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Korn: See You On the Other Side

Korn's taken a lot of flack over the years in the metal world. Though the band basically started the whole "nu-metal" sub-genre, after a few years of incorporating electronics, rap, hip-hop, and funk into their music, the band lost a great deal of their core fans who craved for the heavier material of their first few albums. With guitarist Head leaving the band recently, the assumption that the best days of Korn were in the past, and a return to heavier material was simply not going to happen. Well, vocalist Jonathan Davis, guitarist Munky, bassist Fieldy, and drummer David Silveria are back with a new album, See You On the Other Side, a pretty raucous, catchy, and ambitious affair that, while perhaps not a return to darker and heavier material, still packs a punch, and delivers some of the bands most adventurous and experimental sounds to date.

Throughout most of their career, Korn never really sounded too "normal" or mainstream, as their sound has always been littered with thick downtuned guitar riffs, pounding and funky bass grooves, loads of keyboard blips and bleeps, frantic drums, and Davis' variety of shouts, whines, bellows, and narrations. See You On the Other Side is no exception, yet the crushing guitar attack is toned down just a tad, perhaps due to Munky being all on his own now, and there is a greater emphasis on Fieldy's distorted bass as well as samples and electronics, giving the music an almost Nine Inch Nails meets Faith No More feel in spots. Of course, there are plenty of rampaging Korn rockers here, like the thick wall of metal sound on "10 Or A 2 Way", the catchy pop-metal "Twisted Transistor", the grinding "Politics", and the funk-meets-hip hop-meets-metal of "Hypocrites". Jonathan Davis sounds better than ever here from a purely melodic standpoint, relying less on screams and gutteral rants and more on his unique clean vocal style. Check him out on the impressive "Throw Me Away", a Nine Inch Nails influenced industrial rocker, or the addicting pop of "Open Up", which has a memorable chorus and deep funk bass lines. There's plenty of metal thunder here as well, like on the doomy "Coming Undone", the downtuned riff-o-rama of "Getting Off", featuring a mix of clean and growled vocals from Davis, and the shuffling frenzy of "Liar". The mix of spacey keyboard programming and dark guitar riffs add an interesting element to "Seen It All", and "Tearjerker" has an almost early 70's prog rock feel to it with gentle electric piano and soft, spoken vocals, which then gives way to thunderous guitar waves and jagged lead passages, before Davis brings everything back to a whisper alongside the gentle drums of Silveria.

While Korn's days of million selling albums and sold out tours might be behind them, based on the results of See You On the Other Side, I think there's still plenty of life left in this influential band. Call them what you will, categorize them however you like to, but there's a lot of good off-the-wall metal on this CD. Give it a try, you might like what you hear.


Track Listing
1. Twisted Transistor
2. Politics
3. Hypocrites
4. Souvenir
5. 10 Or a 2-Way
6. Throw Me Away
7. Love Song
8. Open Up
9. Coming Undone
10. Getting Off
11. Liar
12. For No One
13. Seen It All
14. Tearjerker

Added: April 7th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Korn Website
Hits: 1219
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Korn: See You On the Other Side
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-04-07 16:58:52
My Score:

The new Korn release See You On The Other Side is an interesting journey into their dark aspect of Heavy Rock. Often labeled "nu-metal", I admit that I never thought this of them at all. Korn was always a band that pressed the buttons and pushed the envelope into a different direction from the bands that were truly Nu Metal. The result of their experiments gave Korn a unique mix of some Funk and often Industrial feels as well as a healthy dose of traditional Metal. Their new album would also find them
minus one member as their previous guitarist Head decided to leave and pursue religion. Given Korn is not some extreme Black or Death Metal group I felt he could have remained and still made music. Despi e the loss of a member the band did not slow down their pace and still deliver a solid album. I admit that I never really followed them but I was able to enjoy "Throw Me Away", "Twisted Transistor" and "Souvenir". "Love Song" was also a good one but I liked that more in the concert setting (I had just gotten to see their show). Jonathan Davis has a unique voice and it adds a large sense of mood to their already dramatic levels of music. This album in particular has a lot of Funk feel to it and is not as heavy as some of the earlier material I had heard. The musical prowess of Fieldy (bass), David (drums) and Munky (guitars) works very well across the album. Davis also provides some bagpipes which adds an interesting twist on the bands sound.

I think their following will still enjoy this album but I will admit that I did not find this release as angry as some of their music has struck me as being in the past. I know the large level of appeal of Korn is also in the audience ability to vent their pains and frustrations to this music. This one will make them think a little more and sparking this aspect in ones listeners never hurts a band. There was also enough music on the album that made the new listener that I was enjoy himself. It is a dark record in premise and has a certain doomy feel at a lot of points. The included booklet is only 8 pages and while it does not include any lyrics it does feature some great artwork by David Stoupakis, he has a very Todd McFarlane style which I think a lot of people will like. Given this album is not as in your face as some past Korn has been this is a perfect jumping on point for a casual listener.



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