Review Summary: Korns latest release is their heaviest since TALITM, most guitar driven since Untouchables, along with some extra added elements to keep the band rolling in a good direction.
I have been a fan of every Korn album out there. From pre to post to back with Head, this band has always sound inspired to me. You always have to wonder though, where do they even go from here" It seems like they have done almost everything with their music. When we first heard about The Serenity of Suffering, we were told to expect a heavier, more guitar driven record, and I think we got pretty much what they had promised. The album is solely guitar driven, from the intro 'Insane' to the albums final parts in 'Please Come For Me', it was pedal to the metal. Head and Munky's chemistry have proven to be stronger than ever. The album displays maybe their best guitar work since Untouchables on songs such as 'Insane', 'Rotting In Vain', and 'Black Is The Soul'.
The things, besides the guitars of course, I really love about this album is the bass. Fieldy's presence was definitely there, and probably his best appearance on any album since 'Take A Look In The Mirror', maybe even since 'Issues'. The extra effects they add, such as the electronics that have been present on their last albums, DJ C-Minus's turntable work, to the extra vocal effects they add, make this album just that much darker. They make it most notable in 'Insane'. The intro starts with electronics building to Korns most dramatic intro since 'Blind'. JD's creepy laughs paired with C-Minus's turntables elevate the song up, rather than leaving them with same sound they had from earlier efforts. They make the little things count to keep the music fresh. The best thing that has probably happened to Korn since Head's departure was the addition of Ray Luzier. His energy really shows throughout the whole album as well, and I believe it was his energy since 'Korn III' that has sort of given this band a rejuvenated push towards the heavier direction.
Although I love JDs performance from the aspects of range. It amazes me how he can go from a death growl to that subtle creepy voice back to the death growl in a matter of seconds. I do, however, find some of his lyrics somewhat rhetorical. The lyrical content on a Korn album, besides maybe Untitled and some songs off of other albums, almost sound like they are being written from a scene kid or goth kid. His approach and range makes it sound different, thanks to the different effects, but overall the lyrics are the same lyrics we have been hearing since the band started in 94, just in a more poetic form. The band also finds themselves structuring their songs a little too similarly at times, but they have so many different sounds, this almost makes any listener hardly notice on the first listen. I would love to see them try to develop and improve upon these aspects on the next album.
So overall, I believe this albums is the bands heaviest since 'Take A Look In The Mirror', and most guitar driven since 'Untouchables'. Twenty two years. Twelve Albums. Within that time they have managed to somehow stay not exactly at the top, but close. I am proud to be a fan, and I hope to see possibly more growth off of this album on this next album.