Korn III: Remember Who You Are review by Korn

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  • Released: Jul 13, 2010
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (116 votes)
Korn: Korn III: Remember Who You Are
2

Sound — 9
Sonically, the 9th album from the Bakersfield trio (plus Ray Luzier) is where the real Korn fan wants it to be. I personally thought See You on the Other Side and Untitled were a step forward in terms of musical complexity for the group, but obviously shied away from their traditional sound. Most people have interpreted the meaning of the album title as a reference to the third incarnation of the band. This may be true, however it also seems like this could have been the third record after Life Is Peachy. It has similar aggression and dynamics, but is definitely a step up in complexity and musicianship. Korn 3 returns the group to where they started: no Pro Tools, just an 8-track. I feel, however, this reversion really shows the absence of Brian Welch. Munky really hasn't stepped up to the plate to recreate the original, authentic Korn sound. To be honest, it's obvious there's only one guitarist in this band. The intros and choruses on this album are true to their original sound, that being really heavy and catchy, usually a melodic companion for Jonathan's vocals. But with Head in the band there was that added spice' in the verses, usually a strange flanger or chorus effect, sometimes as simple as feedback. To me, these sometimes eerie sounds added to Korn's uniqueness. In the previous two records, Munky's parts were complimented by the presence of synth and keyboard parts. Some of the verses in Korn 3 have no guitar. Enough said. Percussively, Korn 3 is spot on. Ray Luzier has shown his chops as a drummer and in my opinion more than filled David Silveria's shoes in recreating the earlier Korn sound. That said, he is a different drummer with a differing stylistic approach than David, Terry Bozio or Brooks Wackerman (the latter two contributed to Untitled). His drumming on this record is definitely more improvisational than the early Korn records (this may be contributed by the size of his kit!). I also believe Fieldy's contributions should be listed here, as they are more perscussive than dynamic. I'm not sure what tuning Fieldy uses, but for all intensive purposes, it could be different on every song and no one would be able to tell. He's back to his old game, slapping and working in unison with Ray. This has been his place in the early Korn records and is a big reason this record sounds old school. Long-time Korn fans will definitely appreciate his playing on Korn 3.

Lyrics — 7
During the first couple of listens of this album, what stood out to me was the lack of creativity in Jonathan's lyrics. It was painful. In the couple of reviews that I've read of Korn 3, this is the reviewer's major gripe. But they obviously weren't Korn fans and willing to give the record another listen. I find that most Korn records require a few listens to uncover the intricacies of the songs, and this one is no different. I pushed through and listened to the remainder of the album. Then I listened to it another time. Then a couple more times. By this time, the quality of lyrics (or lack thereof) wasn't such a snag. What did start to stand out was Jonathan's delivery. While there is not as much screaming as the early records, his voice is top-notch here. Ross Robinson has obviously instilled the kind of aggression that was present in Jonathan's performances in the first two records. It has been well documented that the recording/therapy sessions that Ross and Jon endured were pure hell. That hell has been thrown straight on to tape, and you can definitely hear it. However, listeners who couldn't stand Jon's voice before aren't going to be done any favours here.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, Korn 3 is a welcome return to grace for the trio and newly appointed Ray. Most have been calling for Korn to throw it away for a long time, especially since Take A Look In The Mirror and subsequent departure of Head. I started to write about the more memorable songs on the record, but after playing them through, all of them had something unique about it that stood out. It's definitely been a while since this has been the case with a Korn record. Oildale was a great choice for the first song, but there are a number of others that could follow up. Lead the Parade has a bridge section that sounds almost schizophrenic and a chorus that wouldn't sound out of place on Untouchables. Are You Ready to Live has a nice fast riff that sounds Right Now-esque. This record is a great platform for the band to discover what this incarnation of the Korn line-up can bring. From the live performances I've seen in recent months, the members seem reinvigorated, and I'm sure it has something to do with the release of this record and getting back to their roots. If you've followed Korn up until now, you'll buy this record anyway. If you're one of those fans that hasn't bought and album since TALITM-Untitled, you should hear Korn this time around. They're back.

60 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The_Casinator
    I used to like Korn a lot when I was around 12-14.After that I kinda got fed up with them, but this album makes me feel the love again.
