Korn is a very unique band. Their style was brand new at the time of making this album. They started a whole new genre of metal.
Their popularity arises from the fact that they keep things so simple, to the point, typical metal style, and their artwork, yes artwork, makes so many points.
Korn was formed in Bakersfield, California in 1993 as an extension of L.A.P.D. the band consisted of 5 members; Jonathan Davis, James “Munky” Shaffer (guitars), Brian “Head” Welch(lead rhythm guitar), David Silveria(Drums), And Reginald ‘Fieldy” Arvizu(The coolest bass I think I’ve ever heard).
Korn is a band of progression. Some of their stuff gets old after a while. Unfortunately for Korn, they really have not yet found a way to bring the old aspects back. After Head left in 2005, it was pretty much downhill from there for Korn. They just couldn’t reinvent that dark, heavy, eerie, potential that their newest content fails to expose.
I’m not saying their new stuff is bad, i'm just saying that compared to their debut album and in all reality their first 5 albums, it’s just not Korn anymore. There is little doubt that this is the best work Korn has ever had to offer. This album gives you so much of what other metal bands cannot.
Blind – This album kicks off with some quite cymbal tapping. Knowing that this was a metal band, I knew soon after the cymbal tapping, it was going to be a wild ride. When Jonathan gives the signal with Korn’s trademark “ARE YOU READY!
It marked the point when I have never been more right in my whole life. This song starts hurtling instrumentals at you faster than a speeding bullet. Eventually leading into the rather slow verse, and then a pretty slow and quite and very simple chorus. But like I said before, even though they say little, and not very loud, they’re still technically saying a lot.
This is a good way to start the album. (5/5.)
Ball Tongue – This track, unlike the first one, just blares out with raging instrumentals, and then a short and I mean short, bass solo before beginning part 2 of the instrumentals. I really like how Korn has rather long instrumentals for intro because it really sets up the success for the song.
It gives you a chance to get the feeling for what the song is going to be. The verse in this song is Jonathan talking/vocalizing behind what I thought was going to be the downfall of my eardrums. That one wining guitar note that repeats itself over and over always gets stuck in my head for hours. This track is also the first on this album to feature vulgarity with the repeating line “How can you f***ing doubt me, but not again”?
Another good track for the album. (5/5)
Need To – This is one of the best on this album simply for its lyrical genius. I don’t expect anyone of a lesser degree of experience with metal to be able to understand the true power of the lyrics in this song. Words cannot attempt to describe the awesomeness of these lyrics; and the instrumentals to boot. The intro consists once again of a 2 part pattern of guitars, bass, and drums all leading into the verse.
This track is the first on the album to reveal the vocals at a higher level. (In front of the instruments if you will). When the chorus comes to my ear, I nearly fell out of my chair choking on these awesome lyrics.
I don’t think any band in the situation this song expresses, could word out the chorus any better. After the chorus Jonathan starts to scream with the winding down high pitched rhythm guitars leading into Fieldy’s longer bass solo.
After that it’s basically a repeat of the chorus at a different volume. Either volume’s, it doesn’t matter, the chorus is still fantastic. (5/5)
Clown – This track starts off with a small sequence of conversation amongst the band and producers in the studio right before the recording of this song. A funny way to start this serious track.
Once more, a 2-3 pattern of instrumentals lead to another rather quite verse. But when the chorus arrives the volume is played around with vocals increasing and decreasing volumes. The only thing I have to say negatively about this album is towards the end the lyrics start to get a little redundant. (4.5/5)
Divine – I really want to say that this is just a filler track, but, it’s too good to be a filler. Though this is the shortest song on the album clocking in around the 2 minute range, it still is able to combine the basic aspects of Korn and get across the point.
There is not much to say down about this track other than the instrumentals get a little boring after a while. Other than that, great song. (3.5/5)
Faget – The single greatest song on the album, and 2nd greatest Korn song of all time. This song is a bit longer than most tracks so it gets a better chance to say all that Jonathan has to say; and in this track, Jonathan has got a thing or 2 to say to a select group of people. The instrumentals for the intro are fantastic.
