What more is there to say about Bakersfield’s favourite sons KoRn? For twenty years they have been pedaling the genre that they created, spawning millions of clones and ushering in a new era for heavy music, whilst travelling through several trials and tribulations along the way. Theirs is a storied history and they’ve kept it pretty consistent with releases down the years, so what does their twelfth installment have to offer?
Simply-put, this is the best KoRn have sounded in a long time. In promotional interviews in the run up to the release of ‘The Serenity Of Suffering’, the band has talked a good game: Jonathan Davis believes it is in the same vein as 2002’s ‘Untouchables’; whilst Head has claimed the album sees them sounding “heavier than anyone’s heard us in a long time” and “the most intense KoRn music in a long time vocally”. Now if that isn’t enough to set the tongue wagging, then who knows what is. Thankfully, the Bakersfield mob are good to their word.
From the opening bowel-rattling moments of “Insane”, KoRn fly out of the gates with a palpable level of verve and aggression. It’s the equivalent of being struck by a wrecking ball whilst running full tilt into its’ swing and made all the more deadly by the absolutely gargantuan production. It’s a doff of the cap to their stellar ‘Untouchables’ album – an equally beefy and dense-sounding album packed to the brim with ball-busting riffs, lethal hooks and enough weird chirps, squeaks and oddities to hammer home that unmistakable KoRn sound. Bruisers “Rotting In Vain” – featuring the glorious return of Davis’ scar growls – and “Black Is The Soul” bring a monumental wallop to the ears, whilst “Next In Line” and “Take Me” play around with hooky melodies and size-able choruses.
That forms the blueprint for ‘The Serenity Of Suffering’ and is something that KoRn have become adept at in their two-decade-long career, yet there’s a little something about their twelfth release that just feels like they had the bit between their teeth. There’s an added attack and relentless abandon with which they fly into every note – even Corey Taylor taps into this on his guest appearance for “A Different World”. It’s not a throwback to their heyday by any stretch of the imagination, but rather taking everything their best at and melding it together.
A band of their longevity doesn’t have anything to prove. There’s no reinvention of the wheel here; no off-the-wall additions or variations to their sound. KoRn have done that before. What we have here is an honest, heavy and thunderous continuation of a trailblazing existence – ‘The Serenity Of Suffering’ will please long-time fans yearning for the leaden ferocity of the band’s classics, whilst ushering in newer fans to the fold. You’ll not suffer for giving this a spin.