Loma Vista
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Forgotten
02. Let The Dark Do The Rest
03. Start The Healing
04. Lost In The Grandeur
05. Disconnect
06. Hopeless And Beaten
07. Penance To Sorrow
08. My Confession
09. Worst Is On Its Way

Initially, KORN were never likely to be accused of brevity. From their 65-minute debut to the hour-long sprawl of 2005's "See You on the Other Side", the first big stretch of the band's discography was typified by often great but generally long-winded splurges of new material. Whether by nature or design, the last few KORN albums have represented a welcome sea change in the way they put their musical statements together. No one sensible is going to argue that "Korn" (1994, their first self-titled record),"Follow the Leader" and "Untouchables" are all highlights in a surprisingly consistent catalogue, but each of them would have benefited from some judicious editing. In recent times, KORN albums have been much snappier, and their songwriting has seemed sharper, more focused and less unpredictable as a result. In particular, 2019's intermittently harrowing "The Nothing" was easily identifiable as the most complete and streamlined KORN album yet, with every song hitting the mark, and some of them — the cudgeling "Cold" springs to mind — sounding far more potent and impactful than anything the band have released since the '90s.

And so that trend continues on "Requiem", which is notable for being KORN's shortest album yet — nine songs, 33 minutes — but also for being another great example of how they have increasingly homed in on what makes their band great and have pursued that instead of endless experimentation and date-stamped collaborations. "Requiem" is one solid, convincing lump of high-grade new KORN music. Opener "Forgotten" is the perfect encapsulation of the band's late(r) career creative surge. All the KORN hallmarks are there, but its riffs are archly typical, and the chorus hook weaves the alien and the familiar together with sublime skill. Jonathan Davis sounds better than ever too, strident in the melodies, and genuinely unhinged when Munky drops one of those slamming, obsidian riffs. "Let The Dark Do The Rest" and "Start The Healing" are equally great: the latter is truly unsettling, for all of its positive aspirations, and both uphold the enhanced, in-your-face heaviness than KORN have embraced since the return of Brian 'Head' Welch.

A slow-burn high point, "Lost In The Grandeur" is grimly gothic but blessed with some inspired tempo shifts and lethally intimate Davis vocal. "Disconnect" is a shuffling nightmare in waltz time, with a soaring but crestfallen chorus that sparkles above a tar-black torrent of guitars; "Hopeless And Beaten" is brilliantly grim and menacing, with scabby, doom metal overtones, warped vocal harmonies and some of KORN's most revoltingly heavy riffs to date. Meanwhile, "Penance To Sorrow" is a ghoulish and discordant but supremely catchy deep dive into Davis's emotional turmoil; "My Confession" is a lobotomized, mutant hip-hop strut, with more old-school KORN in its veins than anything else here; "Worst Is On Its Way" brings "Requiem" to a close with gleeful disregard for happy endings, but with absurd amounts of low-end oomph and yet another nailed-on keeper chorus.

All you get here is the good stuff, flab-free and riffed up to the fucking eyeballs. Nine great songs, 33 deliciously morbid minutes: "Requiem" is further proof of KORN's extraordinary resilience and unerring vitality.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).