Korn – The Serenity of Suffering Review

The Band:

  • Jonathan Davis – lead vocals
  • James “Munky” Shaffer  – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu – bass
  • Brian “Head” Welch – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Ray Luzier – drums, percussion

Tracklisting:

  1. Insane
  2. Rotting in Vain
  3. Black is the Soul
  4. The Hating
  5. A Different World
  6. Take Me
  7. Everything Falls Apart
  8. Die Yet Another Night
  9. When You’re Not There
  10. Next in Line
  11. Please Come for Me
  12. Baby *
  13. Calling Me Too Soon *

*bonus tracks on the special edition


Korn are an odd band. At once I can love and loathe them. I don’t think they’ve ever released a fully consistent record, and their latest, Serenity of Suffering follows their very beaten path. Compared to other recent efforts from this classic nu metal band however, Serenity of Suffering can be considered a big step in the right direction.

With this record, Korn looked to the past. What made them good in the first place. Serenity of Suffering is heavy throughout. It has a lot in common with what’s probably Korn’s best record to date in Take a Look in the Mirror. It’s a little darker than some of their older albums. Take the first two tracks for example. ‘Insane’ and ‘Rotting in Vain’ are dark, incredibly heavy songs that feature more intense lyrical themes than some of Korn. The trouble is, no matter how great these two tracks are, the rest of the album doesn’t compare. Yes, The Serenity of Suffering is a heavy record, but it still suffers from Korn’s long-standing issue of consistency.

Outside of these two quality tracks are two or three other good ones. ‘Black is the Soul’, ‘A Different World’ (featuring a great cameo appearance from Corey Taylor) and ‘Everything Falls Apart’ represent the best of the rest. But none of these are anything on ‘Insane’ or ‘Rotting in Vain’. To be honest though, none of the album is bad. Korn’s issues with inconsistency have been ironed out to some extent. Serenity of Suffering is a solid record from start to finish that unfortunately peaks at track two. It’s biggest issue is in a fair number of lacklustre choruses.

Musically, the album is heavier and darker than quite a lot of Korn’s history, but Jonathan Davis’ vocals lack energy in quite a lot of the choruses on offer. ‘Die Yet Another Night’ is a good example of this. The riffs are great fun, energetic, and Davis’ vocal delivery is strong, right up until the chorus. It sounds almost like he doesn’t care, which I know definitely isn’t true. It gives a lot of the tracks an inconsistent feel, rather than the record as a whole. Songs can sound heavy, energetic and devoid of life all in the space of four minutes. An odd one, for sure.

Those looking for that classic Korn sound, albums like Take A Look in the Mirror will likely never be topped, but Serenity of Suffering is the band’s best effort in years. The album may peak after its second track, and some of the songs may suffer from dull, lifeless choruses surrounded by high quality, energetic and heavy music, but Serenity of Suffering is a must for Korn fans; especially those looking for a return to form.


3.5/5

A solid record that represents Korn going back to basics. It’s hard-hitting, but also strangely lacking in some areas.

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