Wishing death to fashioncore since 2005

Korn – ‘The Paradigm Shift’ review

Korn reclaim their place

Korn 2013

Despite being a fan of Korn since ’95/’96, since the first album, I’ve never written an article purely about them, so thought it was about time. Now, I have to admit that I didn’t quite enjoy the previous two studio albums (‘Korn III: Remember Who You Are’ and ‘The Path To Totality’) as much as their earlier albums – not to say that they’re bad albums, only that they didn’t have the same impact with me. So, it’s with some degree of relief that I find this new album, ‘The Paradigm Shift’, much more enjoyable – the return of guitarist and founding member Brian ‘Head’ Welch may have something to do with this.

Korn - The Paradigm Shift cover

‘Prey For Me’ gets things off to a decent start, shedding the dubstep elements of their previous album and shifting focus back to the riffs and Fieldy’s bouncy bass, though they do bring them back for the catchy first single ‘Never Never’, a definite grower. For me, it’s when ‘What We Do’ hits that things really get going, followed by ‘Spike In My Veins’ – two massive tracks that pack the punch you’d expect from a Korn track. It’s in this fashion that the album continues, occasionally bringing back the dubstep and electronic influences to enhance, rather than take over at any point, and it works. With tracks such as ‘Punishment Time’ and ‘Lullaby For A Sadist’ harking back to the sound found on ‘Take A Look In The Mirror’ (the last album with Welch before his departure), perhaps this is a glimpse at the album that might have been released had Welch remained with the band? The album works as a whole, without the sense of being padded with filler tracks; each track is worth repeated listens, and those that don’t win you over instantly, are worth revisiting. The thunderous ‘It’s All Wrong’ finishes the album, another album highlight driven by Ray Luzier’s high-impact drumming.

With a sense of revitalisation that I can’t help but feel comes (partly at least) as a result of Brian Welch’s return, this album would be a much more comfortable listen for those who might have been put off by the dubstep elements of their previous album – whilst they are still present here, that is only one aspect of what is quite a solid album, in my opinion. Korn have never written the same album twice, and whilst some may still miss the sound of the first two albums, this deserves (much like every other album) to be judged on its own merits. Sound-wise, TPS seems to encapsulate everything achieved by Korn during the past several albums and sits comfortably beside ‘Untouchables’ and ‘Take A Look In The Mirror’, and as such I would urge fellow longtime Korn fans to check out ‘The Paradigm Shift’.

‘The Paradigm Shift’ is out now, available at the usual CD stockists and digital outlets.


The video for the first single ‘Never Never’:


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