Lets be honest, Korn ran out of things to complain about after third album Follow the Leader reached a peak and success that no one really saw coming.
Sure they kept the hurt coming and dug deep for lyrical content, but even through musical experimentation it all began to feel like an empty vessel until the re-addition of guitarist Head, who brought back with him a whole raft of as yet undredged riffs and lyrical content.
Sadly, that all changed last year with the sudden, unexpected passing of vocalist Jonathon Davis’ estranged wife. This album digs deep into a hurt that is understandably writ large throughout, allowing him to grieve openly.
This open grieving is obvious from opener ‘The End Begins,’ a short, mournful bagpipe and military drum track that builds in intensity eand nding with the vocalist audibly sobbing. That plays into ‘Cold,’ a more typical bouncy nu-metal type track that has everything the average fan enjoys about Korn, dark lyrics built over dense riffs all held together by the loose bass from Fieldy.
From here The Nothing stays a course, Davis greiving as the band play some of their best musical pieces in a long time, ably showing that although this old dog might not be the best when it tries new tricks (that dub-step malarkey is best forgotten) it is still the best in show at rolling over and looking sad.
It’s rather like a best-of, but made up of all new material. ‘Idiosyncrasy’ is going to get the pit moving with its clean and heavy dynamic, ‘H@rd3r’ is a band showing off just how heavy and restless they can be even this far down their career path. ‘The Darkness is Revealing’ sounds musically uplifting given the grief stricken nature of the album. And in a nod to times they should have left behind, the odd interlude ‘The Seduction of Indulgence’ is a minute and a half of filler that is actually forgivable given how good the rest of the album is.
Discomfort settles in once the album has played through, once you notice just how dark the subject matter is and to realise that this is possibly the best album Korn has assembled since Untouchables in 2002. It is almost depressing to think that as a group, they need such dark personal times to make a great album, yet it is also cathartic for an artist to have a platform such as this to allow us in on their outpouring of sadness.
- The End Begins
- You’ll Never Find Me
- The Darkness is Revealing
- The Seduction of Indulgence
- Finally Free
- Can You Hear Me
- The Ringmaster
- Gravity of Discomfort
- This Loss
- Surrender to Failure