Korn - Korn III Remember Who You Are
by Grethe Koen
(Johannesburg, South Africa)
Long before Korn’s 2007 album Untitled came out most had agreed that Nu Metal’s hey-days were over and it was time to move on to the next one.
Which left me loudly asking “are they still at it” when I walked past Look&Listen the other day and saw their latest album Korn III: Remember Who You Are promoted in the store window.
Don’t get me wrong, I have an incredibly soft spot for Korn. They remain on my list of favorite rock acts and deserve a spot amongst metal’s greatest heroes. Seeing them perform live at Coke Feast 2008 left me in tears. Nothing makes me more nostalgic than putting on an old Korn album and hearing Jonathan Davis growl “So I take my face and bash it into a mirror” in that twisted, border-line psychotic snarl of his.
But it’s been sixteen years since their first self-titled album Korn was released in 1994. Sixteen years – that’s an entire teenager! They survived the emo tidal wave that overtook us in 2006, but seem to be struggling to stay relevant in today’s music scene. Since then their original fans have grown up and their tastes have developed from Nu Metal into something more sophisticated.
But, feeling my heart strings twang at the site of another Korn album cover, I bought the CD and gave it a listen. Vocalist Jonathan Davis describes the album as “simple“ in that it’s not as multi-layered as Korn’s other album, but “it’s about the vibe.” It’s with great relief that I can vouch that Korn’s latest stuff marks a return to their original style.
"Untitled" suffered from over-production. The heavy polish to their tracks took away the raw energy that made them so appealing. It was as if they forgot their roots, which lost them their old school fans. Perhaps picking up on this sentiment, Korn has delved back into their origins, making the new album title “Remember Who You Are” an apt one.
The intro synth sounded like something Tool would do, which made me smile happily. This leads into a typical heavy riff as their second track “Oildale” opens with Jonathan Davis pleading “why don’t you just leave me alone?”
“Let The Guilt Go” has the catchier quality of Korn’s previous singles, while staying away from being overly commercialized such as “Evolution” or “Word Up. “Leading the Parade” was the stand-out track for me here. Dark, hypnotic and switching from eerie, hell-inspired wheedling to emblazed screaming it’s Korn at its best.
Davis still does that manic crying thing, most notably in the album’s last track “Holding All These Lies.” The final moments of the song is a truly cathartic breaking down into a screaming, sobbing Davis-style release that will leave fans shell-shocked and falling in love with Korn all over again.
Korn’s latest albums will please their original fans and might, as my brother notes wistfully, turn some 14 year-olds into a new wave of nu metal fans. Ah, now that’s something I’d love to see. GK
I really appreciate that review. After reading that I think maybe I need to give another look at Korn, and take a look at this album.
Untouchables really had some of that Raw energy I felt, but it was definitely lost over the years.
So I'll make sure I grab a copy.
Grethe, thanks for taking the time to tell me (and our readers) about the album!
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About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.