Korn | The Path to Totality

Roadrunner (2011)
By RYAN REED  |  December 14, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars


Korn claim to embrace "dubstep" on the surprisingly un-terrible The Path of Totality, but their electronic makeover is skin-deep. This is the same ol' Korn you've loved or hated (or felt indifferently toward) since you first saw that slo-mo bullet in the "Freak on a Leash" video, except with de-tuned guitars swapped for garish, beefy synths. A press release quotes Jonathan Davis, the band's dreadlocked, vampiric frontman, with this humble mission statement: "I want to trail-blaze. I want to change things. I want to create art that's different and not conform to what's going on." Well, that's probably the stupidest thing anybody has ever said. Slapping your tired, self-tortured poetry onto programmed beats (instead of live ones) isn't progressive, or unique, and even at its most engaging, this certainly aint' "art." But Davis — for all his sore-throated stupidity — still occasionally commands attention, sometimes even coughing up a nifty chorus. "Narcissistic Cannibal" is as whiny as its title suggests, yet the frontman sounds possessed, wrestling an epic melody out of thin air. Seven electro producers (Skrillex included) are used, conjuring far short of seven moods — and the best track here, the Noisia-handled "Kill from Within," still evokes Linkin Park in remix mode. "Nothing changes, misery," Davis over-emotes over nuclear synth blasts in "Burn the Obedient." At least we're all on the same page.
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