    TheAbsentOne
    I absolutely love this album. What an improvement from their past 2 albums. So pumped to see them again at Mayhem.
    OldEscape
    This is the first album they've put out that I haven't liked or enjoyed, been a fan since 96, there are some guitar parts here and there that grab my attention but they were only played briefly. I've given this record a few spins, it's not for me, they're still a killer band live though, kinda surprised I don't like this record. I hope Fear & The Nervous System doesn't have this new korn record's kind of vibe with guitar, you can hear it on this record that Munk's got a lot of potential, but he rarely lets it shine on Korn III. Dunno man, maybe Ross is really tryin' to kill nu-metal (was one of his things with glassjaw anyway, right?), cause this record actually turned me off as a fan, I don't like it at all, & let me repeat myself, I've liked and enjoyed every record up to this record since I became a fan in 1996.
    tRaShGuTz
    IMHO, the best song of this album is Pop A Pill, the lyrics are acid, referring to and old KoRn, but also delivering a new crazy feel to the band, while using a chorus melody that makes me, a long-date fan satisfied
    duncang
    Aside from the blip mentioned above, I thought this was a great review. It's become so clear that you can really write when it's a band you know well and feel passionate about (Deftones, Korn), so I'd love to see more like this and less about styles you aren't so well versed in!
    webbtje
    (or blamed, if you talk to elitists)
    That's great, Amy, really sending out a positive message there: if you dislike nu-metal, you're an 'elitist'.
    Crazyxadamx
    I still remember hearing Blind on the radio for the first time and pulling my car over cause it was so overwhelming... But I drove the entire way home on this album. I don't dislike it I just wish the title held a justice.
    heretic-clown
    Korn is a good band but, they kinda fell off when Head left the band. IMO Brian "Head" Welch was the sound that made Korn, Korn. After he left that vibe he gave the band went along with him. Take a look at his album "Save me from myself", its what Classic Korns sound was. But this is just my own opinion, maybe oneday when John, Munky and Fieldy are done being on a high pedestal they can let Head join with them again to create a real Korn album.
    iljh
    My favorite album by Korn was See You On The Other Side because it was the most different. The Untitled one after it was their worst album imo. This album isn't too different from stuff already been out, but there is enough for me to enjoy. I just wish there were a little more.... uniqueness in the songs. We all remember Blind, Freak on a Leash, Faget, Coming Undone and Here To Stay for reasons this album just doesn't seem to have. Oildale (Leave Me Alone) is the closest thing to it. Don't get me wrong, its a good song. In conclusion, the album isn't their best by any means, however I don't think its their worst. Don't give up on Korn just yet, fellow music fans. I'll give them one more album to change it up again and then we'll see what happens.
    strat0blaster
    They're trying too hard to write another Life Is Peachy. The album's not bad, but I don't want Life Is Peachy II - I want a new Korn album. There's nothing wrong with touching on your roots, but when you become a copy of yourself, it's not good.
    lern2swim
    I kind of call into question the integrity of anyone who goes from enjoying a "type" of music to hating it. Most especially when that shift is directly in line with general public (at the very least, their chosen peer group) opinion
    thebigal
    This album is terribe. Korn were once a metal beast the was so very well respected. I loved there early stuff. Now they continually release lame albums. I wich these guys would go away while they still have a shred of dignity left. Would not recomend this album to anyone.
    droptuning
    lern2swim wrote: I kind of call into question the integrity of anyone who goes from enjoying a "type" of music to hating it. Most especially when that shift is directly in line with general public (at the very least, their chosen peer group) opinion
    +1
    Krieger91
    i'll have to gice this album, i adore korn. i can understand why nobody likes the previous two, but me personally, i don't think anything after issues was crap..i think anything after take a look in the mirror was crap. untouchables, follow the leader and take a look were very good in my opinion..they changed but still rocked.
