Album Review: Korn III: Remember Who You Are by Korn
Satisfactory, Based on 6 Critics
AllMusic - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Taking a cue from the Van Halen playbook, the III in the title of Korn III: Remember Who You Are isn’t a numbering device, it signifies an opening of another phase in Korn’s career. Somehow, the band has bypassed a Korn II altogether in their discography, but it’s commonly acknowledged that the tail-end of the 2000s found the group floundering a bit, going so far as to flirt with the Matrix in an attempt to figure out which direction to go now that they’ve hit middle age. This is where the subtitle comes in: the group has certainly remembered who they are, ditching all the affectations that crippled their muddled 2007 eponymous album and rediscovering their voice.
Jokes about nu metal being korny aside, the Bakersfield boys are back with a storming album... Achieving the impossible by somehow making kilts and bagpipes cool, Bakersfield boys Korn were one of nu metal’s original sons. It feels as though the band we once knew have been absent for far too long so it’s with some relief that ‘…Remember Who You Are’ grinds with a righteous, down-tuned fury that signals the band moving with a common purpose.
Is anyone really listening to Korn anymore? There was a time when the band was at the forefront of rock radio, but that’s not the case anymore, and their legacy (and the legacy of nü-metal in general) hasn’t exactly flourished since the pinnacle of the subgenre’s popularity. The band’s ninth album, Korn III: Remember Who You Are, is boring, melodramatic, self-righteous, dim-witted, and chock full of clichés—just like most everything else Korn has released over the past two decades. And it doesn’t even have the stones to be bad in an interesting way.
Despite being a full decade past its expiration date, completely eclipsed by a new generation of metal acts, nu metal continues to attract a very strong core audience in America. Although their sales have dwindled with each successive record after the 1998 smash Follow the Leader, Korn, one of the subgenre’s progenitors, has continued to enjoy unfathomable success. First-week sales of the band’s last six albums have rapidly declined, but then again, that’s been the case for popular music in general, and while Korn’s fanbase is nowhere near as strong as it used to be, they’re still a band with a big enough following to still sell 63,000 copies of their new album in the first week.
A band not so much rediscovering their past as recycling it. Louis Pattison 2010 With their chunky riffs, funk-tinged five-string bass work and angsty lyrical content, Bakersfield, California’s Korn had a revolutionary effect on the international metal scene when they released their self-titled 1994 debut. It was not, of course, the first time that musicians had set out to marry metal with hip hop and funk, but Korn’s synthesis of down-tuned guitars, choppy grooves and serial killer shtick – not to mention the recording acumen of producer Ross Robinson – was perhaps the key influence on the style that would become known as nu-metal.