Korn - Untitled
The veritable musical behemoth that is Korn has been dominating the world of alternative music now for some thirteen years. Selling out tours, sparking argument, causing controversy and selling millions of albums worldwide, it seems that to leave their latest release untitled, allowing fans to call it what they like, is a little bit of a gimmick as opposed to a serious artistic move, and as Korn albums go this is fairly standard fare. There is nothing as catchy as 'Freak on A Leash' or 'Twisted Transistor' but neither is there anything particularly terrible.
The instrumental opener is beautifully sinister - a tinny organ plays away whilst a dark melody rumbles underneath, building a full throbbing noise that sounds like circus music being tortured. The following track 'Starting Over' is suitably dark and grimy. Guitars and drums crash and screech while Jonathan Davis' unmistakable voice growls away. The breakdown shows glimpses of slightly more mature perspectives and sincerities, stemming from his experiences with drink, drugs and illness.
'Bitch We've Got a Problem', is formulaic and lacking in atmosphere and is followed by 'Evolution', the first single from the album. It is also one of the better tracks on the record, tackling the issue of global warming in what Davis describes as a "[non] political Al Gore shit" way. He continues: "I'm just wondering, are my kids' kids going to have a place to live?" Certainly with lyrics like "The number one virus caused by procreation" and "the planet may go ashtray" it is a more blunt take on the topic.
'Kiss' begins darkly but becomes mellower, deviating from heavy industrial sounds, becoming a real heart on sleeve number, complete with sorrowful violins and regimented drums. Following, 'Do What They Say' is a lumbering track, the music dense and the guitars heavy. Davis revealed in a recent interview with AOL that this is his favourite song in the whole of Korn's back-catalogue, citing it's gothic qualities and saying that "it's got that Christian death, Roz Williams vibe."
'Untitled' closes with 'Hushabye' and 'I Will Protect You'. The former moving from surprisingly soothing tones to desperate almost frantic questioning in the chorus, whilst the latter stands out only because of stand-in drummer Terry Bozzio's impressively technical turn mid-song.
Overall the album isn't bad, but Korn have added nothing to their sound or created anything particularly groundbreaking with this record. With the absence of founding drummer David Silveria, along with the knowledge that many of the tracks were written in a very short space of time, speculation has arisen among fans that the group are on the decline, but with talk of the band working on a covers album and another successful Family Values Tour over and done with, the industrial machine that is Korn looks set to rumble on regardless.