Sound — 9
It's been almost two years since the release of Korn's daring effort, "See You on the Other Side", which remained tinged with industrial funk and bleak pop. Truthfully, I hadn't been expecting much beyond another version of the prior release (See You on the Other Side) but I can assure I stand corrected. The overwhelmingly noticable industrial, electronic edge has been toned enough to where a handful of the song seem to lack it to a point of non-existence. One thing that's intrigued me about Korn is their recent urge to evolve and explore new sounds. Heck, if you wanted to, you could label this as a progressive nu-metal act! Onto the sound: first, it's much better than See You on the Other Side (which I like, but not love! ). The most improved section are the precussion elements. Dare I say it, but at some points KoRn have Tool-ish inspired drum work from our main man, Terry Bozzio. The most notable of the improvement concerning drums are the tracks "Killing" & "I Will Protect You"... especially "I Will Protect You". Guitar work is a bit bland until about a third of the way through the album which yes, includes a short, not very complex guitar solo from Munky! Fieldy seems to stick to distorting or synthing his bass (something still present from SYOTOS era) but the clicking and slapping are back. Although not prominent, the funky, Fieldy trademarks are noticable on very few tracks. Now, the addition of Zac is a plus but can be rather annoying. Tracks like "Ever Be" & "Do What They Say" are examples of good keyboard work while some of the chord progressions in "Starting Over" are just annoying. "Hold On", "Bitch We Got A Problem" & "Evolution" are your basic rockers but deffinitely a new step for KoRn. Suprising tracks include "Hushabye" (use of reverb mandolin) and the oddly non-Korn-but-friggin'-cool "Kiss". So, this is an improvement but nothing drastic overall. The part I savor the most out of the entire ensemble appear to be the precussion, which resonates very clearly with me. This is better than See You on the Other Side, in my opinion and deffinitely worth a shot for any listener. Caution: a pop-gloss still remains.
Lyrics — 7
Lyrically, dear Jon has progressed somewhat but be warned: a good chunk of the angst from your good ol' nu-metal days are gone. However, there is album is noticably more emotive compared to its predecessor. It's interesting to see Davis' feelings and perspective in such songs as "Evolution" & "I Will Protect You", a song regarding his children! The lyrics are less mainstream orientated but, nonetheless, still over-produced. Dark, brooding, demonic but too radio friendly! Jon Davis has a unique voice but his lyrics aren't exactly the most inspirational but the albums vocals don't entirely fail.
Overall Impression — 9
First off, if I lost this gem, I'd easily buy another and I advise you consumers to do much the same! The album art is brilliant, bar-none. This has got to be my favorite Korn album art in existence and it's a inked triumph over older works. The LP flows nicely and strays away from made old school Korn fans loath See You on the Other Side so much, but doesn't exactly abandon the principles learned there either. It's not as innovative as KoRn or Untouchables, but it gets the job done with little slag left behind. I adore, congratulate and appluade this album but there are a couple tunes I just can't get into some may relate, some may not. But, hey, that's your choice! Overall, this is a very good KoRn album, assured!