The Path Of Totality Review

artist: korn date: 01/06/2012 category: compact discs
korn: The Path Of Totality
Released: Dec 6, 2011
Genre: Nu-Metal, Dubstep
Label: Roadrunner
Number Of Tracks: 11
If the scientists at CERN are to find anything in their particle accelerator to explain the Universe's origins, any clues will surely come before Korn offers a legitimate reason for this album.
 Sound: 7.8
 Lyrics: 6.8
 Overall Impression: 7.7
 Overall rating:
 7 
 Reviewer rating:
 7.4 
 Users rating:
 6.5 
 Votes:
 104 
reviews (6) 40 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.3
The Path Of Totality Reviewed by: Cheeseman Jay, on december 07, 2011
9 of 14 people found this review helpful

Sound: Before April of this year, I was never much of a Korn fan. I liked "Falling Away From Me", but that was pretty much it. Furthermore, being a teenager, I was well aware of how dubstep sounded, as many of my peers saw fit to blast it out of the Sixth Form stereo at any given opportunity. I hated it. As such, when Korn announced they were collaborating on a song with a dubstep producer, I was unenamoured. One thing I didn't like meeting with one thing I wasn't keen on didn't have high hopes for me. When "Get Up!" was released, I listened to it out of a mixture of polite curiosity and morbid fascination. Would it be as horrible as I'd imaged? Or would it surprise me? Happily, it was the latter. "Get Up!" is a fantastic song. It's catchy, it's heavy and, most importantly, it's different. I loved it, and couldn't wait when Korn announced a whole EP of Korn-step (to coin a term). Even better, this EP soon became a full-fledged album. So, how does the album shape up? There are a total of 8 different producers on this album: Skrillex, who features on 3 tracks; Noisia, who is also on 3 tracks; Excision, who appears on 3 tracks alongside Downlink, who also does "Sanctuary"; Kill The Noise, who has one track with Skrillex and one on his own; 12th Planet, who did "Way Too Far"; "Feed Me", who appears on "Bleeding Out"; and Datsik, who appears on the bonus track "Tension" with Excision and Downlink. The tracklist is thus: 01. Chaos Lives in Everything (feat. Skrillex) 02. Kill Mercy Within (feat. Noisia) 03. My Wall (feat. Excision & Downlink) 04. Narcissistic Cannibal (feat. Skrillex and Kill The Noise) 05. Illuminati (feat. Excision & Downlink) 06. Burn The Obedient (feat. Noisia) 07. Sanctuary (feat. Downlink) 08. Let's Go (feat. Noisia) 09. Get Up! (feat. Skrillex) 10. Way Too Far (feat. 12th Planet, Flinch & Downlink) 11. Bleeding Out (feat. Feed Me) 12. Fuels The Comedy (feat. Kill The Noise) 13. Tension (feat. Excision, Datsik & Downlink) Now, I've never listened to any of these producers before this album (with the exception of one Skrillex song), so I have nothing with which to draw comparisons on how their tracks sound in relation to their usual work. No matter. With so many different producers, this album feels more like a compilation than an album in itself. That isn't a complaint, however. The variety present within the record is very welcome. The dub-heavy tracks, such as "Narcissistic Cannibal", are nicely balanced by the less dub-heavy ones, such as "Way Too Far". For me, the best producer is Skrillex. Skrillex produced two of the three single released thus far; Get Up! and "Narcissistic Cannibal", and these are two of the best songs on the album. I can't pick a "bad" song or a worst song from the album, really. Of course, I prefer some songs to other. The two previously mentioned Skrillex songs, "Illuminati", "Sanctuary" and "Way Too Far" are my favourite tracks so far, each of them sounding very different from the others. That's what I like about this album. Like I mentioned earlier, I've heard dubstep before, and that seemed to be incredibly repetitive and boring. "The Path Of Totality" is anything but boring. // 8

