Review: Korn – ‘Rotting In Vain’ single

The return of the nu metal pioneers with new single Rotting In Vain proves once again their quality and influence.

Is it really 22 years since Korn released their self titled debut album?! An album that established a new wave of metal, was massive in creating the sub genre known as nu metal and even gave us bagpipes on a metal album. Following their debut album came a further 10 albums, which saw their style morph and embrace heavy metal, industrial, hip hop and even techno.

What has remained though is singer Jonathan Davis’ unique singing style and lyrics, the duel crunch yet groove sound of James “Munky” Shaffer’s and Brian “Head” Welch’s guitar sound and the pounding driving bass of Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu. Thunderous drums are now provided by Ray Luzier (replacing former member David Silveria).  And so, new album ‘The Serenity of Suffering’ is pencilled in for release October of this year and we have the first song released from it, ‘Rotting In Vain’.

It’s a bit of an understatement when we talk about how influential Korn really were when they emerged on the metal scene in the early 90’s. They led the way for bands such as Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Coal Chamber, Slipknot and Machine Head and even managed to bridge a gap between real metal and mainstream music. But this is 2016. How relevant are Korn now and how does their new material stand up as a step forward and as a continuation of what’s gone on before?

Beginning with a slight techno beat, we hear hints of that guitar sound before it explodes into a full on head banging thick and heavy riff. Davis vocals come straining in, still full of immense power and emotion especially through a stunning chorus…he soars – “Digging deep inside of me, getting past this agony” – you really feel it! Halfway through we are even treated to classic Korn gruff vocals and jibber jabber metal rap so integrated into their career that it wouldn’t be a Korn song without it. Throughout, the drums, and especially the bass, give the song a huge heartbeat that pounds away and keeps the song surging along at a pulsating pace bringing it all to an abrupt end and proving that Korn have definitely still got that fire.

Special mention must be given to a slightly creepy video which has an old school feel about it and features actor Tommy Flanagan (Sons of Anarchy, Alien vs. Predator, Gotham).

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