The Path of Totality

1. Chaos Lives in Everything
2. Kill Mercy Within
3. My Wall
4. Narcissistic Cannibal
5. Illuminati
6. Burn the Obedient
7. Sanctuary
8. Let's Go
9. Get Up!
10. Way Too Far
11. Bleeding Out

Jonathan Davis – lead vocals, electronic bagpipes
James "Munky" Shaffer – guitars
Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu – bass
Ray Luzier – drums, percussion

Korn (1994)
Life Is Peachy (1996)
Follow the Leader (1998)
Issues (1999)
Untouchables (2002)
Take a Look in the Mirror (2003)
See You on the Other Side (2005)
Untitled album (2007)
Korn III: Remember Who You Are (2010)


Production and additional music:
Skrillex - (tracks 1, 4, 9)
Datsik - (track 13)
Feed Me - (track 11)
Excision - (tracks 3, 5, 13)
12th Planet - (track 10)
Downlink - (tracks 5, 7, 13)
Kill the Noise - (tracks 4, 12)
Noisia – (tracks 2, 6, 8)
Jim Monti - engineering, mixing
Downlink - mixing

Released 6/12-2011
Reviewed 24/11-2011


American Nu-Metalers Korn were the first band to receive the label Nu-Metal many years ago, a ground breaking band in many regards but also a band looked down upon in the “true metal” circles. They are also a very successful band with several platinum certified albums on their CV, they are said to have sold well over 30 million albums so far, which is a rather impressive number I would say. The Path of Totality is the tenth studio album of Korn and it is said to be offering something new as the band has been experimenting with several things in their sound and it is said by the label to be something completely new for Korn yet it is still very much Korn. Kind of mixed messages there, but as I understand it they mean that the band is evolving their sound into something new while still maintaining what is the roots of the band’s style, or something like that. On this album they have collaborated with a number of known producers from the world of electronic music whom have produced a few tracks each.

Musically I think the metal/rock music that is the foundation of Korn’s music is remaining very much the same as it has done before with the Nu-Metal sound with dark riffing and so on, the vocal style is also very much the same so the foundation that Korn has stood on for their prior album still remains. Then we have a lot of electronic influences, scratching vinyl discs and lots of sounds going on, layering the painting which is the soundscape making a rather massive picture and a wall of sound. The music cannot really be said to be particularly heavy maybe the metal label is a bit off here, maybe we should call them Nu-Rock instead. The production is competent and the album has a very coherent sound despite being produced by several different producers, maybe the use of one engineer and and that same engineer with help of one person mixing helps with this. The album in the regular edition which is the one I had for review has eleven tracks, the special edition has two bonus tracks, and it plays for around 38 minutes. All the tracks on the album are very short, the longest track and the only one that is more than four minutes long is the ending one which is close to five minutes long.

The album opens in a great way with Chaos Lives in Everything which is a great track that sets up some great expectations for the rest of the album with its catchiness, and great feel. The expectations are maybe not always fully met but in track four Narcissistic Cannibal we get another one of these brilliant tracks, for the rest of the tracks I would say that they are quite uneven in quality but the single truck Get Up! is very strong and good. I would also say that besides Burn the Obedient there is not weak tracks on the album but the quality of the tracks is slightly uneven but maybe not as much that it becomes disturbing.

So what about this new sound that Roadrunner speaks of then? Well, it is there I would say, the feeling is that they are doing something new and fresh something that feels like an evolvement. At the same time they remain true to their foundation making this album both fresh and new in sound while it still remains the typical Korn sound. I would say that their experimenting pays off rather well with this album, maybe some parts are a little less brilliant than the best parts making the album somewhat uneven but the sound is unified around a single base making the diversity of the album variations on a theme which is a great thing to do when making music, it is a diverse yet coherent album this tenth Korn album.

I would say that for me this is the best album I have heard from Korn, sure I have not heard more than about half of their album so I might be mistaken but it sure is a very good album nonetheless. They manage to reinvent themselves and make a fresh album while still remaining true to what took them to where they are now. Not maybe a real top album of the year but a very good album nonetheless, perhaps something for you to pick up on your path to totality?



Label: Roadrunner Records/Warner
Three similar bands: Disturbed/Static X/Limp Bizkit
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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