Getting ready for Korn’s newest album by looking at their past
On October 8th, Korn will be releasing their 11th studio album titled The Paradigm Shift. The anticipated new album will be their first release in two years and the first to feature original member Brian “Head” Welch since 2003’s Take a Look in the Mirror. And while the times have changed and Korn’s popularity may not be what it once was, Korn is the pioneers of the nu-metal genre and continue to release good music. But before we get a taste of their newest album, let’s take a look back at their previous works.
Their debut studio album was released in 1994 and introduced the world to a new sound in rock. A sound that would not only define the band but also the near future in rock music. Korn is arguably their best album and is filled from top to bottom with raw and powerful music. TOP TRACKS: “Blind”, “Clown”, “Faget”, “Shoots and Ladders”, “Predictable”
Korn’s sophomore effort was released in 1996 and added to their already growing popularity. While good in its own right, Life is Peachy mostly failed to capture the true emotion of their debut. TOP TRACKS: “Twist”, “No Place to Hide”, “A.D.I.D.A.S.”, “Good God”, “Kill You”
Korn’s third album was released in 1998 and was the album that put Korn on the national map. The videos for the singles from Follow the Leader were on constant rotation on MTV and Korn was just as popular as any other band. TOP TRACKS: “Got the Life”, “Freak on a Leash”, “Children of the Korn”, “Justin”, “Reclaim my Place”
After the huge success of Follow the Leader, Korn released Issues the following year as the millennium was coming to a close. Korn decided to get fans involved with a cover art contest with the winner’s submission being used as the album’s cover. Korn was on a roll and they capitalized on their growing fan base. TOP TRACKS: “Make Me Bad”, “Falling Away From Me”, “Somebody Someone”, “Beg for Me”, “Let’s Get This Party Started”
Most people will point to 2002’s Untouchables as the point where Korn began to slide downward, but I think this is one of their better albums. While their sound may have changed slightly, the album boasted numerous great songs. I think Korn’s declining popularity may have had more to do with the changing taste in music than this album. TOP TRACKS: “Here to Stay”, “Hollow Life”, “Thoughtless”, “Alone I Break”, “Bottled Up Inside”
Korn’s sixth studio album would be released in 2003 and would be the last to feature the original lineup as Brian “Head” Welch would leave the band after its release. It was also Korn’s last release for Epic/Immortal, the record company they were signed to. Take a Look in the Mirror featured an appearance by rapper Nas and a song, “Alive”, that was recorded earlier in the band’s career. The album is not terrible but is definitely one of the band’s weaker efforts. TOP TRACKS: “Right Now”, “Did my Time”, “Alive”, “Ya’ll Want a Single”, “Everything I’ve Known”
Korn released a greatest hits compilation following their sixth studio album and all signs were starting to point to Korn being an aging band whose musical style had come and gone. But Korn would return in 2005 with the release of See You on the Other Side. And even though the band was back with a new album, changes would continue as original drummer David Silveria would leave the band after the release of the album. But Korn would carry on and the album received mostly positive reviews. TOP TRACKS: “Twisted Transistor”, “Politics”, “Coming Undone”, “Liar”, “Love Song” NOTE: Get a hold of the track “Eaten Up Inside”. I think it is one of the better tracks from this recording session but it didn’t make the album’s final cut.
In 2007, Korn released the Untitled album and I think that this is perhaps the band’s worst release. I hate to be negative, but there was not too much I liked about this album. Korn experimented with a more industrial sound than they ever have and the results were decent at best in my opinion. TOP TRACKS: “Evolution”, “Hold On”, “Kiss”, “Bitch We Got a Problem”, “Starting Over”
In 2010, Korn released Korn III: Remember Who You Are and made a permanent change at drums when Ray Luzier joined the band after Terry Bozzio performed drums on the last album. This release was much better than the Untitled album but was still below par for Korn. The album had its moments and was a return to the bands roots, but was overall a disappointment after hoping for so much more. This was also their first release for Roadrunner Records. TOP TRACKS: “Oildale (Leave Me Alone)”, “Pop a Pill”, “Move On”, “Let the Guilt Go”, “Are You Ready to Live?”
Korn returned in 2011 with the release of The Path of Totality, the band’s tenth studio album and their best in a while. Korn once again blazed another trail by adding dub-step music, contributed by various electronic music artists, to all of the albums tracks. Just as their debut album introduced to rock world to something new, Korn did it again with the mash-ups created on this release. But while they created a new sound for fans old and new, Korn stayed true to themselves and made a great album that brought their name back to the forefront of the music world. TOP TRACKS: “Get Up!”, “Narcissistic Cannibal”, “Chaos Lives in Everything”, “Way Too Far”, “Bleeding Out”
The band’s newest studio album will be released in just a few days and hopefully the band will give its fans another great album to enjoy. Brian “Head” Welch’s return should see the band return to the old sound they helped create while also continuing to grow. The album is the first for Korn on Caroline Records and the standard version will feature 11 tracks. The first single is “Never Never”.
I know that I will pick up The Paradigm Shift as soon as possible and hope to hear the band that I have come to love for the past 15 or so years. And if you are a Korn fan like myself, I hope you enjoy too. If you are a new fan, check out where Korn has come from and enjoy the new album. They have endured for a long time and even though their road to the present has been bumpy, Korn has remained a force to be reckoned with and will hopefully be around for a lot longer. They are the band that made me a fan of rock and I will always hold them in high regards. And they should be as I do not mind saying that they are one of the greatest bands of their time. Thanks.