Korn Take a Look in the Mirror

I have a love/hate relationship with Korn. In 1994, this Bakersfield, CA quintet blew me away with their mind-altering self-titled debut release. But in the decade since, Korn has experienced over-production, excessive sampling and the spawning of downright distasteful albums. The band became a parody and spoof of itself with the release of last year’s Untouchables. But Korn has pushed aside six albums worth of triumphs and tragedies to make way for their latest release, Take a Look in the Mirror. The band broke down the sounds that have become synonymous with their moniker and produced a simple, butt belting disc. Their signature dark bass sound (achieved in part by the down-tuned seven stringed guitars of James "Munky” Shaffer and Brian "Head” Welch) is intact but what is really evident from the first notes off this album is the "more killer, less filler” mentality. I have yet to hear vocalist Jonathan Davis sound as good as he does on "Did My Time.” The track is brimming with emotional depth and experience-filled experimentation. Take a Look in the Mirror is also remarkable for what it lacks, which is copious, albeit unnecessary, musical guest appearances. A live version of Metallica classic, "One,” — complete with wicked bass work by Fieldy — even helps to return credibility to the hidden track concept. The paradox of Korn continues. (Sony)