Lyrics: I like Jonathan Davis' voice. I think it fits Korn's music incredibly well. I mean, it's not the best voice out there, but it certainly gets the job done. I'm happy to say that he has not lost it. For example, the song "Let's Go" remind me of "Make Me Bad", which was recorded in 1999. Furthermore, his vocals seem to fit in with the dubstep. There's very little screaming on this record (take that as a positive or a negative) and I don't think there are any songs where you think "meh, vocals don't work here". Lyrically, it's fairly bog-standard Korn. There're no major changes in lyrical direction, so far as I can tell. "Get Up!" is apparently about the recent economic downturn. Of "Narcissistic Cannibal", Davis said: "It's about me watching people who are so narcissistic destroy themselves. They basically eat themselves alive because of their narcissism. That's the gist of the story." So, nothing ground-breakingly new or anything. There are some lyrics that I do really like, though. In "Illuminati", Davis sings "They're taking over now, eating up our souls somehow, Taking over now, Parasites, they run around, The culprits won't be found, They lie behind this mask of wealth, They're taking over now, Illuminati they hide." Those lyrics work well with what's going on in the background of the song. Another one I like is "Way Too Far", the chorus in particular: "Sometimes I take things Way Too Far Irrational feeling I just try too hard But what goes up, must come down The problem is I have not found because One little problem goes Way Too Far" Very nice. // 8

Overall Impression: It's difficult to sum this album up, really. I love it. Not every Korn fan is going to like this album, just as not everybody who likes dubstep will like it. Basically, you just need to give it a go, even if you think you'll hate it. You might be surprised. I was. Overall, I'm very impressed with this album. It's not perfect, it's not "album of the century" (But, then again, very few albums are), and it's not going to revolutionise music. It's just a damn good record. I'd be perfectly happy for Korn to experiment with dubstep in the future again, providing that what they did didn't stagnate. I suggest you go and try it now. // 9

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overall: 3.3
The Path Of Totality Reviewed by: UG Team, on december 07, 2011
4 of 20 people found this review helpful

Sound: It's been hard to pinpoint Korn's sound, particularly since every Nu-Metal band has been trying to throw the Nu-metal monkey of its back since the term was first used to refer to anything. I don't want to become embroiled in genre battles, so to comment on what's been put in front of me, "The Path Of Totality" isn't as instantly deplorable as I first imagined. The opening song, "Chaos Lives In Everything", is just there. Musically, it fails to register with any real impact. If it's some kind of subsistent attempt at cool electronic music, I'd rather listen to Daft Punk, but at least it's not embarrassing. "Kill Mercy" shows Korn is quite serious about the sound of this album: it features a delightfully string-bending guitar intro, and the electronic music does well. The problem for this song, like much of the album is that it's not played with any real intensity. I don't want to imagine the slumber that would surely abound at a live launch of this album. I'd hoped to avoid cheap shots about cures for insomnia, so it's a positive that Korn momentarily digresses from the sleep-inducing route previously discussed, with a delightful track, "Narcissistic Cannibal". That's not to say that the lyrics are profound, but think of the music as a less formulaic, more electronic Disturbed. This is a true highlight of the album, and I'm inclined to say that it would feature on a Korn playlist. Its chorus is sonically interesting, soothing yet intense. This is a good song. It's just a pity that Korn expends ten other songs in trying to pull off the same track. "Sanctuary" is a disaster - let's not discuss it while "Let's Go" is, I hope, a declarative sentence. If the scientists at CERN are to find anything in their particle accelerator to explain the Universe's origins, any clues will surely come before Korn offers a legitimate reason for this song. // 4

Lyrics: You're not looking for anything profound here, are you? Not from me; not from Korn. // 2

Overall Impression: At least it's not another Disturbed album. The music isn't bad. The songs aren't bad. It's just so mundane. It's as if the band is playing in the unused water closet next door. // 4


