See You On The Other Side

Korn

Virgin, 2005

REVIEW BY: Mark Phillips

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/12/2005

Ten years ago, Korn were on top of the metal scene across the globe due largely to the fact that they offered something new to a scene dominated by golden oldies and copycats. How the tides have turned on the Californians since then.

Their self-title first album threw a whole new type of sound at the disillusioned youth around the globe, and its follow-ups fed their fan's appetites well - until things started to slide with the release of Untouchables. The album, despite going platinum, was a letdown as far as the media and weathered Korn fans were concerned. The wheels finally fell off the Korn bandwagon with the release of Take A Look In The Mirror, which received minimal praise from the band's once-adoring flock of fans. "Korn are finished" was the general consensus and with good reason -- my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 TALITM sounded forced and emotionless. The anger and pain, which was so consistent in Korn's earlier works, felt artificial, and fans felt like getting their money back.

However in music things can always get worse, and for Korn they did. Head, one of their guitarists, quit in order to dedicate his life to Christ. So in 2005, the band found themselves with a dwindling fan base and a record company that didn't seem to care, as well as an ex-member building huts for the poor in Africa. Fair play to them- they didn't give up and "See You On The Other Side" offers them redemption.

After teaming up with production teams Atticus Ross and The Matrix, Korn were ready to offer something new. This album is their most exciting and dynamic output since Follow The Leader. The major selling point is the sheer variation in styles; while not betraying their roots, Korn have put on songs that remind the listener of other artists, from Nine Inch Nails ("Love Song") to System of a Down ("Hypocrites"). The album is also far more lyrically driven than much of their previous material, with "Open Up" and "Love Song" containing masterfully composed lyrics.

Musically, this album also delivers with some of the most melodic choruses ever written by the nu-metalers. The single, "Twisted Transistor," is far from Korn's best but you will find yourself tapping your feet to the beat, typical of most of the songs here.

Korn have turned a corner in terms of their sound. "Tearjerker," the final track, is a testament to this change. Jon Davis (vocals) delivers heart-wrenching (if not a tad cheesy) lyrics to a sound that is far from the trashy, amp-bursting music they're associated with. This new sound is indeed the key to this album being so enjoyable.

The one complaint Korn fans may have is that the band has seriously cut down on the sludgy metal riffs and knife-sharp bass lines that were once a major part of their appeal, but overall the now-quartet's following will rejoice that the band is seemingly reborn.

With its pristine production wizardry and wide range of styles, people are undoubtedly set to take notice of Korn again. If metal's your thing, go buy it! If not, you'll still like half the album.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2005 Mark Phillips and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Virgin, and is used for informational purposes only.