Review Summary: Very reminiscent to Brian's days in Korn, but riddled with positive messages throughout. A very well thought-out musical approach was taken, but the album lacks lyrically.5 of 5 thought this review was well written
Back in 2005, Brian "Head" Welch was known worldwide as part of the ever-popular nü-metal act, Korn
. He was living the dream of a rock star, and all the success that dream brought about. When Brian Welch quit that dream in 2005, he stymied many legions of fans across the world when he announced that he was "leaving the band to rededicate his life to Christianity." That departure caused Korn to bring in many professional song writers to re-model their sound, and limp onward in fame. While Korn was experimenting with remaining current, Brian was biding his time. In 2006, many samples appeared on Brian's website, revealing demos and even some complete songs. It seemed at that time Brian wanted to take an Industrial Rock sound to his music. "My music is going to have a Christian, spiritual edge to it, for sure," Welch commented. The album had been titled "It's Time to See Religion Die," featuring songs such as A Cheap Name
; a controversial song to rapper 50 Cent. After failing to meet a release in July 2007, Brian and his work went "under-the-radar," so to speak. His website was taken down, and no news updates were found.
One sunny day of June 5th, 2008, it was announced that Brian was releasing his album, this time it was titled "Save Me from Myself," and it was due to release on September 9th, 2008. The very first single, Flush
was released on July 8, 2008. The lyrical themes the album uses seem to be subtle to some. In cuts such as Re-Bel
Brian sings about children being abused by their parents, but finding a way out through God, while other tunes, such as Die Religion Die
seem, at first, seem to dispel religious rantings. At a deeper look, the song is about getting rid of organized religion, something that has been set in place by man. Other songs feature prophetic messages about the world going into chaos, the song Shake
says "Earthquakes will shake to wake you up again
." He also wrote about his own mistakes; his addiction to drugs, his follies with his wife, his dependence on money, and the desire he had to kill himself. The lyrics seem to counsel those in need of counseling, but also warning people to stay away, and not go down the path he took. That said, Brian manages to remain neutral. The messages are not "preachy," despite his connection with God.
It's important to know that Brian was never a lyricist or a singer. That being said, he sings rather well on this album. He seems to need an assistant songwriter, though, because his lyrics flop. By far the weakest lyrics of any rock album this year, regardless of the strong meaning the lyrics bear. Brian needs to re-examine the poetic value of his lyrics, as they have none. As I said earlier, though, Brian sings surprisingly well, this being his first lead singing stint. Cuts such as Adonai
are reminiscent to 80's thrash metal act, Anthrax
. "I will attack! I came to fight!" screams Welch during the chorus. 80's references aside, this album features a few vocal styles similar to that of Brian's former act's lead singer, Jonathan Davis. On the track Home
(Which was originally A Cheap Name
), Welch screams "God told me!" which is all-to reminiscent to the chorus of Korn's
hit single, Got the Life
. On many other tracks, it just seems as though Brian is talking, or even whispering, a weak effort, but not unappreciated; it fits well in places, while sticking out in others.
This album proves the Brian can still shred with the best of them. Playing a 6-string Ibanez has never sounded better, even with Brian playing it. The guitar riffs are intricate, and never disappoint throughout the entire album. Brian says he still dislikes doing solos, but describes the album as "a huge guitar solo," saying "every song is like a solo itself." On this album, Brian brought in many guest artists, such as Josh Freese, Tony Levin, Trevor Dunn, among others. Those are all very renowned musicians, and they do an impressive job on this album, musically. Josh's professional drum beats paint the foundation of the album, conducting the other parts of the music to create rhythmic, creative, dark, yet totally encouraging and familiar, yet still fresh, album. It's very familiar if you are a fan of Korn
, but it's also very fresh, Brian does what Korn
failed to do after his departure: he successfully buried keyboards, synths, and other electronics under the core of the music, blending it perfectly, never letting it peek its head out noticeably, yet is still present and accepted, an equal, but not a prominent part. This seems intentional, a good element that bodes well for the future.
That being said, the most noticeable parts of the album are the drums, guitar, and bass, in that order. The parts blend perfectly, progressing through the album as one unit. About halfway through the album, Head goes from being raw and real, to melodic and subtle. The vocals become much less structured, and he seems to be free-styling, but rather well. The last track on the album, Washed by Blood
, is about being a born again Christian, and being "washed by blood," having all your sins disappear. The track goes on for nine enjoyable minutes, and doesn't get boring -- But doesn't features any solos. The track is probably the most advanced track on the album, being very melodic and actually making sense, poetically. Another track, Save Me from Myself
, is about Head's addiction to drugs. It features very slow-paced instruments, but its very intense. The bridge quickly becomes very fast-paced, until it completely gives way to Head screaming "Father, thank you!"
Overall, a very good album that will bring back nostalgia for fans of classic Korn
, while featuring a very positive message to boot. Its very progressive, and my only gripe are the weakness of the lyrics. That being said, the album is still very meaningful, and certainly melodic and powerful. Head has not lost his ability to rock over three years.