- Sam Agini (c) 2011

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overall: 9.3
The Path Of Totality Reviewed by: Mistermetee, on december 09, 2011
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Ever since Korn's debut album was released, they have always (for the most part) been able to conjure up something new and refreshing on each album. Despite a couple of mishaps (Untitled and Untouchables), Korn have always made something that is both lyrically brilliant AND appealing to headbang to, which can't be said for most metal acts within the past 10 or 15 years. After hearing, Get Up! the first single off of The Path Of Totality I was definitely intrigued to see what else they could come up with but at the same time I doubted that they could possibly make a full length album composed of dubstep infused Nu-Metal, while at the same time keeping the listener intent throughout the whole album. Fortunately, I stand corrected. From the very first dubstep breakdown 10 seconds into Chaos Lives In Everything, to the sound of the bagpipes leading into the final chorus in Bleeding Out, Korn brought me to a place in which I had never visited before. A place where all the little Skrillex fans run and play hand in hand with all the little metalheads. Where they all join together after a hard days work of mixing and headbanging, and follow the path of totality all the way back home. In non-metaphorical terms, The Path Of Totality is an album that is sure to start a new breed of music; which will be hated upon as much as it is adored. The production on The Path of Totality is pristine. It is neither overproduced nor under produced which are the two fears that I had before I heard it. The combination of the guitars and the electronics are perfectly balanced so that it doesn't seem as if either of the instruments is interfering with one another. Everything sounds crisp and refreshing and nothing seems overdone or frivolous. The entire album is completely different from anything the band has ever put out but at the same time you know it's Korn when you hear those entrancing choruses. // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics on The Path Of Totality definitely aren't as deep or personal as past Jonathon Davis lyrics have been, but that's actually a good thing this time around. If it were as emotional and depressing as some of the songs were on their previous albums (Korn, Follow The Leader, Korn III: Remember Who You Are) than I think the lyrics would have just been out of place. The simpler and more to the point lyrics were definitely the way to go. Nevertheless, the lyrics relating to politics, corruption, and the evils of the human race are still present. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall The Path Of Totality is another solid album by Korn that will definitely be despised as much as it is praised. The production quality is fantastic, the electronics blend wonderfully with the guitars and bass, and of course the good old fashion Korn intensity is still present. In all honesty, you can hate on this album as much as you want because it's different, or it's not metal, or it's not a carbon copy of Korn or Life Is Peachy. But no matter what you say you can't deny that it's unique, it's bold, it's something the band enjoyed recording, and it screams I DON'T GIVE A F--K towards all the people who talk trash just for the sake of talking trash. ~Mistermetee // 9

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overall: 7.7
The Path Of Totality Reviewed by: Battman1993, on december 13, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: 2011 has been a year of transformations in hard rock and heavy metal. Jane's Addiction released an electronics-inflected album of indie rock, Metallica made a record with Lou Reed, and Staind went back to their roots. But no one has transformed quite like Korn does on their new album "The Path Of Totality". The big transformation? Korn has introduced dubstep into their nu-metal. Dubstep, for those who don't know, is a brand of electronic dance music that features lots of bass and is more aggressive than other brands of dance music. So, this album is a piece of shit then? Actually, no. For people wondering why Korn went dubstep, I pose a question to you: why not? What other metal band does dubstep fit in better with? The answer is nobody. Korn has always been a band that has constantly experimented in other genres, but their standard has always been thumping, bass-driven metal. So in that regard, dubstep works very well on "The Path Of Totality". Every track is colored by beats and sounds provided by dubstep producers such as Skrillex, 12th Planet, Downlink, Datsik, Kill The Noise, and Noisia. But... The band members of Korn are still there. Several tracks feature guitar prominently, and Fieldy's bass is clearly heard on almost every track. Korn hasn't forgotten metal, they've just added dubstep to it. And it sounds f--king awesome. // 8

Lyrics: It's Korn. What do you expect? Jonathan Davis still sings about the shit in his life. However, there is a tinge of politics on "The Path Of Totality". "Get Up!" is reportedly about the people who are bitching about the economy. "Illuminati" is about the much-discussed secret society and makes the assertion that President Obama is a member of the Illuminati. Other than that, same old song and dance (LOL). // 7

