Growing up the nu metal pioneers Korn were everywhere. Even people who weren’t fans of metal had Follow the Leader blaring from their walkmans. Yeah walkmans who remember those things? Sadly it’s been a while since I have given the boys of Korn a listen. After a shoulder shrug reaction to The Path Of Totality and an intriguing grin from their last album, The Paradigm Shift, I am all ready to be blown away.
The Serenity in Suffering has that iconic Korn bounce that they have never ditched. It is less of an aggressive all out head bang feast but a signature bop the band has going on. Opening track, Insane, was just a peek into the punishing guitar groove that Korn had mastered all those years ago. It’s a staple that gets a big thumbs up from me. Since the return of Brian ‘Head’ Welch on the last album the riffs have become all the more focused, no dub step nonsense just deep loud riffs. When the guitars and bass aren’t smashing out some heavy riffs their laying down the unsettling clam. The melodic sections are classically creepy. The sound is dark and disturbed, Everything Falls Apart utilises screechy guitar chords alongside nice beat pounding drums. It keeps the head moving whilst your mind is left on edge.
Oh and the collaboration with Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor is just, it’s just so magical. A match made in metal heaven. Korn main man, Jonathan Davis, trades off his atmospheric voice with Corey’s anger riddled raw aggression for a fantastic mix of styling’s. As for the rest of the album of course Davis nails it. His very varied styles makes for a great listen as you find it hard to get bored. From his low growl, falsetto singing and of course the most brutal of scat singing. With the ‘Boom na da noom na na nema’ echoing from the classic Freak On a Leash.
I love it when a band adapts and evolves their sound, but sometimes a return to their roots is what is needed to revitalise the sound. Korn have peaked my interest once again after so long. The Serenity in Suffering is guaranteed to keep the body grooving. It is a nod to days past whilst maintaining a certain freshness, a good album earning a 7.5/10. I am glad I didn’t place money on nu metal just being a 90s phase with the likes of Korn and Slipknot still keeping the sound going.