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by antiGUY

If this album had been released 12 to 18 months earlier it would have been a runaway hit but now the nu-metal trend is growing a little long in the tooth and most of those who pick up this CD will do so because they love the music not because they are the current “cool” band. Korn has been around for quite a few years and in the beginning they were more of an underground band, but when they broke big, they helped pave the way for the nu-metal movement of the late 90’s. The Korn of old were rebellious against the mainstream, they wanted to do things their own way and ironically that attitude helped them create a popular music movement and became the mainstream themselves. That must keep Jonathon Davis up nights scratching his head wondering what went wrong. 

With “Untouchables” Korn do not make any major departures from their core sound, it is just more evolved. At times this CD rocks harder than anything they have done before and at others it is more melodic than their previous work. Some people will never give the band an honest chance since they are considered one of the key originators of the much hated “nu metal” movement of the past few years. But it has to be pointed out that there have been a lot of imitators who tried to cash in on Korn’s success but none can pull off the music like the original. I have a sneaking suspicion that if Korn hadn’t enjoyed such phenomenal success a few years back, people would be praising this CD and the band. 

Take away all the baggage and preconceived notions and you are left with a pretty solid album. Yes the subject matter is dark and we get to vicariously deal with Jonathon Davis’ demons but at the heart of the matter Korn is still the best at what they do and even go much farther than most of their copycats. Their mix of melodic vocal lines, grumbling downtuned guitars mixed with semi-industrial flavors is part of what put them where they are today. People were looking for something heavy to counter all the insipid pop music that was ruling the airwaves and they turned to Korn because the band did have a lot to offer kindred souls who couldn’t buy into the sugarcoated sentiments of pop music, related to the heavy emotions evoked from the dark and somber music Korn produced. But unlike Limp Bizkit who burst into the mainstream about the same time, it wasn’t an act or a calculated stab at selling CD’s. Korn just did what they wanted because they wanted to do it. They may have walked a little off the path with their last album, having the pressure of living up to the hype and their new found success but with “Untouchables” they seem to want to return to a sound closer to their roots, having tasted the forbidden fruit of the mainstream and finding it lacking. 

Now would be a good time to give Korn a second chance, while “Untouchables” isn’t their best album to date, it is far better than the music produced by the bands that followed in Korn’s footsteps. I know some will never take the plunge and will stick to their “Korn sucks!” stance but for those with a more open mind, you should give them another chance, you might just like what you find. To the diehard fans this album may get a mixed reaction but it does pretty much stay true to the Korn formula and we get to see where the band is now, having lived through the hype and the spotlight. Now that they aren’t the automatic chart toppers they had been in the past, it will be interesting to see what they do next but until then we have “Untouchables” to gauge where Korn is at today, and it’s not too bad of a place. 

CD Info 

Korn – Untouchables
Label: Epic
Here To Stay 
Make Believe 
Hollow Life 
Bottled Up Inside 
One More Time 
Alone I Break 
Beat It Upright 
Wake Up Hate 
I'm Hiding 
No One's There 
Here To Stay - (remix, hidden track)
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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