Release Date: Oct 8, 2013
Record label: Caroline
Genre(s): Rap-Metal, Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Post-Grunge
"If this represents the beginnings of a ’90’s-esque rebirth, then God help us all." Reunited with original guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch for the first time in a decade, Korn’s follow up to ’11’s dubstep-infused ‘The Path Of Totality’ is a completely different monster to its predecessor, and for all the right reasons. Openers ‘Prey For Me’ and ‘Love & Meth’ emphasise the all important dual guitar crunch that has been lacking in depth for some time and, frankly, everything that follows is a dream for any Korn fan (minus ‘Never Never’) that has been desperately clinging on for years, knowing they still had this one in their locker. If this represents the beginnings of a ’90’s-esque rebirth, then God help us all.
While their last album, the dubstep-drenched Path of Totality, felt like a real change in the way Korn did things, The Paradigm Shift finds the nu-metal pioneers once again changing things up on their 11th studio album. Returning to a more traditional sound, the album finds the band pushing the electronics back to a supporting role while putting the guitars up in the spotlight. Most notably, though, is the return of former guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, whose last appearance on a Korn record was a decade ago on Look in the Mirror.
KoRn has always been on the bleeding edge of modern Heavy Metal, yet generally gave the impression that they were blazing their own trails. From their ambitious and emotional self-titled debut album from 1994 (which managed to combine nursery rhymes, aggressive scatting, bagpipes (!) and even the lead singer dissolving into tears up through their involvement in the rap-metal and “nu metal” movement of the late 1990s and their return to form in the early part of the new century. But after the impressive 2002 album Untouchables, Korn seemed to be at the edge of a nadir.
On 2011's The Path of Totality, these California nu-metal lifers threw a Hail Mary and added dubstep wub to their hell-is-all-around thud. Here, the news is guitarist Brian "Head" Welch's return after an eight-year absence, so we're back to clicking bass, Jonathan Davis' serial-killer voice and sheets of guitar. Davis' lyrics can sound, endearingly, as if he's chatting with you at a party ("Passion is sometimes a fucked-up thing for me").