The Path of Totality review by Korn

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  • Released: Dec 6, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.5 (108 votes)
Korn: The Path of Totality
4

Sound — 8
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.

Lyrics — 8
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.

Overall Impression — 9
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.

28 comments sorted by best / new / date

    shredder3386
    laklok wrote: SGofawesome wrote: Anyone who likes dubstep will like it though! Im a true fan of dubstep. Clubroot, Burial, Kryptic Minds, Digital Mystikz etc are geniuses. But Skrillex is not and never will be dubstep.
    LOL dubstep elitists? Classic
    robertito696
    Fiddelers elbow wrote: Skrillex ain't dubstep.
    What is it then? I hear that a lot but no one ever has an answer for what genre it is if it's not dubstep.
    soXlittleXtimeX
    It sounds pretty much like I thought it would: People who don't make electronic music, making electronic music.
    Ibeanez
    aildjacksback wrote: robertito696 wrote: Fiddelers elbow wrote: it is dubstep but its a type of dubstep that is only really good at shows true dubstep songs are by skream theyre much more chilled and proggresiveand less wub wub wub wub. god i am tired
    Lol, thanks for clarifying...
    metalcore123
    VERY glad to see that they're experimenting though.
    I lol'd when I read this. Please, tell me what Korn has been doing for the last 10 years....?
    EpiExplorer
    I think Sam's review was a bit too harsh, and not as well written as is per usual. Well, when I say 'not as well written' I mean 'Did he even ****ing bother'. But anyway, this album will only really appeal to dubstep and Korn fans, they wont be winning many originality points either (I'm fairly sure that nonce from Suicide Silence was doing this since '08). Personally, I think its one last ditch effort to hold on to the bands golden years before moving on. Yeah Korn, we get it, you have a legacy of sorts, just stop trying already..
    laklok
    SGofawesome wrote: Anyone who likes dubstep will like it though!
    Im a true fan of dubstep. Clubroot, Burial, Kryptic Minds, Digital Mystikz etc are geniuses. But Skrillex is not and never will be dubstep.
    SGofawesome
    I didn't care for it much because I don't like dubstep. There are a few songs that I enjoyed but overall the album was a miss for me. VERY glad to see that they're experimenting though. I'd give the album a 5. Average. Anyone who likes dubstep will like it though!
    Rad Sock
    I think it's a good album, a little vacation from all the metal and still have that heavy sound
    Charlie4
    Some of this reminds me of Jonathan Davis's brother's previous band Adema, the style he sings. Don't like this album though. NC is probably the best song on the album, the rest is a bit meh.
    Bigredjm15
    This is why I like Korn, because every album is very different. I'm glad they aren't making the same songs/sound as they did in 94', It'd be so boring and old, it'd lose its fire really quick. There are some recent interviews from Jonathan Davis, the metal purists here should have a read.
    Bananafish003
    Synopsis is too easily answerable: What was Korn's reason for this album? Profit, quite obviously. Both nu-metal and dubstep have surprisingly similar fanbases and crossover potential probably seemed pretty good to them...Doesn't justify how bad it is...
    JB95
    I like Jonathan Davis' voice. I think it fits Korn's music incredibly well. [quote]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.[/quote] I like reviewers being objective.
    henrihell
    I like this album, it's two good genres combined, and the result is good. I liked every second of it. Get Up! Is the worst one, but all others are really good. Will be on my list of best albums in 2011
    TTeddybear
    Its a good album, yes the songs they released as singles are the best songs on the album. But the others are also great to listen to or have as backround music! 7.5/10
    Mainer
    Can't wait to hear it. Heard "Get Up" and "Narcasisstic Cannibal" and thought they were great. Love that Korn ain't afraid to work with different sounds (I even liked their Untitled album) Hope this is good.
    sam9tremblay
    Half of the songs are good in this album. It's not really original and the best songs are Get Up and Narcissistic Cannibal.The other songs aren't even close to be as good as them . It's an average album . I give it a 5 .
    aildjacksback
    robertito696 wrote: Fiddelers elbow wrote: Skrillex ain't dubstep.What is it then? I hear that a lot but no one ever has an answer for what genre it is if it's not dubstep.
    it is dubstep but its a type of dubstep that is only really good at shows true dubstep songs are by skream theyre much more chilled and proggresiveand less wub wub wub wub. god i am tired
    DJ2109
    ProgJazzMath wrote: Fiddelers elbow wrote: Skrillex ain't dubstep. Then what is he? Please elaborate.
    I believe that Skrillex is dubstep, however his sound is much more intense and aggressive when compared to the earlier, and less well known, dubstep artists. Earlier dubstep was more chilled and while there were bass drops, they weren't the only part of the song.
    ninfan200
    i'd give it a 7.5 i was kind of hoping to hear heavier stuff in addition to dubstep but it was enjoyable nontheless, and everyone stop talking about originality we've reached a point where music is gonna start sounding similar
    efferus
    Interesting concept...failed execution. There are two or three decent tracks on this cd. The rest is very unimaginative. It fails to be good Korn, it fails to be good electronica. I wouldn't mind seeing where their next cd goes if they continue in this direction though.