Korn – Korn III: Remember Who You Are Korn – Korn III: Remember Who You Are

Korn - Korn III Remember Who You Are

Korn - Korn III Remember Who You Are

I think this review started out as a drunken joke but here it is…
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Ill say this about Korn; they know how to be successful. Their constant stream of albums since 1993 has been greeted with reasonable commercial success. The downtime between records have been spent on side projects and an almost religious devotion to touring. The empire of Korn, from a business perspective, is amazing. The empire of Korn, from an artistic perspective, is something different entirely.

It is difficult to fault the band  for their steady decline out of the artistic spotlight. The rise and devastating fall of Nu Metal has left the majority of bands impotent; unable take their blend of funk and groove metal to the next level. What was once fresh and edgy has become a caricature indicative of the past decade. The abandonment into music away from perceived problems and fluctuating hormones is something we have all experienced. While slightly embarrassing now, music ridden with angst is a popular commodity that will most likely never fade away.  Korn has made it apparent that their goal in life is to corner this multi-generational market of disaffected teens.

Korn doesn’t live in this universe. After so many platinum certifications, artists can float to a musical paradise; spending the years making albums with little to no concern of what is happening with the mortal world. A recent trend in the mainstream has been for established artists to rekindle the fire of initial success. I cannot comment on whether or not this is an earnest attempt to refocus or a cheap poly to make a stab at the underground market. Whatever it is…it doesn’t work.

Korn III’s title comes from a focused effort to return to the raw production of their first two albums. The tagline “remember who you are” sounds more like a motivational mirror speech than thoughtful subtitle.  To aid them in their crazy vision for underground success, the band hired two time producer; Ross Robison. Even the album art is a return to the creepy photographs of children being loomed over by menacing adults.  Korn III is a fantasy play to rewrite history and pretends that Follow the Leader and the following 12 years never happened.

Korn III clears the first hurdle in sound as the entire album could be mistaken for a record released in 1998. This is not saying much seeing that their collected output sounds like it came from the mid 90’s. On the upside, there is a concentrated effort to strip down the excessive production. The familiar Korn chug is crisper and the drumming from Ray Luzier is a surprising addition making the percussion section snap even more. Jonathan Davis’ vocals feel just as powerful as it did on their debut record and the signature flatwound bass slap still leads this album into battle. This does not mean I could pick any of these songs out of a line up. If camouflage was an attribute, this album would be at the top of everyone’s list.

Near the end of the album is a glimmer of hope. For about 90 seconds on “Are you Ready To Live;” the band breaks direction and slows down their tempo. The song slowly builds up to a climax as if almost conjuring Isis, Pelican and the ghosts of Post Metal.  Distant violins can be heard and for 10 seconds it sounds like Korn is going to amaze the fuck out of you. Then comes Jonathan. The incessant screaming kicks open the door and ruins any sort of mood which was previously established. The screaming cadence sounds like a spoiled teenager who rips down his posters in an act of defiance. The song ends with a relapse into the familiar chug proving this band runs on a well greased set of rails.

If Korn III came out instead of Follow the Leader, it would of only of held success at a distance for a short time. Green Day, for all it’s worth, has never made an attempt to rekindle the sound of their punk rock infancy. There is a certain amount of respect that must be given to artists who use fame and success as a starting point rather than an end. Korn III is a small leap in a race that has already disappeared over the horizon.

PS

It was difficult to review this record. Korn was with me at a very difficult time in my white middleclass suburban life. Their anthems of opposition to an unnamed conformist system rang true with me and my dark wardrobe. While I could spend five articles on jokes, Korn along with the other Nu Metal bands was gateway into more interesting heavy metal. While I have moved on, I still look fondly on the albums which comforted me throughout the years. To any young listener groping their way through the musical landscape, let me leave you with the hope that this is not the end and you will soon find your way.

Korn – Korn III: Remember Who You Are Tracklist:
Uber-time
Oildale (Leave Me Alone)
Pop A Pill
Fear Is A Place To Live
Move On
Lead The Parade
Let The Guilt Go
The Past
Never Around
Are You Ready To Live?
Holding All These Lies

Korn - Korn III: Remember Who You Are , reviewed by Kaptain Carbon on 2010-07-14T12:32:21+00:00 rating 1.5 out of 5



2 Responses about “Korn – Korn III: Remember Who You Are”

  • Is that assclown still complaining about getting raped as a child? Holy Large Marge Batman! Time for a Dandelion and Dewey Meadow themed album. I’m personally waiting for the rest of Korn to find Jesus and stop having illegitimate children. Are you ready?

  • JJoe says:

    “I think this review started out as a drunken joke but here it is…”

    You are right the review is a drunken joke. =)