AOTY 2023
Korn - Requiem
Feb 10, 2022 (updated Jan 9, 2023)

Ahh, Korn. One of the most wild, bold and inconsistent bands to come from the metal scene. They could even almost be compared to Weezer sort of (I do find Korn to be more tight with their discography). Let’s face it, there’s always ups and downs for this bands and always a neat little tale for each record. 1994’s Korn was the product of young outsiders who wanted or maybe needed to get out their pain. 1996’s Life Is Peachy was, while insanely rushed, told more of that broken tale with a bit more accessibility. 1998’s Follow The Leader was a statement piece that most people were following a leader (in the mid-late 90’s Metal scene) and that leader was most certainly Korn (despite them being far from the corny cheap imitations. 1999’s Issues was a bold, new direction that provided a clean, heavy, ambitious experimental concept album that lead singer Jonathan Davis made out of his anxiety of being a superstar. 2002’s Untouchables cost roughly two million to make, with the cost of the record itself being around 800k alone, and according to Jonathan they spent a month just getting guitar and drum sounds. 2003’s Take A Look In The Mirror was a rushed, sloppy mess that the band only made to get out of debt, and they have since regretted making it. 2005’s See You On The Other Side was made with multiple producers as Korn was sick of the sound they were stuck with at the time. They invited Atticus Ross (NIN) and The Matrix, a pop production team known for Avril Lavigne and Britney Spears to help make the record. 2007’s Untitled saw just the band and Atticus working out another album, one that was slightly more refined and more experimental than the last, hell, even getting drum behemoth Terry Bozzio to record drums. 2010’s Korn 3 saw Self Titled and Life Is Peachy producer Ross Robinson returning to put the boys through more hell, this time even putting Jonathan back through therapy. 2011’s The Path Of Totality is a wonder of its own as though the band played with electronics a lot in the past, no one would think that a record sprouted from Jon’s love of Electro-Pop/EDM would come out, yet it did. 2013’s The Paradigm Shift was recorded when Jonathan was in a weird state mentally, yet he’d still bring his son’s to studio and have a ton of fun as they helped “Executive Produce” with him. 2016’s The Serenity Of Suffering..hmm, well, I don’t really care for anything regarding that album but hey! Korn won their first Grammy since 1999, so that’s cool. And The Nothing was surrounded by nothing but pain and loss, being written and thought up after the unfortunate death of Davis’ mother and wife. And now, 2022’s Requiem. After 100’s of songs and 13 albums, where to go?

Well, despite not being incredibly innovative or crazy original, this album is quite refreshing to hear as the band does reinvent themselves, coming off as more upbeat and happy where they are. Lines like “I just want to see what the future holds” and Davis talking about pushing on is something really satisfying and certainly something he would’ve never said on an album like The Nothing or Korn. Jonathan’s vocals are still good to this day, and despite him seeming to mellow and calmed on certain tracks his growling and clean singing are still great to my ears. In general not much to say really about the lyrics but they’ve been having consistently good writing for awhile now. I will say, the writing is definitely not perfect. I swear he says “Inside” on every track, and there’s still some cliches here and there (even if Jonathan Davis does mock that a little on Lost In The Grandeur). The production, aside from the weirdly sloppy mixing (especially considering they all kept mentioning the fact that they were more free with this album because of covid and had more time to fine tune things) is pretty solid. My only complaint being that at certain times Jon and Fieldy are a little buried. The best is when there’s these atmospheric melodic pockets like Let The Dark Do The Rest’s bridge or Hopeless And Beaten’s bridge and chorus. Speaking of choruses, they are by far one of the strongest points of this album, along with bridges but Korn has always excelled in their bridge game. Anyways, I don’t have anything outwardly negative to say despite some minor nitpicks. I love the more melodic style, the more uplifting points of the album, I love when the album tries to do the Untouchables style and ACTUALLY SUCCEEDS (much like The Paradigm Shift did) on tracks like Disconnect and The Worst Is On It’s Way. Speaking of, that scat section on the latter track was so hype. Like it genuinely sounded amazing and way more memorable than whatever scatting they did on TSOS.

But really, overall, this is Korn’s best album in 8 years. Like I actually think these brisk 9 tracks flow together so well and are so easy to pick up and vibe to, unlike the last two records (TN less so). I just really want another short record like this one and apparently they’re already writing the next, so we could have another Korn record next year. And per usual, even though I never usually say this, I am the odd one out here. I usually am when it comes to Korn as no one likes them as much as me on here. Like I was joyous when it dropped, had 25 ratings and was at a 77 average. Of course it was unrealistic to think that would ever stay, but it was nice for the time. And obviously it’s people’s opinions, but it is quite sad to note that Korn will never have a record people love on this site (or RYM for that matter). Either way, I really like this album, I really appreciate the support and I’ve got two reviews on the way. Thank you!

Favorite Tracks: Forgotten, Let The Dark Do The Rest, Start The Healing, Lost In The Grandeur, Hopeless And Beaten, Penance To Sorrow, Worst Is On It’s Way

Okay Tracks: Disconnect, My Confession

Least Favorite Tracks: None

You’re Quickly becoming one of AOTY’s prestige reviewers with the amazing Longform reviews. Gonna definitely check this project out now, great stuff :)
Damn this is probably one of your best reviews so far. I actually managed to read through this without breaking a sweat despite not being too into Korn, which means you've really got a knack for writing! Yeah, I remember when this had a really lofty score here as well, and I assumed it would remain that high but most scores drop drastically over the course of a release week, which is really unfortunate. Either way, good work on the review, and thanks for the little paragraph that described exactly why Korn's considered important in this field of music :)
Overall, your style of writing has grown even more nuanced over time, and I think that's something you should give yourself a pat on the back for!
Super well written review man! I may not have enjoyed the album as much as you but I can appreciate a great review when I see one.
finally, great review man
just saw this, great review :)
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More Reviews by ImplicitDoom
Korn - Lost in the grandeur
May 26, 2022
Korn - Start the healing
May 26, 2022
Korn - The Nothing
Apr 6, 2022
Korn - Cold
May 26, 2022
Korn - The Paradigm Shift
Nov 26, 2021
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