Sound — 8
You will feel the funkifed rock ooze out of this one -- no need to adjust your sound system. Korn has once again given fans a front-row seat to its stage show, this time on the band's new DVD Live On The Other Side, filmed at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. The 120-plus minute disk includes both new and old Korn material, much of which is both helped and hindered by an audio system that favors the dominating bass and grinding guitar riffs. Vocalist Jonathan Davis, guitarist Munky, bassist Fieldy, and drummer David Silveria are all pros onstage, and it definitely comes across in Live on the Other Side. Even if you didn't believe the previous statement, watching the fans sing passionately along with Korn songs provides just as much entertainment as what's happening onstage. The DVD captures the Korn essentials: Davis' ability to quietly whisper part of the chorus and then abruptly roar like an unhinged Grizzly; Fieldy's distinctive, pulsating bass; Silveria's supernatural control over his immense drum kit; and Munky's creative riffs that, depending on the mood, can be a docile hum or an explosion of distortion. Where it does not quite satisfy is in the clarity of the vocals, both lead and background. The instruments come through so intensely that the guitar, bass, and drums tend to cover Davis' quieter vocals. When Davis' comes back up to his growling state, it comes back to a balanced state between all of the sounds. But because Davis tends to go into both loud and soft vocal styles throughout the coarse of one song, it's probably not an easy task for the soundman to adjust the boards each time Davis does so. And if you don't know the words by heart to every Korn song, you will not be able to get full clarity on Davis' hushed vocals.
Content — 9
As live DVDs go, Korn has provided an interesting package that, of course, weighs heavy on the live performance. For fans who are eager to relive the Korn concert experience, Live On The Other Side will likely come through for you. Because the band put out a live DVD a few years back, this latest release may seem like not much new and therefore might be a bit disappointing for some. Some may even ask if another live DVD was necessary, given the self-titled concert DVD was not released that long ago. However, this latest DVD is produced in a way that does look flawless and contains moments where the music does take on a whole life of its own. A neat little addition to the DVD is the Jukebox feature, which allows you to select in what order you would like the songs to play and give you free reign over the show. So if you feel like playing Shoots And Ladders five times in a row and completely eliminating the power is all yours. The bonus features on the disk give you a detailed look on some of the events leading up to the day of the show. One of the most interesting and heartwarming -- yes, heartwarming -- aspects of the Bonus Features is a brief bit Davis' efforts to give US GIs an opportunity to take a brief leave of absence and attend Korn's concert. The feature gives a glimpse into these genuinely appreciate audience members, who vocalist Davis rounded up on a jet and flew to the show site. Live on the Other Side could have probably done without the third Bonus Feature, a for Coming Undone. This little extra was really not needed, given the fact that it's the exact same performance for that song in the live portion of the DVD.
Production Quality — 10
If there is one main reason to watch -- for both Korn fans and haters -- it is the cinematic quality of Live on the Other Side. Whereas some bands put out concert videos that are pretty bare bones, Korn has gone above and beyond. The unbelievable number of camera angles combined with the eerie blue lighting accentuating the entire concert make for a captivating watching experience. Every type of shot you could imagine -- from an extreme close-up of Fieldy's fingers playing a bass line to an action shot of a girl being pulled out from a crushing crowd -- has been captured on the DVD. It could have easily gotten choppy in the hands of an amateur production team, but director Lawrence Jordan and his team have pulled off a seamless artistic piece. Even if you don't care for Korn's music, the images alone create an intense and memorable mood all on their own.
Overall Impression — 9
Korn has done a fine job of putting out a polished live DVD without needing to push its latest material down fans' throats. The camera work is, in a word, beautiful. There are so many different images and angles that you'll likely discover new facets of the show each time you watch. The multiple camera shots may annoy some who like more of a focused presentation, but the style seemed to fit the band. After all, many of Korn's songs are manic in construction, often going from a quiet lull in one moment to a distortion-saturated growl in the next. The two bonus features that were documentary in nature definitely balanced out the concert element, and the DVD probably could have used a few more interviews. Davis does address his feud with former guitarist Brian Welch and, in fact, apologizes for his actions. This little segment of only a couple minutes in length is unexpected and refreshingly so. Had Korn not put out another live DVD a few years ago, Live On The Other Side would probably be embraced a lot more by fans. While the performance aspect of the concert may not be that much different, the visual aspect to the new DVD is definitely worth of at least a couple visits to your disk player.