feel uneasy in the verses. At the same time, we are reminded of how anthemic Korn choruses can be.

The next few songs follow the same formula of creating simple headbanging segments, it’s all trademark deep sounds mixed with creepy tones and a dark atmosphere, but now with a mature sound that pushes each chorus to sound slightly more epic. What stands out next is the addition of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor’s voice on ‘A Different World’. It’s wet dream kind of song for any early 00s Kerrang fan. Taylor’s contribution adds a stronger level of ferocity to the album, it’s one of the heavier songs for sure.

What’s noticeable is the lack of standout hits. There isn’t a ‘Blind’ or ‘Freak on a Leash’ to completely captivate your attention. There are just riff segments that make me want to rip apart my surroundings. ‘When You’re Not There’ is one of the best ones that does this, but it’s the need to push the creepy atmospherics gets tiring after a while. Just give me a song to go fucking nuts to and a somewhat memorable chorus to go with it. Even the Skrillex mashup track ‘Get Up’ had the ability to stick in my head due to its repetitive nature. I don’t feel the same with most of these songs.

I remain underwhelmed on a whole by ‘The Serenity of Suffering’ considering the masterpieces Korn have produced in the past, but the signature heaviness hooks me in. There are moments that are designed to destroy arenas with huge pits, and it makes me want to see the chaos. Plus, the guest appearance by Taylor was awesome, could you imagine if that happened in 2005, though? A plus side is that while it doesn’t entice me as much, I can see the progression, to appeal to those who like an epic singalong, it will only make the quintet sound even bigger live than they already do.

For fans of: Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, Godsmack

For more Korn