    Cafas
    lern2swim wrote: I kind of call into question the integrity of anyone who goes from enjoying a "type" of music to hating it. Most especially when that shift is directly in line with general public (at the very least, their chosen peer group) opinion
    God forbid people's tastes develop as they listen to more music and gain an objective ear. There's no reason I should necessarily enjoy anything I liked at age 13, or age 17. A good song or band endures, but after you've been exposed to enough music, your tastes are eventually going to go one way or another, or at least they should. Everyone is looking for bands that stand the test of time, but your tastes should be moving forward imo. Deftones are a band that I've listened to since grade school, and I probably always will. The old stuff holds up imo, and the new stuff is relevant. But that doesn't mean I have to bother with Korn or Limp Bizkit if my tastes have developed towards jazz or 'underground' metal.
    Cafas
    Balboa6 wrote: Korn's music has about as much in common with that of Limp Bizkit, as John Denver's music does with Marilyn Manson's. They are absolutely NOTHING alike.
    They're both nu-metal bands that came up around the same time. Relax man, ****.
    Balboa6
    Cafas wrote: lern2swim wrote: I kind of call into question the integrity of anyone who goes from enjoying a "type" of music to hating it. Most especially when that shift is directly in line with general public (at the very least, their chosen peer group) opinion God forbid people's tastes develop as they listen to more music and gain an objective ear. There's no reason I should necessarily enjoy anything I liked at age 13, or age 17. A good song or band endures, but after you've been exposed to enough music, your tastes are eventually going to go one way or another, or at least they should. Everyone is looking for bands that stand the test of time, but your tastes should be moving forward imo. Deftones are a band that I've listened to since grade school, and I probably always will. The old stuff holds up imo, and the new stuff is relevant. But that doesn't mean I have to bother with Korn or Limp Bizkit if my tastes have developed towards jazz or 'underground' metal.
    Korn's music has about as much in common with that of Limp Bizkit, as John Denver's music does with Marilyn Manson's. They are absolutely NOTHING alike.
    Balboa6
    I'm glad to see a legitimate review. Although it can be extremely irritating, the haters are so farcical one has to kind of just laugh. No matter what the guys in Korn decide to do with their music--literally no matter what it is--people bitch. If they experiment it's, "they sold out," "they're watering down their music and trying to appeal to this crowd or that crowd," "their corporate cocksuckers," etc, etc. If they do a raw, stripped down and particularly heavy album, it's "they're trying to hard/they're a parody of themselves," "they're repeating themselves," etc. It gets really ****ing old after a while. Korn III is an amazing album and regardless of what anyone else says it absolutely DOES have the atmosphere and vibe of the early Korn albums. It was never meant to "sound" like them, which is what so many people don't get. The idea was not to duplicate what they've already done, but to take the qualities I've just mentioned, plus the various nuances, imperfections, etc and take a step forward. It's also hilarious how people continually say "oh well if Head came back, they'd be better." HOW??? I missed both Head and David as much as the next person, but what exactly was so special about Head in comparison to the others? If he had stayed and Munky had been the one to quit, then you people would be saying "if only Munky would return." The bottom line is, you all just need a reason to bitch. If you're not getting hung up on this kind of bullshit, you're generalizing the lyrics and taking one song and saying Jonathan Davis "always" sings about it. The other thing is the way people hold Korn's first album up as if it's some untouchable standard. Of course it was innovative and great (just like all their albums), but really go back and listen carefully to it. Is it really THAT heavy? Is it really that much heavier than Take A Look In The Mirror or Korn III? There are a lot of very slow and melodic parts. It's not this ballistic, insane ball of fury and hardcore intensity so many people make it out to be. I love every album they've ever released, personally and I have been a fan since 1995. I have never been disappointed in a Korn album. I love the evolution (no pun intended) of their music throughout their career and the fact that they're always unpredictable. I look forward to seeing where they go in the future.
    lern2swim
    BrixDK wrote: I have'nt listened to the album, or any of their albums for that matter, but from an outsiders point of view and from what i've been reading in the news and heard from friends and stuff, it just seems like a parody of the past so to speak... My comment may seem pretty pointles, but are'nt any of you annyoed that you're getting the "same" album again? Keep in mind that i have'nt listened to the album and for all i know it might be a fresh take on something old
    Considering the fact that you admittedly haven't listened to the album, your opinion does seem pretty pointless. It's not a matter of it being the same album. After Follow the Leader came out Korn veered very VERY far off the course they started with their first 2 albums. Admittedly, I didn't hate any of the albums they've released since but they haven't been what I've wanted to hear from the band. This album gets them a bit back on track with what they originally were. it's not a rehash but it's definitely more in line with their beginnings. That being said, I think what is a good step in the right direction would have been an amazing album had Head and Silveria still been in the band. In my opinion they were the 2 strongest creative forces in the band and it's just not the same without them.
