Korn hits a flat note with their new album


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Korn has been in the music scene since 1993 with the quality of their music fluctuating, and has been inconsistently received by their audience since their early career days.

Late last month, former nu-metal stars Korn released a new album, “The Serenity of Suffering,” with the intent of recapturing the sound that made them famous. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.

The excessively orchestral chorus of the opening track “Insane” is more than enough to confirm from the start that this “return to form” holds as much water as Metallica’s “Hardwired.” That is to say, yes it sounds kind of similar to the original albums that fans fell in love with, but it’s no where near the same.

What used to come from strong emotion and personal suffering, youth and up and coming vigor, has plateaued into radio friendly mediocrity. “The Serenity of Suffering” doesn’t sound like anything new for Korn or anyone else, and while that is not inherently bad, it remains a disappointment.

The steady and heavy guitars and the more melodic singing on tracks like “The Hating” almost sound more akin to a combination of current Slipknot and the lyricism of Disturbed. What seems to make it worse is that the albums doesn’t express a complete loss of the original sound either: for short stints in “Rotting in Vain” and “The Hating,” the pure unbridled emotion that frontman Jonathan Davis has made the core of the most popular Korn songs shines though. Unfortunately, it feels far more like a tease than an accent.

The final track, “Please Come For Me” begins sounding slightly similar to “Falling Away From Me” but maintains the “yeah, I guess that’s Korn” feeling.

The overall composition and sound of “The Serenity of Suffering” is one that seems far more industrial (like Rammstein) than the original nu-metal or alternative genre Korn started out as. The album itself is about as average as you can get, and in the end, the only thing that truly detracts from releases like this is the hype. It isn’t a return to form and it holds more similarity to a band like Flaw than Korn’s own back-catalogue.

At the end of the day, bands and fans alike need to let go of the past and let growth happen. Thirty years of living life is going to change that teenager that made a fantastic, angry and chaotic album. It’s hard to stay so angry when you are living most people’s dream, and not meeting expectations seems to kill albums, movies and video games more than just being new or different.