October is a month full of musical excitement for me. First and foremost on my list was the release of Korn’s new album, The Paradigm Shift, which was yesterday. This is the first album since Brian “Head” Welch rejoined the band last year, so I had been greatly looking forward to the release.
They didn’t disappoint.
From the first track, Prey For Me, to the last track, Tell Me What You Want, I was enthralled. I am definitely designating Prey For Me as one of my favorites all ready. The sound of the whole album calls back to the Korn of my teenage years and I like it. I was surprised that they did not continue too much with the dubstep sound they had been working with in The Path of Totality–you can hear it a little bit in Never Never, and sprinkled around in other songs, but it is not a dominate sound– but I’m kind of glad. Korn has always been angsty and full of raw emotion—this album is just what the doctor ordered.
Bringing Head back to the band definitely reawakened something. I hear people say that David Silvera needs to come back for the band to be whole again, but I honestly disagree. Even though Ray sometimes looks out of place with the rest of the Korn crew (an opinion one of my associates likes to voice often when talking to me about Korn) he’s a great drummer. Having met him once, I can also say he seems like an awesome guy. I wouldn’t hold my breath for the return of David anyway, I have heard things……
I wish the band was touring near me….anywhere near me. To my great displeasure it seems the closest venues Korn will be at for me are either 1) Bethlehem, PA (about a four hour drive from the Baltimore area, to give you some perspective) or 2) Middle of fucking nowhere, WV.
Yes, that’s right. West Virginia.
I suppose it’s good for those fans that don’t have many opportunities, but still….I feel slighted.
I’ll probably end up driving to Pennsylvania, I have a feeling. Dammit.
On the bright side, if I do end up driving to PA for that portion of the tour, it will be a new state to add to my list of states where I have seen Korn. (The list currently consists of numerous places in Maryland, DC, Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Missouri, and Nevada.)
Anyway, back to the album and review…..
If you bought the deluxe CD/DVD combo like me, you also got this nifty DVD called “Reconciliation”. The DVD chronicles Head’s return to the band and gives us a behind the scenes look at the making of the album. It was pretty cool to watch, the band really opens up to their fans on this DVD. We actually see the guys have dinner at Head’s parents’ house, Jonathan opens up about all the things he’s dealt with recently—his son being diagnosed with Diabetes, and his anxiety—and we get to see his fatherly side, Ray talks about how exciting it is to have “the original Korn” in front of him, Head goes into his reasons for leaving Korn and how it changed him for the better…it’s great to see.
As a fan, I remember being upset when I first heard that Head left the band. It felt like a crazy story you’d see in the National Enquirer or something. I mean, come on… a member of Korn leaving the band and finding God? Getting baptized in the Jordan River? Not knowing much else aside from what you saw publicized about the band, the whole thing seems crazy. Not to mention it also felt like a bit of a betrayal when press came out saying Head was dissing his former bandmates. After watching Reconciliation and seeing Head now compared to Head from 10 years ago, it made sense why he left and he needed to do what he did. Listening to him talk about his addiction was very powerful and emotional. I have known people close to me who were addicts and it’s a painful thing to watch from the outside; getting his inside view really knocked down a wall and I feel a lot of fans will have a greater understanding after watching Head’s talk on the subject.
In short, I’m glad to see Head sober, healthy, and back with the guys. The difference is clear in their sound, and I look forward to seeing them again live (hopefully in the very near future.) As the album title suggests, this album is a change in approach, a different way to look at underlying assumptions. I am intrigued, hopefully other fans will feel the same way I do.