Last year, lead vocalist Jonathan Davis confirmed that this new album wasn’t going to follow the dubstep approach of previous album The Path of Totality. Mid-way through 2013, it was announced that guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch was to return to the line-up. What would these two statements mean regarding the final result of The Paradigm Shift?
It isn’t a return to the sound of their first two albums, neither is it a clone of Follow the Leader. The overall sense is that this album reveals their melodic side which is incorporated into a thick groove-driven edgy angle. Check out the immediate hooks in Prey for Me or the single Never, Never for some shining examples of the melodic crawling and weaving itself throughout the quintessential Korn sound.
There isn’t a chance that this will shock or alienate partial bystanders or true hard-core fans. This is familiar territory as the blast and jarring moments add to the shout-a-long chorus within Mass Hysteria, or the driving mix of studio trickery and short sharp stabs of riff dancing with each other during Paranoid and Aroused.
Maybe the only criticism of The Paradigm Shift is it all feels like it has been done before by this band, which isn’t necessarily a negative point considering that Korn have amassed a significant fan-base. Songs like Lullaby for a Sadist and Spike in My Veins are reminiscent of the 2002 album Untouchables, whilst an echo of early era Korn rears up during Punishment Time. All the time with each precious track remains the evident hook or melody slithering in and out.
The Paradigm Shift is a good album from start to finish, solid in all it shares with the listener and it won’t scare the children either. To think that once upon a time Korn were a revelation and cutting edge, but time has caught up with them. They’re now mature musicians who are comfortable in their own skins.
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