Release Date: Oct 21, 2016
Record label: Roadrunner Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Nü Metal
The return of guitarist Brian “Head” Welch in 2013 clearly made a huge difference to Korn’s collective state of mind. What the Bakersfield veterans have needed more than anything in recent years, however, is an album that reignites the untamed energy of their early records. The Paradigm Shift came close in 2013, but The Serenity of Suffering fits the bill in every respect.
Surviving a shaky decade that produced a couple decent albums and few identity crises, Korn bring it back to basics on their 12th full-length, The Serenity of Suffering. It's both a reminder that Korn are the masters of this particular universe and also fiercely dedicated to its fans. Inasmuch as the Korn faithful are capable of fuzzy feelings, Serenity delivers goose bumps for those who have stuck with the band since the '90s.
Review Summary: Korn regain their focus and release their best album in 15 years.Untouchables was supposed to take Korn’s career to the next level. It was supposed to be their Black Album, and they followed its blueprint to the letter. They brought their production to new heights; turning in a huge polished sound that was in direct contrast to their previous releases.
Korn get old-school on new album. Since the return of guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch, Korn have undergone something of a renaissance. Now that they’ve re-found their feet, Bakersfield’s finest sound like a proper band again.‘The Serenity of Suffering’ is a full-on dive back into old-school Korn: think ‘Follow The Leader’ mixed with ‘Untouchables’.
Former nu metal kings bring the noise A band set in the classic mode, in that huge success brought them the familiar tropes of infighting, drink and drug problems, sackings and, eventually, stints in rehab. They experimented with dubstep and Skrillex, lost a guitarist to God (and got him back again), but in their last two albums (including 2013’s The Paradigm Shift), Korn have finally got their groove back. Whereas Paradigm mixed up dance, funk and metal, Suffering is a throwback to their earlier, heavier records.
"Things keep ending up this way," growls Jonathan Davis, kicking off Korn's 12th studio album, a line that could sum up Korn's postmillennial career. Even flirtations with top-line pop and EDM producers haven't been able to truly flip the script on the Bakersfield, CA quintet's surprisingly malleable stomp and snarl. And with good reason — whatever your feelings about the band, there's no denying that the group have articulated the pain and confusion that comes from broken homes, mental illness and sexual and substance abuse as well as anyone.The Serenity of Suffering continues that streak.
Twelve albums into a 23-year career, alt-metal bludgeoneers Korn have had more phases than even some fans might remember: dissonance-funk weirdos, unlikely disco-metal boy band, gloom-crunge goths, Matrix-produced noise-dance group, experimental dubstep trailblazers and, at one point, the world's worst Cameo cover band. With 2013's The Paradigm Shift and this year's follow-up The Serenity of Suffering, Korn in 2016 has settled into an uncomfortable comfort zone somewhere between their 1999 and their 2004, the era when "nu-metal" blew up and fizzled and Korn was making music as ugly and imposing as they wanted. Serenity of Suffering is heavier than Paradigm Shift — and possibly their heaviest album ever thanks to ridiculously downtuned riffs like "A Different World" and "When You're Not There," not to mention frontman Jonathan Davis going through real vocal house of horrors that includes lots of manic scatting and death metal growls.