“KoRn III: Remember Who You Are.” - Music Review

I'm a big Korn fan. I've been so since college, thanks to Carson Daly. My roommate and I would watch "Total Request Live" and get irritated that rock bands weren't being represented on the show. So by default we started rooting for Korn to do well and gradually I became hooked. Obviously my first experience with Korn was "Follow the Leader," which was the post Ross Robinson era, but I quickly got up to date with their first two albums ("Korn" and "Life is Peachy) and their brand of heavy metal.


What I love about Korn is that they take a bunch of noises that don't make any sense and they make them make sense. Their influences range all over the place from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Metallica, from Faith no More to Sepultra. They created their own style of music and were copied to death. Everybody always asks who is going to be the next Nirvana, which I always thought was a stupid question. Nirvana changed what was popular in rock music. They killed the hair bands; well Korn kind of killed grunge and a new form of rock was created out of that. Unfortunately a lot of the bands that came out of what Korn created sucked, but let's not forget about the good ones like Tool and Deftones (I realize these bands came up around the same time as Korn, but Korn's success opened the door for those bands). So that's right I said it, Korn already was the next Nirvana. I can't wait to read the comments after that.


Korn's new album "Korn III: Remember Who You Are" is streaming over here (http://www.craveonline.com/entertainment/music/article/exclusive-world-premiere-korn-iii-remember-who-you-are-106127)."Korn III" marks the return of producer Ross Robinson who produced their first two albums ("Korn" & "Life is Peachy"). Like the first two albums, "Korn III" starts off with a nice little intro and then jumps into a massive Korn riff. The massive Korn riff this time around belongs to their first single "Oildale (Leave Me Alone)." I've heard this song several times over the last month and it has grown on me. At first listen I didn't really care for it, but Korn is a band that finds away to grow on me and now I love the song. I love the chorus and the main riff. I like the riff because it's almost as if it walks, if that makes sense. It is memorable and it stays with you.


A lot of people find it silly that a middle aged rock star still sings about his childhood problems. Me? I think it makes Jonathan Davis a special singer. He definitely doesn't fake it. He gets himself so disturbed and upset when writing lyrics that when he gets into the studio, Ross Robinson puts him through Hell and what comes out is Davis' real emotion. Davis isn't the best singer in the world, but he has a unique voice and the anger and the hurt is all real and if it is not then he is the best actor in the music industry. But either way it's impressive. Anybody can scream, but to actually hear that quiver in his voice when he's upset or crack when he's angry, it's authentic.



The first two Korn albums showcased Davis' emotion more so than any of the other Korn albums. Davis' raw emotion is back on "Korn  III." Musically the album is very stripped back as well. It's not nearly as produced as the last couple of albums. It's the album that the earlier most diehard Korn fans have been asking for since "Life is Peachy."


Korn is also known for their middle sections. In the late 90's they were the most notorious for not soloing. All of the other bands from their era are now adding guitar solos, but Korn still has not. By not having a guitar solo Korn is able to put together gigantic middle sections with heavy riffs and bouncing grooves that just makes you want to jump around and bump into things.


I only got to listen to the album one time through before writing this. Usually when I write a review I like to listen to an album 3 or 4 times, so I haven't really gotten a chance to let the album grow on me, so I don't like this album as much as I like "Korn" or "Life is Peachy." However, there is still plenty of time for the album to grow on me. I do like "Korn III" better than their last album "Untitled." I will pick up the album when it is released on July 13th.


My favorite songs on the album so far are "Oildale (Leave me Alone)," "Pop a Pill," and "The Past." "Oildale" and "Pop a Pill" are just good old fashion Korn songs full of heavy grooves. My guess is they'll be the two singles off of the album. "The Past" is more of an epic song that is much more melodic. It constantly builds and by the time it gets to the middle section Davis is chanting/whispering "run away, run away, run away." Musically it sounds like Davis is being tortured which really complements his lyrics and makes them that much more effective.


Another highlight on the album is the middle section to "Never Around." It includes Davis laughing with what sounds like the musical score of an action scene in a horror movie. It is as heavy as anything on the album and it is constantly moving. I felt dizzy after that song; it was like the music was spinning me in circles.   


I also feel that it is worth talking about the last track on the album, "Holding All These Lies." I'm pretty sure that after a few listens this will be my favorite song on the album. It serves the same purpose on this album as "Kill You" did on "Life is Peachy" and as "Daddy" did on "Korn." It is an epic song much like "Kill You" and "Daddy." Davis also goes off in the middle of the song all the way through the end, just like he did on those two songs. As the music ends you can still hear Davis breathing heavily while crying. Musically the song is just huge. The drums carry this song musically. It's a nice introduction to Ray Luzier (who replaced David Silveria).


Korn made this album for their fans. They're probably not going to convert you into being a Korn fan with this album, but certainly if you're already a Korn fan pick up "Korn III: Remember Who You Are." It's got the heavy riffs and groove that their first two albums had and it has Jonathan Davis spilling his heart out. The album hits stores July 13th. Korn will also be on tour (http://www.zoiksonline.com/2010/06/korn-to-boycott-bp-on-summer-tour-will.html) with Rob Zombie (http://www.zoiksonline.com/2010/02/rob-zombies-hellbilly-deluxe-2-album.html), Hatebreed, Five Finger Death Punch and a bunch of other acts on the "Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival."


Bob Zerull is the Managing Editor of Zoiks! Online. He writes pop culture commentary, does interviews with bands, and reviews music and stand-up concerts. He also administers Zoiks! Online's Facebook page. Follow Bob on twitter at bzerull. Email Bob at bob@zoiksonline.com.
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