KORN - "The Serenity Of Suffering"
Label: Roadrunner Records http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/
2. "Rotting In Vain"
3. "Black Is The Soul"
4. "The Hating"
5. "A Different World" (featuring Corey Taylor)
6. "Take Me"
7. "Everything Falls Apart"
8. "Die Yet Another Night"
9. "When You're Not There"
10. "Next In Line"
11. "Please Come For Me"
12. "Baby" - 13. "Calling Me Too Soon"
Jonathan Davis – lead vocals
James "Munky" Shaffer – guitars
Brian "Head" Welch – guitars
Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu – bass
Ray Luzier – drums
Additional Musicians and Production
Corey Taylor – guest vocals on "A Different World"
Zac Baird – keyboards on "Take Me"
Jules Venturini – programming
Nick "Sluggo" Suddarth – programming
Rick Norris – additional programming
C-Minus – turntables on "Insane", "Next in Line", "Calling Me Too Soon"
Nick Raskulinecz – producer
Josh Wilbur – mixing, mastering
Nathan Yarborough – engineering
Chris Collier – additional engineering
Paul Suarez – assistant mix engineering
Justin Warfield – additional vocal arrangement
Ron English – illustrations
Virgilio Tzaj – art direction, design
Great metal architecture in its genre.
review by dalia di giacomo
Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch said in an interview that the material Korn has written for "The Serenity Of Suffering" is "heavier than anyone's heard Korn in a long time". Absolutely true! . The 12th studio album "The Serenity of Suffering" of this legendary Nu Metal outfit represents what it has to represent : Nu Metal indeed, in the best form . Although I liked milestone songs like Freak On A Leash and Did My Time (without speaking about the wonderful creations of the soundtrack of the movie "Queen of the Damned") I can honestly say that I am not a long-time fan of the band, therefore this album is for me new fresh air, full of intense material that sometimes takes the breath away and that surely has a great impact during the live shows. Die hard and long-time fans have also reacted immediately with much enthusiasm. This means that my enthusiasm has a true reason to be, from the moment that people who know the band better than me (most of them since their youth) are sincerely satisfied about this cd. It is an enthusiasm raised to the power of two, because "The Serenity of Suffering" comes after the already successful "The Paradigm Shift": The album that marked the return of "Head". S.O.S. is the further development of the Reconciliation : a fully come back to Metal, thing that currently is appreciated by the European listeners too. In few words, this album is really great, balanced between old style and modernity, between peculiar characteristics of the band and new taste. This is surely the heaviest album Korn have released since long, totally blessed by producer Nick Raskulinecz, based on a great guitar texture in a way that the mythical first albums, like Untouchable, meet "Paradigm". In S.O.S. there are no fillers. Honestly, what do you want more? I am impressed by all songs: Obviously each track has a story (narrated by Korn in the series "Track by Track" https://www.facebook.com/korn ) yet each song is a true highlight. Anyway I have my favourite ones, that I consider as simply outstanding. "Black Is The Soul" is a jewel, full of heaviness and melody. It is a true attraction. Beware! It is an addictive song, marked by an amazing solid musical carpet, from where guitar distorsions emerge together with vocals in clear that can become suddenly very powerful. Some fans describe this song as perfect and flawless, and I can only second this opinion. "Black Is The Soul" is also an example of how the musical structure is put together: well balanced between intros and outros, well balanced between heaviness and emotional auras, auras that t wrongly could be described with the word catchiness.
Another fav song of mine is "The Hating" that begins with an almost acoustic intro and incredibly aggressive vocals, and explodes soon becoming a pounding -to -the- core beast, rich in all typical Korn elements (Hardcore not excluded) , and returns to echo the melody of the phrase of the intro in a stellar dimension.
I would spend just a couple of words for the song "Everything Falls Apart" , that is really haunting, beautiful, creepy, subjugating and heavy as hell, and for the song "Die Yet Another Night", a little masterpiece that grows and grows in you mercyless. Fans are very attracted by songs like "Rotting In Vain", "Insane" and "Black Is The Soul" , yet no one underestimates the other tracks, like "Die Yet Another Night" indeed. Once my attention was caught by "Die Yet Another Night", I could hardly stop from listening to it till exhaustion. I've rarely experienced a similar multilayered mix of Nu Metal/Crossover, Melody, backing vocals, haunting guitars, brilliant vocals like that. Everything is fully harmonized with the lyrics. A great metal architecture in its genre.
"Rotting In Vain", the first song that was published before the CD release date, has been metabolized by the fans at the point that is already become one of the band's symbols. Creepy, energetic and enriched by a great dark video will always remain a stronghold of this album.
As already said, all songs are amazing. Should I go on to cense the altar now? Why not!! What about the psycho heavy, morbid, at times even abstract ,"Take Me"? What about the magnificent, pounding, dizzy "Insane" with typical keystones of the Korn-sound in it, like the spacy atmosphere that runs in the thick musical carpet? Or what about " Next In Line" and its technical skills of the whole instrumentation that is able to offer a great eruptions of melody too? It's incredible what guitars and drums are doing in "Next In Line": we are brought at the frontier of syncopated patterns and of almost-tremolo riffing. I don' t know why, but "Next In Line" should be extremely loved by System Of A Down and Deftones fans (both bands who have worked with the brilliant producer Nick Raskulinecz) and very appreciated also by a wider target of Metalheads (Death Metal and Industrail fans not excluded). What about "When You Are Not There", so dissonant yet agreeable with a great bass work in it? What about "A Different World", featuring Corey Taylor, the song that spreads a subtle feeling of alienation, rich in that unmistakable, airy, spacy Korn-guitar sound? And finally, another song that expresses very well Korn`s roots in an innovative way : "Please Come For Me". I love the down-tuned "Please Come For Me" that, needlessto say, is another piece that will drive the listeners crazy and crazier.
Remarkable is that so many fans are really satisfied with the drumming-sound of this album 'given' by Ray Luzier. I am happy too and I think that "The Serenity Of Suffering" will definitely close the Silveria-Luzier controversy among the fans.
Believe me when I say that this album will remain one of your preferred CDs for a long, very long time, fully deserving every cent invested in the purchase. The only thing I should criticize is the too minimalist booklet. But ...who cares, after all? My stereo has never been able to play booklets...And yours? ;)
dalia di giacomo