Overall Impression: Dubstep purists and hardcore Korn fans will almost certainly hate this album. But, it's a great album nonetheless. Dubstep has clearly reinvigorated the members of Korn, and sounds at home in their wacky nu-metal. Revolver Magazine recently named "The Path Of Totality" as it's Album Of The Year, and while I won't go that far, it certainly has a home in my top 10 for 2011. This album is for open-minded people, like Metallica/Lou Reed's "Lulu" (although "THe Path Of Totality" doesn't suck like "Lulu" does). // 8

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overall: 6.7
The Path Of Totality Reviewed by: project.mayhem, on january 06, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The band name seems more appropriate than ever. Why? Because, despite the crap, you can still tell its Korn. "The Path Of Totality", Korn's latest attempt to Frankenstein two musical genres, isn't terrible. It's not good, either. The main issue is that the album doesn't evoke any kind of true emotional reaction. It just "is". It lacks the organic crunchiness that made Korn interesting in the first place. Triumphs occur when Korn does its thing and dub-step is used to add window dressing. The first singles were smartly chosen but end up being an act of deception. "Narcissistic Cannibal" reveals what this album could have been - a seamless integration of synthesized rhythms and melody. "Get Up!" is a rare energetic moment that preserves the aggression that we reminisce about from "Issues". However, this is the exception and not the rule. A majority of the time it feels like they purposely molded songs to accommodate a hook, which isn't all that "hooky" in the first place. Korn ends up playing second fiddle to its dub-step masters and the album sags as a result. // 8

Lyrics: Jonathan Davis's angsty lyrics and schizophrenic vocal delivery are beginning to feel recycled and inauthentic. We get it, man. You're angry. You hate. You wait. You create. You exacerbate. You retaliate. And then you hate again. I'm assuming most of bypass the hope for lyrical ingenuity when it comes to Korn. We've all accepted what we've paid for? Good. Moving on... // 6

Overall Impression: The album's biggest redeeming quality is its production value. The mix is crisp, well balanced, and it's in your face. Too bad there aren't many crank-worthy moments on the album. You can't fault Korn for taking a risk. They've made a great living by forcing square pegs into round holes. However, "The Path Of Totality" hits the ground with a resounding "wub-wub". // 6

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overall: 9.3
The Path Of Totality Reviewed by: Rapture11, on december 13, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album is obviously very different from Korn's usually nu-metal sound, which lead singer Johnathan Davis mentioned in interviews saying the band is venturing into dubstep. "The Path Of Totality" has several different Dubstep producers help produce the album including Skrillex, Noisia, and 12th Planet. Korn does an amazing job combining the two genres into a "metalstep" hybrid. "The Path Of Totality" gives Korn fans something very different to listen to, but still has the sound unique to Korn's music. The songs "Kill Mercy Within" and "Burn The Obedient" are in my personal favorites, I would recommend anyone to listen to the whole album including those two songs. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrical topics don't seem to venture far from Korn's usual topics. Johnathan Davis's singing fits perfectly with the dubstep aspects that have been incorporated. JD also makes some very catchy vocal sections, most notable to me in "Let's Go" and "Get Up!". In the bonus track "Tension", JD throws in his identifiable grunts and growls, which mixes very well with the synthesizers and wobble bass. // 9

Overall Impression: In comparison to Korn's other albums, it is completely different, yet a change for the better, "The Path Of Totality" sends Korn into unexplored territory and the band fits in perfectly. "The Path Of Totality" is definitely a great album, I highly recommend that any fan of Korn, dubstep, or both listen to this album in it's entirety. I admit I'm not the biggest Korn fan and I'm not fond with a large portion of Korn's music (that would explain it if my lyrics section isn't very good), but this album is something I strongly recommend to buy. "The Path Of Totality" is a very enjoyable album to listen to, each song has it's own identifiable sound and each song is good to listen to many times. // 10

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