    Cafas
    Honestly, it's like saying Cannibal Corpse isn't death metal, just because they don't sound like Morbid Angel, or whatever the case is. Korn and Limp Bizkit are going to get lumped together for that same reason.
    Raining Brian
    They should mix style from all of their past "efforts." The new original ultra-efficient way to create already adorned mass success.
    fendercobain87
    great album better than their last two in my opinion but korn are always improving now matter what korn ****ing rules
    Mushieknot
    I ha never been a huge korn fan, but it is my best friend's favorite band..had some of their singles from him and a couple others. So when this came out I was like "what the heck?" and I bought it. I think it's a really good album, even if the songs sound a little similar.
    kornfan96
    Balboa6 said it all...couldn't of put it better, so I won't try. I have been a fan since Nov 1996, when I first got S/T. I have to say that they hit it out of the park on this one. Pop a Pill is awesome and reminds me a little of Kick the PA. I have only heard a few songs off the deluxe CD as I am holding out for some green to christen the album with Awesome review at the beginning of the page!!!
    drzlove
    The new album is wicked. It's good to hear John Davis screaming properly again. What's up with people saying their favourite song is Twisted Transistor and stuff? I like em but remember when Korn first came out and everyone was like whoa, savage! This is what this sounds like. I respect them for diversifying from Follow the Leader forward but this is what I have been waiting for. It's amazing how fresh it sounds once all the studio trickery is taken away again. I feel like this could be a new band I just discovered at age 14 again and be writing Korn all my schoolbag. My only gripe is that he hardly ever does his weird gibberish rap thing anymore (like in Ball Tongue and Freak on a Leash).
    Qotsa43556
    You guys who say Korn are covering themselves are Faggots. How the **** can you cover yourself? stupid **** holes!
    SikMind08
    Balboa6 wrote: I'm glad to see a legitimate review. Although it can be extremely irritating, the haters are so farcical one has to kind of just laugh. No matter what the guys in Korn decide to do with their music--literally no matter what it is--people bitch. If they experiment it's, "they sold out," "they're watering down their music and trying to appeal to this crowd or that crowd," "their corporate cocksuckers," etc, etc. If they do a raw, stripped down and particularly heavy album, it's "they're trying to hard/they're a parody of themselves," "they're repeating themselves," etc. It gets really ****ing old after a while. Korn III is an amazing album and regardless of what anyone else says it absolutely DOES have the atmosphere and vibe of the early Korn albums. It was never meant to "sound" like them, which is what so many people don't get. The idea was not to duplicate what they've already done, but to take the qualities I've just mentioned, plus the various nuances, imperfections, etc and take a step forward. It's also hilarious how people continually say "oh well if Head came back, they'd be better." HOW??? I missed both Head and David as much as the next person, but what exactly was so special about Head in comparison to the others? If he had stayed and Munky had been the one to quit, then you people would be saying "if only Munky would return." The bottom line is, you all just need a reason to bitch. If you're not getting hung up on this kind of bullshit, you're generalizing the lyrics and taking one song and saying Jonathan Davis "always" sings about it. The other thing is the way people hold Korn's first album up as if it's some untouchable standard. Of course it was innovative and great (just like all their albums), but really go back and listen carefully to it. Is it really THAT heavy? Is it really that much heavier than Take A Look In The Mirror or Korn III? There are a lot of very slow and melodic parts. It's not this ballistic, insane ball of fury and hardcore intensity so many people make it out to be. I love every album they've ever released, personally and I have been a fan since 1995. I have never been disappointed in a Korn album. I love the evolution (no pun intended) of their music throughout their career and the fact that they're always unpredictable. I look forward to seeing where they go in the future.
