Korn
The Paradigm Shift


3.5
great

Review

by River Tam USER (2 Reviews)
October 7th, 2013 | 67 replies | 16,430 views


Release Date: 10/08/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Korn said they remembered who they were, and now they prove it.

11 of 14 thought this review was well written

Although their ninth full length album’s title wanted you to think it, Korn hasn’t felt like themselves since Take A Look in the Mirror came out a decade ago. After that album and the departure of Head, listeners were treated to a bizarre pop/nu metal hybrid, an experimental yet dull album, an attempt at returning to their roots, and a dubstep record. At that point, anyone who said Korn could possibly have another album that could live up to their pre-2003 work would have been laughed at. But then The Paradigm Shift came out.

Jonathan Davis is at the top of his vocal game, here. His singing never falls into the whiny voice he has been known to use, and his harsh vocals have a punch to them again. Sometimes, however, there is an occasional unnecessary use of distortion on his harsh vocals. The most notable example of this can be found on “Love and Meth.” I can’t imagine why they used the effect, as it adds nothing and just makes it sound amateurish, like he wouldn’t be able to perform without the distortion.

Lyrically, the album has some of the band’s best moments (“Prey For Me” being the stand out). Mostly, though, it is standard Korn writing. By far the worst moments come in “Never, Never” and “Lullaby For A Sadist.” The former has a laughable Taylor Swift vibe to it, and the latter is simply poorly written. However, none of the lyrics come near the offensively bad “Getting Off” from See You on The Other Side.

The return of Head reenergized the guitars, and they sound better than they have since his departure. The riffs hit hard, and some wouldn’t have felt out of place on Issues (see “Paranoid and Aroused”). The production is also more lively than that of the previous albums, which helps the guitars stand out more. Fieldy is as good as always, although he is still pushed back in the mix like he was on the past few albums. He is audible, though, unlike on The Path To Totality. The drum work is good, although

One of the biggest questions after The Path To Totality was how much of an influence dubstep (or brostep, if you prefer) would be. Well, it’s still here, but generally it is kept from the forefront. Wobbles appear when and where they need to, the exception being the breakdown that appears on “Never, Never.” Davis produced most of the electronics, and shows that he has the basics down. Noisia’s contribution to “Spike in My Veins” stands out from the rest of the electronics mostly in the focus, not the quality.

Although the album does a great job of recapturing the spirit of Korn, it still has some issues (no pun intended). “Never, Never” is an abysmal track, trying to be more pop than the entire album co-written by The Matrix. Not only was it a misleading single, the song is completely out of place on the album. Its verses feel like a neutered rip-off of their hit “Evolution,” and the chorus reaches for heights that it cannot obtain. Korn simply does not have it in them to write a full on pop song.
Also far below expectations was “Lullaby for a Sadist.” It refuses to commit to being either atmospheric or heavy, and ends up losing any potential for menace that it had. The pre-chorus especially does not fit with the rest of the song, and when combined with poor lyrics the song is completely forgettable.

Another complaint is that they severely underuse their dual guitars. Most of the time they play the exact same parts, with one maybe using some effects. The few lead lines that can be found are processed so much that they may actually be synth, I’m not entirely sure.

In the end, this album is definitely a Korn album. Head’s return obviously gave them back the spirit that they very much needed for their next album. With The Paradigm Shift, they have what can either stand as the beginning of a new era or, if they break up before releasing another album, a strong final chapter for the band. And while those who dislike the band will find nothing to sway their opinion, what more could a fan ask of them?


user ratings (348)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • therapy20 (4)
    Can Korn return to their earlier glories?...

    Cimnele (2)
    Korn try to make you forget the time they had a fun rhythm section....

    AaronBatt (3.5)
    What a surprise......

    Townsendium (4.5)
    Korn have redeemed themselves, The Path of Total shit can be put behind us once and for al...

  • LocustGrove (4.5)
    Korn finally realized that all they needed was more Head....

    WicKed110 (4.5)
    An album with a sound mixing Untouchables, Issues and their debut album together....

    Alex561 (4.5)
    With Korn remembering who they are and Head back in the band, The Paradigm Shift makes The...

    ScuroFantasma (4.5)
    The accumulation of 20 years of professional musicianship, 10 studio albums and the return...

  • Jeremy Bentham (4)
    The Paradigm Shift shows a reunited and reimagined Korn, and boasts some of their best and...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheGreatQ
October 7th 2013



1328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can't believe this is just the third review for this. I also can't believe there aren't any negative ones yet.

Digging: Empty Yard Experiment (E.Y.E.) - Kallisti

joomisy
October 7th 2013



467 Comments


no.

Smial
October 7th 2013



800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

head's return may have injected some adrenaline into these guys, but that doesn't change the fact that musically speaking he doesn't do anything noteworthy here

TheGreatQ
October 7th 2013



1328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^I can't argue that much with you there. I was a little disappointed the didn't do that much with him.

TheGreatQ
October 7th 2013



1328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yay ghost neg

Sapient.
October 7th 2013



1109 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

what would've been a nice addition and change-up to this record would be if Head sang some lead vocals on here, he sounded pretty damn good on the Love and Death record

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 7th 2013



49980 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Generally vocals come from the head

Digging: Armchairpolitician - Seven Segment Decoder

Sapient.
October 7th 2013



1109 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

or the diaphragm

TheGreatQ
October 7th 2013



1328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol

Green Baron
October 7th 2013



19179 Comments


we need a negative review for this so badly

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

trainofconsequence
October 7th 2013



1422 Comments


Quit shitting yourselves just because Korn put out a halfway decent album for the first time in forever

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
October 7th 2013



9837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

http://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=190682

Emethyst
October 7th 2013



25 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

The only tracks which really catch me are Prey for Me and Love & Meth; not much else here that really begs listening to again.

Smial
October 7th 2013



800 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

first time greeshitkinmuse says something i can agree withj

TheGreatQ
October 7th 2013



1328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

we need a negative review for this so badly [2]

Also, goddamn it 3 ghost negs.


TrantaLocked
October 7th 2013



1511 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I just listened to Korn III last night. Such a fun and powerful album that is. I didn't expect to be
excited for a new Korn album after the last release, but I still don't have big expectations.

Hm, so it is definitely better than the last album, but better than Korn III? I'm not sure about that.
I'm on my fist listen.

TheGreatQ
October 7th 2013



1328 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really liked Korn III at first, but it wore off pretty fast for me :/

somethingnotsoclever
October 7th 2013



56 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great album! Big surprise! Prey For Me, Paranoid and Aroused, and it's All Wrong are great!

MikeC26
October 7th 2013



3172 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I heard a song from this on the radio and it was just terrible. Left an awful taste in my ear pussies

TrantaLocked
October 7th 2013



1511 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

That phrase leaves an awful taste in my mind.



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