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korn pathoftotality
Artist: Korn
Title: The Path Of Totality
Genre: Nu Metal / Alternative Metal
Release Date: 2nd December 2011
Label: Roadrunner Records


Album Review

The latest release of KORN finds them delivering an ambigenous album, which at the same time is quite ambiguous as well. For starters it is ambigenous only because the band has managed to mix Nu Metal with Dubstep, two genres that many might think don’t suit each other. And it is ambiguous not only for the interpretation of the title, which according to the band it means “that in order to see the sun in a full solar eclipse, you must be in the exact right place in the exact right time” but also because of the approach, in terms of lyrics about the modern society.

The album was a result of pure experimentation that had a positive feedback. In it, KORN, managed to create their own trail and of course to challenge the music patterns of Nu Metal. On that, an analogy with METALLICA can be drawn being both unable to rest on their own laurels of the past. And yet, ‘The Path Of Totality’ is unmistakably KORN, something that will return to your mind not only by the vocals of Jonathan Davis but also of the syncopations and the riffs. SKRILLEX were an excellent choice as they add an extra element of electronic (and dance) aspect that befits KORN just fine. But there are times where monotony takes over and flattens the songs. To put it bluntly at times you have the feeling of a "Dumbstep" boot over the songs. Some of the tracks that stand out are ‘Narcissistic Cannibal’, ‘Get Up!’, ‘Way Too Far’ and ‘Bleeding Out’ out of which ‘Get Up’ is closer to the old KORN angry feeling plus an extra element of melody. As ‘The Path Of Totality’ comes to its end KORN seem to be more sound at their music steps. ‘Bleeding Out’ opens with a piano melody that blends into the more aggressive tone of the song and it is the song where the fury that dominates the album closes to a form of exasperation where somehow you’ve been convinced that the experiment in music terms is actually working.

As for their lyrics it seems that the post President George W. Bush era left them somehow puzzled. It was easy, on many accounts, to sing something like ‘Evolution’ almost three years ago but under the Democrats and Obama’s administration the band has turned into something that looks like a conspiratorial left wing approach of History. In this approach, as you might expect the Illuminati play their role in the world domination and you’re left to decide if they use it as a metaphor or not. As for the rest; dead-ends, solitude, betrayal and rebellion are still occupying the mindset of the band. The opening song is the anthem of the utter loser who blames the other part for his failure and seeks for revenge “Gonna take you / Gonna break you / Gonna rape you, fuck you bitch, frown / Sometimes I worry / Sometimes I’m sorry / Sometimes I just want to beat you down...” Draw your own conclusions about a song that is presented from the viewpoint of a dream delirium of the aforementioned loser. The rape imagery returns in ‘Illuminati’ where the baddie, arch-enemy of mankind (or something like that) is accused of raping “our hope” and in a way at ‘Narcissistic Cannibal’ in the form of defilement.

As they sing in ‘Way Too Far’ - “Sometimes I take things / way too far / irrational feeling / I just try too hard” - so you get a clearer picture of protagonist’s mental state. In a way, the staleness of the status quo has made them feel that their hopes of change have been defiled. Lyrically the album balances somewhere between accelerating crescendos of dementia and jeremiad odes for nothing. Apparently some fellow chaps grew up in idyllic rural monasteries, where by bad luck they found themselves trapped into the urban chaos and the only thing they have is blind fury against a world they don’t understand. Because it is either that or the hero has smoked a rain forest of weed and he will be trapped into his own paranoia for the next two millennia. In order to come to a conclusion, undoubtedly KORN have taken a major step out of their usual path and the Platonic metaphor of the Sun standing for truth suffers in this album. Yet, ‘The Path Of Totality’ has its good moments, be it in terms of Dubstep, Dance, and Nu Metal or (occasionally) in terms of lyrics. Music as a homeopathic treatment of destructive mores might sound appealing to some. Yet, KORN have taken the level of experimentation on a whole new level whilst most Metal bands go on playing the old formulas again and again.


Tracklist

Standard Album
01. Chaos Lives In Everything (Featuring Skrillex) - 3:49
02. Kill Mercy Within (Featuring Noisia) - 3:37
03. My Wall (Featuring Excision) - 2:57
04. Narcissistic Cannibal (Featuring Skrillex and Kill The Noise) - 3:12
05. Illuminati (Featuring Excision and Downlink) - 3:18
06. Burn The Obedient (Featuring Noisia) - 2:40
07. Sanctuary (Featuring Downlink) - 3:26
08. Let's Go (Featuring Noisia) - 2:42
09. Get Up! (Featuring Skrillex) - 3:44
10. Way Too Far (Featuring 12th Planet) - 3:51
11. Bleeding Out (Featuring Feed Me) - 4:51

Special Edition
12. Fuels The Comedy (Featuring Kill The Noise) – 2:49
13. Tension (Featuring Excision, Datsik and Downlink) – 3:56


Line-up

Jonathan Davis - Vocals
James Shaffer - Guitar
Reginald Arvizu - Bass
Ray Luzier - Drums


Websites

http://www.korn.com / https://www.facebook.com/korn


Cover Picture

korn pathoftotality


Rating

Music: 6
Sound: 8
Total: 7 / 10


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