Who would have thought that Korn would still be one of the biggest bands in music in 2016? Ever since dropping their groundbreaking S/T album in 1994, Korn have been at the forefront of what we all know as “nu-metal”. Korn popularized a lot of the nu-metal trademarks: the downtuned and dissonant riffing of James “Munky” Shaffer, eerie lead guitar playing of Brian “Head” Welch, the rhythmic backbeat of drummer Ray Luzier (but started with original Korn drummer David Silveria), the powerful low-end bass of Reggie “Fieldy” Arvizu, and the singing/screaming/scatting of Jonathan Davis.
Ever since their albums Follow The Leader and Issues, Korn have taken some interesting music routes, most notably with the dubstep of The Path Of Totality. With their new album The Serenity Of Suffering, however, Korn have released an album which surely ranks as among their best.
They have gotten back to their core sound, and most of the album oscillates from the high-polished catchy groove of Follow The Leader to the raw anger of Issues. The first single Rotting In Vain is good, but the entire album is just as good. Everything Falls Apart, The Hating, Please Come For Me, and Black Is The Soul in particular stand out to me as well-written songs that show Korn at their finest and heaviest.
I believe the reason that they’ve gotten back to form is because of the return of Brian “Head” Welch. He is a great guitarist and a fantastic songwriter (check out his album with his Korn hiatus band Love And Death, which is an underrated album). Their previous album The Paradigm Shift was promising but weak in spots, but The Serenity Of Suffering is much better. In fact, in my opinion it stands up to their early albums, and any fan of Korn will automatically love this album.