Korn Delivers Best Album in Years With ‘The Serenity of Suffering’
Veteran nu-metal band Korn shines on its highly anticipated 12th studio album, ‘The Serenity of Suffering.’
It’s been years since Korn have been truly relevant. The last platinum-certified album by the nu-metal vets came with 2005 LP, See You on the Other Side. Since then, the band has one gold album to their credit – Untitled (2007). The good news for Jonathan Davis and company is that The Serenity of Suffering sounds like Korn at its best. Tight at 11 songs, the band “gets it right” on its 12th album, its first in three years.
“Insane” initiates The Serenity of Suffering insanely. The sounds are hellish – malicious to the nth degree. This is the tone setter, suggesting Korn are engaged without a doubt this round. Expectedly, the chorus is epic:
“Beaten down, dominated by its sound / growing deep within my head / softly dying, its soul is shed / eating me all up inside / this cancer finds everything I hide / living my life horrified / nothing will keep this pacified and out my life/ that’s not right out insane!”
“Rotting in Vain”
“Rotting in Vain” kicks butt from the jump – everything feels right in the most hellish way possible. An excellent crescendo and layer of electronic sounds kick off the minor-key record. Soon, guitars replace the synthetic sounds, before they return on the first verse. No time is wasted before the bomb is dropped:
“I wouldn’t be angry if you just fucking cried / your tears would arouse me, refreshing my supply.”
The chorus, filled with angst, is the crowning achievement:
“Digging deep inside of me / getting past this agony / I can’t seem to get away / Another day rotting in vain.”
Drenched in angst, “Rotting in Vain” exemplifies how and what metal should be.
“Black is the soul that’s led astray / you’re leading me to places I can never follow.” “Black is the Soul” clearly doesn’t back down, continuing the darkness. The most passionate moment comes when Davis barks: “Just give me back my life!”
Standout “The Hating” is potent from the jump. Opening with an intense, yet relatively poised intro, the jagged, monstrous guitars establish a more agitated sound prior to the first verse. The chorus soars, featuring an incredibly melodic sound despite the incredibly tense production work:
“I feel it all come crashing down on me / I feel alone and torn apart / I wasted time to let it get to me / an angry mouth with a broken heart.”
The introduction brilliant returns as the bridge – an excellent, unifying touch.
“A Different World”
“A Different World” featuring Corey Taylor keeps the devilishness afloat – in sound that is. The song itself is about escapism:
“I’d love to see a different world / a place where you can’t find me.”
Opening with a brilliant descending synth, it’s clear the band isn’t playing on The Serenity of Suffering. The chorus hearkens back to “Twisted Transistor” in regards to its overall execution, particularly rhythmically. The hardest moment comes during the bridge, where there’s an emphasis on “Give it to you / Harder! Harder!”
“Take Me” is funky – in the most metal way possible. The riffs continue on in angular fashion with the frontman matching in vocal intensity. The song itself is about alcohol and the temptation that it is.
“No more secrets, no more lies! / No more feelings or surprise / no more whispered words or lullabies / go f*ck your lies!” Whew! “Everything Falls Apart” is seemingly about a broken relationship. Throughout the song, there are references to bitterness (“This ain’t a love song / I would never give you one”) and being alone (“I will be lonely now!”). As the title states, “Everything, everything falls with us!”
“Die Yet Another Night”
“Die Yet Another Night” suggests Davis was a bad human being, making poor choices. He openly admits this throughout the song.
“Sick of all these things I tried / sick of all these lies / (nobody cares you’re just a bad man / nobody wants you’re a dead man.”
Given his demons, he wishes (or wished) to continue to live on the edge, no matter how risky it was. Furthermore, people could care less about his well-being because he’s on the path of destruction.
“When You’re Not There” continues the consistency of The Serenity of Suffering without beating the gems. Penultimate record “Next in Line” continues a trend of exceptionally well-produced songs. The chorus benefits from being melodic, while the brilliant bridge differentiates itself from everything else. “Please Come For Me” concludes respectably.
The Serenity of Suffering sets up as the most relevant Korn album in years. All 11 songs are consistent with none missing the mark. Jonathan Davis sounds as powerful as ever, even at 45 years of age. Is he really middle aged? The Serenity of Suffering is strong through and through.
Gems: “Insane,” “Rotting in Vain,” “The Hating,” “A Different World” & “Everything Falls Apart”