With an album cover worthy of framing as fine art, Korn’s twelfth effort, “The Serenity of Suffering” is heavy, solid, and not as weird as you would think it might be (after their previous few releases).

The masters of Nu Metal have released a album that is back to their true form, and it does a good job in reminding us why we really do love KoRn.

For those fans who may have lost faith in KoRn over the past few years, these 11 songs will no-doubt bring them back to being super fans.  Having Brian “Head” Welch back home makes all the difference, in my opinion.  It seems he single-handedly has brought the band renewed energy, drive, and hope.  While the album is on the heavier and darker side, there are some bright and shiny moments of happiness and light.  However, Davis’ seemingly multi-personalities, as defined in his vocals, really take the spotlight on this release.  But for the experimentation by Davis, this would be a normal, expected, KoRn release.  It’s not groundbreaking in its entirety, but it is great KoRn!

Track one is “Insane.”  A nice pounding groove.  Davis’ classic voice.  A pretty chorus.  A weird chattering middle part — he makes saying “uhoh uhoh uhoh” sound like record scratching…well, maybe its the reverse… Regardless, it’s a solid song, and with each listen my like of it increases significantly.

“Rotting In Vain” is very reminiscent of old KoRn.  Heavy driving beats and Davis’ great singing and screamimg make this song enjoyable.  At 2:07 Davis’ chatter is fantastic….like Sepultura and Disturbed wish they had done, but even if they had…it wouldn’t be nearly as good.

“Black Is The Soul” feels a bit gloomy, but I’m sure its intentional.  Parts are a bit Deftonish, but then it starts … leading me to places I can never follow… (that was intentional placement of lyrics here).  It is at 2:38 that this song really shines.  Raw, funky, gloomy, passionate.

“The Hating” is a odd song upon first listen.  Sad KoRn starts off this song…with guitars in the background, and Davis giving us a haunting and disturbing vocal performance.  Then, BAM!  Awesome KoRn shows up! “I feel it all come crashing down on me….I feel alone and torn apart.”  This song is groovy, heavy, and catchy.  The song ends with an reappearance from Sad Korn, but it ultimately makes sense in the entirety of the song.  They did some cool guitar work on this song.

“A Different World” features Slipknot/Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor.  “Feel me, kill me, my back’s up against the wall, your magic spell doesn’t work any more…”  Taylor’s spotlight in the song is fantastic, and I have to say that the blend of Taylor and KoRn is pretty great.  Note bending, solid beats, screams…all work to make this song an instant hit. I had very high expectations for this song, and I’d say they met them….but didn’t exceed them.

“Take Me”  This song will likely be a big hit for KoRn.  The ebb and flow of this song is stunning.  The buildups and Davis’ multi-personality voices are very nicely done (and I think he picked up a few more voices in recent years.)  This will be a song that will make KoRn new fans, and regain old ones.

“Everything Falls Apart” is my third favorite track on the release.  This song showcases Davis’ beautiful voice…and the nicely placed break of: “There is nothing in my head…there is nothing in my head….there is nothing in my head….”  Then it returns to the beauty of the first part of the song.  There is however a missed opportunity for a great breakdown following the seemingly obsessive compulsive receptive lyrics.  The song is good, but it could have been great.

“Die Yet Another Night” is classic KoRn.  The guitar work by Head and Munky in this song is spectacular.  It’s a little bit fusion, progressive, funk, and Manson at the beginning.  Davis’ voice is fresh.  Fieldy’s bass work is solid.  Ray’s drumming is consistent. The end of this song is creepy.  It’s classic KoRn.  This is what we have been missing in the last few few KoRn releases.  We are glad we have it back.

“When You’re Not There” — “My love is dark and twisted, and I scream when you’re not there.”  This is the KoRn song I wanted to hear!  I wish it were earlier in the album, longer, and repeated every other song in this release.  I especially like at 3:00 minutes in….the louder Friday the Thirteenth inspired vocal sound effects…(you know, the ones that occur right before someone gets brutally killed by Jason.)  OK, yeah, I made that up.  The down turns, the franticness juxtaposed with the calm make this song spectacular.  Number two favorite song on this release for me.

“Next in Line” Is my second favorite track on this album.  The electronics are well placed and effective.  This song is by far the standout song on this album as far as heavy and groovy.

“Please Come For Me” is the shortest song on the album and my absolute favorite track.  It’s energetic, groovy, funky, and beautifully assembled.  If KoRn continues to write songs like the last two on this album, they will be unstoppable and again rise above everyone else in the genre.

So, here is what I think:

  1. The album artwork is great.
  2. The cover and the music blend nicely…no disconnect here.
  3. It will no doubt make new KoRn fans out of those who have lost interest/faith.
  4. The return of Brian “Head” Welch was long overdue and definitely needed. I don’t think they would have made an album this good, but for his return and putting a breath of life back in the band.
  5. I wish there were more songs like “Please Come For Me,” “Next in Line,” and “When You Are Not There.”on this release.
  6. Davis’ voice has never sounded better, and he used all of his personalities in this one…and he may have picked up a couple more.
  7. The more you listen, the more you will like it.
  8. It’s not as weird as I expected it to be.
  9. There isn’t anything new, ground breaking, or interstellar here… it is, however, definitely a return to good KoRn.