By Clare McCabe
Released October 4th, 2013 - UMusic
So. Who would have thought? After reading Brian "Head" Welch's 2008 autobiography "Save Me From Myself" (buy it, it is fascinating), I don't think anyone expected the Korn boys would welcome him back to the band and even record an album with him. But you live and learn. And they obviously have as here they are back together once again onThe Paradigm Shift, Korn's 11th studio album.
The album took a grand total of 8 months to record - firstly the boys (without Jonathan who was going through some issues with the family and himself) got together writing music/lyrics and practising together. Then Jonathan joined them (along with his kids) and basically moved into the studio for a few months to finish the album. Love it.
From the first tune, Prey For Me, these songs sound familiar. Korn fans rejoice - the boys are back in town and they have bought some new favourites for us to listen to.
They chose their first single as Never Never - this would not have been my choice of a single as there are much better songs on the album, but I guess it will get them good radio-play? Move your ipod along to Mass Hysteria and the fabulously growly Paranoid and Aroused (Jonathan's life story always makes for great song lyrics: "- This medicine's sedating/The power embracing/The bullshit I'm facing/My feelings I'm hating". Bring it on Jonathan.
Another highlight is Punishment Time, very vintage Korn, oh and Jonathan's losing his mind again.... Then we have Lullaby for a Sadist - great little ballad here (lighters at the ready please), quite low-key for the boys but a stand-out track straight away. And don't forget the bonus number Tell Me What You Want - "Go away and never come back", whines Jonathan. Obviously he doesn't mean the fans.
Who knew, let's be honest, that these guys would still be around in 2013 - and still making quality music?
Note to self when listening to this new album - volume must be turned up high.
Live-wise, they are joining the Soundwave Tour 2014 (along with our other chums Placebo, Green Day, Rob Zombie et al). Last time I saw Korn live at Vector, one of the band members threw the KEYBOARD into the crowd at the end of the show. I am not joking. Guitar picks, drumsticks even t-shirts I have seen before - but a keyboard? So very rock n roll.
I know I often say this with new albums from bands that have been around awhile - but Korn have made another gem of an album here. You know what you are going to get with Korn and this new stuff doesn't disappoint. Oh and welcome back where you belong Brian, stay awhile won't you.
Footnote: check out the boys on Instagram as they put up some great photos and videos.
4 / 5