    Could not have said it clearer my friend. i believe as a musician, experimenting is what it's all about. as for the rest of you that don't like the last few albums there is alot of bands out there.
    imamusicadept
    im confused as to why people think TALITM is a bad album? i thought it was really good, they had a few not great songs but overall it was really good and contributed to the overall view of korn. it was definitely their heaviest album too
    Burgery
    I really hate this album. They seem to have watered down the music a bit too much. The lyrics were absolutely horrible, they were much better on untitled and SYOTOS, which must mean JD intently made worse lyrics to make it more similar to when he wasn't as good of a lyricist.
    Manimosity
    BOYERxBREAKDOWN wrote: OXL wrote: Posers! ; FAIL, it's Poseurs, you damn poseur.
    Actually, it's poster, you damn poster! Honestly I really hate this kind of music now, but this album is much better than their other more recent albums. Anyway these guys are now old and missing Head and David. They're beating a dead horse with a stick.
    HoneyofRuin
    Shit review from Amy as always. The second review was a lot better. This album isn't bad at all. It's pretty good.
    lpwjbklyn
    I loved Amy's review and the fact that not a single person has referenced her Breakfast Club comparison in any way.
    nico42
    for all intensive purposes
    I don't mean to be a grammar nazi (I'm not even a native english speaker) but that would be "to all intents and purposes" Other than that I think I'll give the album a listen. I always enjoyed some of their older songs.
    duncang
    nico42 wrote: for all intensive purposes I don't mean to be a grammar nazi (I'm not even a native english speaker) but that would be "to all intents and purposes"
    ...this too.
    Oosh.
    I lost heart in Korn with their 'Untitled' album. When i heard just the intro to Oildale i fell in love once again.
    droptuning
    on first listen i thought this album was a bit hit and miss, but after numerous listens i can now listen to this album front to back (and i have the special edition with 2 extra songs) and really enjoy it. Ive been a korn fan for a long time now ( since the release pf L.I.P) and even though i seem to be in the minority as far as thinking SYOTOS and Untitled were good albums i am glad they went back to there more raw sound. in the korn catalogue i think sound wise this album prob fits after TALITM rather than after L.I.P. seems to bridge the gap ti SYOTOS. P.S, Heads new album comes out this year apparently, his first album was awesome imo.
    SpiritThief
    Its not a bad record thats for sure. But its better then everything they have done after Issues.
    Dakkstar
    I can't get into it. It lacks the groove that previous albums had, The lack of Head and David are too clear. I mean Head's solo album sounds more like Korn than Korn and Korn without David's grooving drums behind them you just get a guy that hits the snare to often and follows the guitar too much. It's decent, but the last songs I thought were really good were Coming Undone and Twisted Transistor sadly enough. Untouchables was my favourite album though.
    Wolfman69
    I think Korn made what they wanted to. A mix of their selftitled, LIP, and TALITM (and I love those three). Korn is back with their raw sound and heavy tuns. Sure Head and David are gone but Monky does a great job on his own and Ray is a great replacement regardless if he "hits the snare to often" says Dakkstar. Its still a great album, theres maybe one song im not to empressed with but I'll probaly like it as I listen to it more. Ive been a fan since 1996 and regradeless of their sound, they were able to make good albums, but SYOTOS and untitled were on the botem of the list for me.
    lpwjbklyn
    nico42 wrote: for all intensive purposes I don't mean to be a grammar nazi (I'm not even a native english speaker) but that would be "to all intents and purposes" Other than that I think I'll give the album a listen. I always enjoyed some of their older songs.
    Ever notice how people precede offensive or argumentative opinions with pre-qualifying statements that serve to do exactly what they claim they won't? "No offense..." almost always precedes something offensive. "Not to be a grammar nazi but..." At least he spelled grammar correctly. +1 for that.
    KnotParkDay
    If anything, it's an amalgam of the first three albums It's awesome however, the best one they've done since Issues. Oh, and the best song is The Past.
    EpiExplorer
    Jacobrivers8 wrote: i always thought korn were one of the few nu-metal bands that weren't posers
    Thats true, they may have started the genre, but its twats like Limp Penis that actually made it so commercial. KoRn may have gotten popular but they haven't become idiots.