Any song that starts of quietly like “Blind”, you know it’s going to be a wild ride. The instrumentals get a large portion of the song where they are all that matters.
The lyrics might not be anything too, too special, but that is definitely made up for simply with good composure. This song is straight to the point and a great addition to the album. (5/5)
Shoots And Ladders – Compared to everything we’ve heard before this track, I don’t think it could get anymore random than this. This track is basically about the hidden violent messages in nursery rhymes. I think that the point of this song is to mark the halfway point, and give the listener some sense of comic relief in preparation for what’s still to come. If I’m wrong, then this song doesn’t belong on this album.
It belongs in “Life is Peachy”. Most notable about this track is the very first time we hear Jonathan’s signature bagpipes that he learned to play in a band class in school. That was pretty good to listen to in the beginning of the track.
This song also has one of the longest intros of Korn to date. (4/5)
Predictable – This song doesn’t seem to be very well-known on this album. I can’t really think of a whole of a lot to say about this song. It kicks off with a quite intro, then a bit louder towards the start of the 1st verse.
The chorus in this track is very similar to that of “Blind”, short and echoing. After the 2nd chorus there is a pretty good outro for the final verse, basically just a quite, hitting of the snare, and quite thunderous bass line. (4.5/5)
Fake – Again not a very well known song. I personally however like this song a whole lot. The theme of this song which is basically people not being honest with themselves, hypocrites if you will, takes over a large portion of Korn's tracks.
This song is longer than I would expect it to be. What really catches my ear in this song is Jonathan’s trying to get more involved with his voice. I mean we’ve got a melodic voice, heavy voice, high voice, low voice, etc.
the instrumentals however once again get a little too old. But other than that, great track. 4.5/5
Lies – This to me, is definitely a filler, a good one, but a filler none of the less. This track is short, redundant, and I don’t think anyone knows what it means.
If you do, please tell me. The only thing notable for this track is the unusually heavy chorus that we don’t hear much in this album.
The verse is rather interesting, with its guitars, or whatever distortion they’re using. This track is the closest this album came to receiving anything short of a classic rating. (3/5)
Helmet In The Bush – When I first heard this song, I had no idea what the title was about. But now I do. Basically this song is about the height of Jonathan’s fears when he was doing speed. And the most noticeable side effect of the drug is that it reduces the size or your genitals, which is what “Helmet in the Bush” means.
This is a very eerie track, with disturbing instrumentals and vocals almost at a whisper of desperation. The chorus almost scares you, because it hits you with what danger drugs can really cause you.
Hopelessness, desperation, and desire, are 3 perfect words to describe the attitude this song implies. Overall a good track (4.5/5) and then…
Daddy – definitely the saddest track on this album. I nearly cried when I listened to this. (Call me a pussy if you like), I lost my mother when I was but 5 years old, so when the chorus comes to say mommy why? Your own child, I don’t know, it just hit me.
This track is about how Jonathan, when he was a kid, he was molested by someone. (Some say it was his parents, some say it was his neighbor, etc.). The point is, something tragic happened to him and it’s been building up inside all these years.
This song is Jonathan’s way of “letting it all go”. Technically this is the longest track on the album, with the actual song lasting about 7 minutes, then a short 2 minutes of the band awkwardly standing as Jonathan leaves the room.
Kind of like “yeeeeeeeaaaaaaah, our lead singer is crying and all emotional”, *PLUCK. “Mmmmmhmmmm” *hits the snare a couple of times, you get my point. Then it’s 5 minutes of silence, then you can hear a recording of 2 people arguing over a vacuum thingy comes on.
What I hear is, the band found this tape on the floor of the studio and just decided to add it to the final song. Personally I think that anything that Korn tries to do funny, it should be saved for “Life is Peachy”. (5/5)
So there you have it. Korn’s first album is complete. In conclusion I’ll just restate my whole point, this is the BEST Korn has to offer.
So if you don’t like this album, I wouldn’t recommend going any further in their career, except for maybe “Issues”.
But that’s it. Well, i hope this album is more of a help than my previous reviews have been.