Review Summary: Korn finally realized that all they needed was more Head.
The Paradigm Shift is an album that only Korn can make. It's also an album that they could only make now. It pulls from their entire career and manifests into the Korn of 2013. There is something on this album for every Korn fan.
First off, I have to say that having Head back makes a huge difference in their sound. I seriously feel like there was a huge void in all their albums after he departed. Part of their edge was missing and you could tell dramatically. Having Head return to the band is a difference maker and it shows on every riff. Munky held down the fort for many years, but his other half is back and they've created some of the best shredding to date. It's heavy, it's crazy melodic, it's creepy and it soars. This let Fieldy get back into his sweet spot, right in between them. He's not buried in the mix, he's bopping and thumping in the open spots, laying down that groove that only he can do. There's less of his 'clicks' and more of a tradition bass tone, but he is having a blast on every track (Wish I Wasn't Born Today is a real highlight). Ray gets to flex his incredible talent here as well. While he was given the back seat in the creation of the last album, he runs with Fieldy here at every step. They play so well together, it's a joy to listen to. He's not David Silveria and he does not play like David. He's Ray Luzier and he can play and create with the best of them. He fits so well with the original guys it's a small miracle they found him. His passion for music runs through his veins, he was probably born with drum sticks in his hands. The Korn Groove is undeniable here. That leaves us with Jonathan Davis who gives us one of his best vocal performances. There is a ton of variety, the choruses are flawless. Epic drops, tempo changes, and some of the greatest sing along choruses since Untouchables.
A big turn off for people on Path was that the electronics were all in EDM style. It was Korn fused with EDM drum/dub/bass/etc. On TPS the electronics are all over the album, but they are much more integrated into Korn's specific style like Issues, Untouchables and Untitled. They are weaved in a much more nuanced, balanced and creative way. It's epic sounding.
Korn has always been about the sum of it's parts. Each guy brings something to the table and when they are firing on all cylinders, they create amazing music. The production and mix is fantastic, you can hear each element clearly and with authority. Each track is placed with careful purpose, the album feels like it breathes as it plays on. The creativity and focus on The Paradigm Shift makes it one of the best Korn albums ever made, I can't describe how happy I am about how this turned out. There is an insane amount of awesome songs. Prey For Me absolutely crushes, Spike In My Veins is wild, Punishment Time rules, Victimized is downright awe inspiring and Paranoid & Aroused is one of the best songs Korn has ever written.
I'm not going to lie and say that this is Korn greatest album, but it's definitely their best release in several years. Bottom line: Head is back with the band that made him famous, and Korn seems to have a bright future.