Sound — 8
2011 has been a year of transformations in hard rock and heavy metal. Jane's Addiction released an electronics-inflected album of indie rock, Metallica made a record with Lou Reed, and Staind went back to their roots. But no one has transformed quite like Korn does on their new album "The Path Of Totality". The big transformation? Korn has introduced dubstep into their nu-metal. Dubstep, for those who don't know, is a brand of electronic dance music that features lots of bass and is more aggressive than other brands of dance music. So, this album is a piece of shit then? Actually, no. For people wondering why Korn went dubstep, I pose a question to you: why not? What other metal band does dubstep fit in better with? The answer is nobody. Korn has always been a band that has constantly experimented in other genres, but their standard has always been thumping, bass-driven metal. So in that regard, dubstep works very well on "The Path Of Totality". Every track is colored by beats and sounds provided by dubstep producers such as Skrillex, 12th Planet, Downlink, Datsik, Kill The Noise, and Noisia. But... The band members of Korn are still there. Several tracks feature guitar prominently, and Fieldy's bass is clearly heard on almost every track. Korn hasn't forgotten metal, they've just added dubstep to it. And it sounds f--king awesome.
Lyrics — 7
It's Korn. What do you expect? Jonathan Davis still sings about the shit in his life. However, there is a tinge of politics on "The Path Of Totality". "Get Up!" is reportedly about the people who are bitching about the economy. "Illuminati" is about the much-discussed secret society and makes the assertion that President Obama is a member of the Illuminati. Other than that, same old song and dance (LOL).
Overall Impression — 8
Dubstep purists and hardcore Korn fans will almost certainly hate this album. But, it's a great album nonetheless. Dubstep has clearly reinvigorated the members of Korn, and sounds at home in their wacky nu-metal. Revolver Magazine recently named "The Path Of Totality" as it's Album Of The Year, and while I won't go that far, it certainly has a home in my top 10 for 2011. This album is for open-minded people, like Metallica/Lou Reed's "Lulu" (although "THe Path Of Totality" doesn't suck like "Lulu" does).