Korn

Korn III: Remember Who You Are

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Taking a cue from the Van Halen playbook, the III in the title of Korn III: Remember Who You Are isn’t a numbering device, it signifies an opening of another phase in Korn’s career. Somehow, the band has bypassed a Korn II altogether in their discography, but it’s commonly acknowledged that the tail-end of the 2000s found the group floundering a bit, going so far as to flirt with the Matrix in an attempt to figure out which direction to go now that they’ve hit middle age. This is where the subtitle comes in: the group has certainly remembered who they are, ditching all the affectations that crippled their muddled 2007 eponymous album and rediscovering their voice. They’ve gone back to the coiled, furious sputter of their debut, but there’s no disguising that Korn is an older band, substituting precision for frenzy without diluting their power. That’s a crucial difference: they’re not desperately attempting to re-create their youth, they’re reconnecting with their passions and re-interpreting them from the perspective as veterans. Sometimes they stumble -- in many ways, Jonathan Davis has the trickiest problem by putting actual words to their emotions -- but as sheer galvanizing force, Korn III delivers due to that combination of raw aggression and musical finesse.

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