Sound — 7
At first listen, we can tell this is still the Korn we know and love. Only they have matured and taken their writing and music to a whole new level. They have evolved into something more and I was awed by the sheer power that some of the songs on this album deliver to us. Note to reader: do not let Twisted Transistor fool you! Possibly the worst song they have ever written. Know this! It has no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the album!
Lyrics — 9
Korn have taken it one step further by introducing more complex lyrics that run far deeper than any of the lyrics presented to us in their previous albums. They no longer seem simple and regurgitated and although we loved our Korn simple and basic, this change is certainly welcome. The only criticism I would have about the new style of lyrics is the fact that Jonathan expresses political opinions through the song Politix (a horrible song) and it just doesn't seem to fit with Korn. These issues are better leftw ith bands such as Rage Against the Machine and System Of A Down. With this said I want to hear more angst and hurt about his past and childhood because I never get sick of it and that's the KoRn I grew up with! Furthermore, Jonathans singing skills seem to have vastly improved, especially when drawn in comparison with Take a Look in the Mirror and Untouchables. He sings almost angelically and you can hear a burning passion behind his voice further fueled by the thought provoking lyrical dialogue. The last two songs Seen it All and Tearjerker really help to showcase just what Jonathan is capable of.
Overall Impression — 8
I loved this album, although it does not match their self titled debut, Life is Peachy, Follow the Leader and Issues it vastly outweighs their more recent releases, Untouchables and Take a Look in the Mirror. This is simply because Jonathan seems to have a passion for his songs again and the instrumentals (even though Brian Welch has departed) are more dynamic than ever before. KoRn get very experimental on this album and some of the sounds that are produced sound so unreal and amazing. The only thing truly lacking is Fieldys insane bass lines. The Nine Inch Nails vibe of this album does not burden the sound of the band we know so well, KoRn, from infecting our ear drums. The most impressive songs on this album include Throw me Away (it takes the listener back to good ole Issues. The pain and passion behind Jonathans voice in this song really works and Davids powerful drums back this to create a powerful combination), Open Up (it is just evil man. And Korn used to sound like something from the depths of Hell. That's why I love it so much), Liar (simple basic guitar riff. This song is just fast and angry and the outro sees the return of Jonathans bagpipes. In addition to this we get the lyrical nonsense of such past songs as Twist and Ball Tongue making this an instant hit), Seen It All (it is so atmospheric and emotional. Reminding me alot of the Deftones. The build-up is incredible), Tearjerker (it really showcases Jonathans singing potential. We have never heard him sing like this before and this song runs so deep and the lyrics are so brilliant that you can't help but be swept away at the conclusion of this album). For the Korn fan who was tired of seeing the band screw themselves over with their previous two albums and wanted to hear something different that actually worked. Something that actually flowed. Something that actually meant something. Then this is the album for you. For the Korn fan who wants to hear some Follow the Leader, some Life is Peachy, some self-titled and some Issues. Give up! Korn have changed and it's time to accept this new fact and embrace what this album gives us. A blend of metal, industrial, atmospheric chaos that still sounds like Korn, only on a higher wavelength and using a different approach and method of song-writing. Kudos to Korn for stepping up and changing into something else without screwing up as they did on their previous two efforts.