Queen of the Damned Soundtrack
Korn has become well known for their style: a mixture
of genres (hip-hop, alternative, techno) merged together into
an abrasive metal amalgam. Focusing on deep fuzzy bass lines
and a steady beat as the backbone, the guitars are often less
conventional layers of noise, a pleasant step away from the
standard rock anthems. Davis, the angst-ridden vocalist who
seems to have issues with just about everything in life, sings
with a range from brutal growls and screams to melodic vocal
harmonies. Fans of the band can take this description of Korn's
music as a standard (especially considering they spawned so
many rip-off bands).
In Untouchables, though, things have changed. Davis'
vocals are far more melodic and while showing a range of emotions
manage to spend less time yelling and growling. Apparently,
he's kept his jaws clenched far too long. Musically, Untouchables
shows a more 80's techno rock influence, peppered with
the gothic music style the Davis created for the Queen
of the Damned Soundtrack. In fact, if you listened to
that album, a lot of the musical style in this one would seem
familiar. There is a lot more use of synthesizers and most
of the album feels more laid-back. While most of the tracks
retain Korn's musical formula, there are a number of
times where the guitar-lines sound more straightforward and
even the bass tracks don't come across as so overbearingly
That's not to say that there isn't some heavy, in-your-face
tracks. The opening track, Here to Stay lays down a
seriously brutal opening riff that's sure to shake your speakers.
Embrace is a powerful track, opening angry and then
moving to a strong, oddly harmonic chorus. For straight pulsing
metal, Beat It Upright is going to get you moving to
the groove. Outside of what you might expect from Korn,
there is a wide variety of tracks that show that Korn isn't
stuck in one gear. Wake Up Hate shows an industrial
metal influence, akin to Ministry. Both Hollow Life
and Alone I Break show a heavy techno-rock influence,
sounding similar to Orgy and Stabbing Westward.
If you were expecting the second-coming of the self-titled
debut, Untouchables isn't it. What Untouchables
is, though, is a nice progression in style. Korn seems
to have avoided growing stale by altering their formula, much
like Marilyn Manson did with Mechanical Animals.
For those who thought Korn was growing too full of
itself, allowing everyone under the sun to do a guest spot
on a track, you'll be pleased that this album is 100% Korn,
even if it is a different Korn than most are used to.