Korn is one of those bands that I will forever be an unapologetic fan of. They will never have the respect of metal fans, and nu-metal has pretty much run its course. Where does that leave the boys in Korn? In a position to do some experimentation, the opportunity to continue tinkering with their sound and expand their horizons.
Their last album was last year's See You on the Other Side, which offered up some good cuts, but paled next to their earlier output. That was also the first release following the departure of guitarist Brian "Head" Welch. It also found the band experimenting with some more industrial-like touches. This latest release finds the band short yet another member, and taking deeper excursions into industrial and atmospheric mid-tempo numbers. The result is an album which is their best release in years.
After Welch left the group, the band soldiered forth, only to lose another member in drummer David Silveria. Officially, he is listed as being "on hiatus." I don't know the reasons for his departure, or if he will be returning. What his absence does mean, however is that the drum sound on this disk is considerably different than what has been offered up on their other albums. There is no drummer officially listed in the liner notes, as they are a threesome with a fill in on drums. I do know that Terry Bozzio (who played on the recent live acoustic release) appears on some of the tracks, and I know that Slipknot's Joey Jordison is filling in on their tour. I believe that Jonathan Davis fills in on the drums for some cuts.
Anyway, Untitled, as I have seen it listed, presumably to avoid confusion with their eponymous debut album, is a strong release that held my attention from start to finish. It continues the evolution that was hinted at on See You On the Other Side. There is a fusion of Korn's standard sensibilities with those of Nine Inch Nails. It is still distinctly Korn, but there is something more, something different, and something interesting. Jonathan Davis and company move further into the atmospheric side of music, keyboards, slowed tempos, and an overall darker feel. Add that NIN feel, mix in a little bit of Type O Negative's dark dirge sound, and you get this new look Korn. It is a sound that doesn't sound quite as mainstream as it has in the past, though it does still come complete with a couple of single ready tracks.