Album Review: KoRn – The Serenity Of Suffering

Album Review: KoRn – The Serenity Of Suffering

Band: KoRn
Album: The Serenity Of Suffering
Genre: Nu-metal
Date of Release: 21/10/2016
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Reviewer: Mitch Alexander
For Fans Of: Old KoRn, old Slipknot, old System Of A Down, being old

Track Listing:
1. Insane (3:50)
2. Rotting In Vain (3:33)
3. Black Is The Soul (4:01)
4. The Hating (4:23)
5. A Different World (feat. Corey Taylor) (3:21)
6. Take Me (3:00)
7. Everything Falls Apart (4:17)
8. Die Yet Another Night (4:29)
9. When You’re Not There (3:25)
10. Next In Line (3:28)
11. Please Come For Me (2:54)

I have two competing theories when it comes to the new KoRn album. One is that it’s a really good album. The other is that I think it’s a really good album, but I’m wrong and it isn’t. Obviously these two positions can’t both exist; if one is true the other has to be false.

As I hurtle towards 30 I’m terrified by both the speed of change, and the likelihood that my tastes have calcified, turning me into that old bearded cockhead at the back of the venue, arms crossed and practised look of disdain slathered across my less than elastic face. When I started listening to metal, I used to fucking despise the Old Dudes into Metallica. “Shut up grandpa,” I’d sneer. “Instead of listening to music maybe you should check your prostate!” Then I’d skull a Woodstock and throw up.

But the metal that was formative in my youth is as far away from me now as The Black Album was when I first heard it. I am become Grandpa, destroyer of fun. And what’s horrifying is that my throwback, my cherished sounds, my artistic hill to die on, is fucking nu-metal. You think it’s bad going to a thrash gig, where there’s a smattering of young guys ironically wearing denim vests pushing around drunk factory foremen who actually saw the Far Beyond Driven tour as early 20 somethings? Imagine going straight from your job as an account manager, spiking your bleached tips and donning your best silver baggy jeans, only to find out that you’re the butt of Ocean Grove’s jokes.

Listening to the new KoRn album, I just can’t tell where I fall. On the one hand, I could say it’s a refreshing take on a formula they invented, with just enough similarity to their old songs to keep their original fans happy, but with a pinch of modern heavy sensibilities which should garner them a whole host of new, younger fans. By jove, it sounds like they’re coming up with Nu Metal all over again, and it’s as catchy and fun as it was in the 90s!

On the other hand, is this just really embarrassing? Like, super embarrassing? The lyrics are totally fucked, and I’m not even sure if Jonathan Davis knows whether he’s being ironic or not. That’s fine though, it’s as much their sound as the 7 string. But is this type of simplified, down-tuned mosh riff the new proto-typical thrash riff, the ones I once mockingly sang as a teen at band prac to deride old men for enjoying Old Man Music? Is this the sound of my life already making it’s way down the hill I never noticed I was waddling over?

Like it or not, the youngest among us (I’m proud of that) are the tastemakers and genre definers. Does this new KoRn album have a place for the youth in 2016, or should it be relegated to Triple M “heavy rock history” nights? To find out definitively, I waxed my mustache, donned my best VPN, and emailed a bunch of under 20s to ask what they thought of the track ‘When You’re Not There’.

Monty, 20. “Definitely reminds me of playing the NFS series with their numetal soundtracks [Skindred are Reggae Metal you fucking young idiot]. Something I would’ve really enjoyed 6 years ago [why would I care about a 14 year old’s taste in music?] but my tastes have changed a lot [I’m sure they have; now you like girls and Woodstock don’t you big fella]; I dig it, but it’s not one I’ll save.”

Josh, 19. “’When You’re Not There’ reminds me a LOT of Korn’s early stuff [don’t act like you were there, you don’t know], heaps of simple but catchy riffs and that weird vocal thing Jonathon Davis does with his voice where he sounds like he’s having a stroke and convulsing, I’ve never really been a big fan of Korn [how much time have you had to become a big fan of anything you spritely prick] but for some reason this song just works for me, I might actually check out the whole album based on this one song [I didn’t specify that it had to be one long, shit sentence, by the way. He just did that].

Jake, 19. “I normally cant stand Korn [bigot] but it actually wasn’t that bad, I’d never buy the song but I wouldnt mind if I was listening to The Racket [don’t act like you listen to the radio] or something [like fucking what else?] and it came on. I’m kinda surprised by how little I dislike it [it’s called introspection and you should use it more].”

So there you have it; conclusive proof that the kids of today are entitled bungholes with shit for brains, corrupted by terrible music and junk food. We should sterilize everyone born after 1989, and voting should be restricted once again to landowners. I can’t remember why I started this article but if you take anything away from it, remember to always use contraception and to never finish your reviews hungover.

Vocals: 9/10
Lyrics: 3/10
Guitar: 9/10
Bass: 8/10
Percussion: 8/10
Songwriting: 7/10
Production: 10/10
Personal Enjoyment: 1998/10
Overall IPHYB Rating: 8/10

Standout Tracks: When You’re Not There, Everything Falls Apart, Insane, Rotting In Vain

Album Review: KoRn – The Serenity Of Suffering
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