Sound: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 9