At one time, Korn was a force to be reckoned with; their debut self-titled album was a display of true and talented nu-metal. Even the two or three albums that succeeded it were at the very least tolerable, but with The Path of Totality, Korn’s tenth and latest studio album, the band has hit rock bottom, fusing misplaced and laughable dubstep with unbearably bad, cheesy alt. metal. Totality is the proverbial final nail in the coffin, proving that Korn should have thrown in the towel years ago.
“Chaos Lives In Everything,” the riotous opener, includes an admittedly catchy chorus, but the godawful lyrics and poorly executed electronics (which comes courtesy of Skrillex, the poor man’s answer to dubstep) ruin any possible redeeming factor. “Kill Mercy Within,” a decent enough track, is the only song in which the band manages to find balance. With average lyrics such as “Spewing bile across the seas, bringing existence to its knees/I will manifest my sins, and I will kill mercy within” Korn redeem somewhat the trash that is “Chaos.” This doesn’t last long, however. “My Wall,” another brutal lesson in awfulness, features one of the worst vocal performances Jonathan Davis has ever laid down on a track.
“Narcissistic Cannibal” is truly the album’s worst offering. Instead of achieving a sense of balance between layered electronics and a catchy melody, it derails into a wall of instability and confusion. There are places where it’s either the former or the latter, but it is never a blend. “Cannibal” is an example of true failure in both production and execution. “Sanctuary,” a droning and excruciating three minutes of sound, could drive even the most patient Korn fan to tears. It never builds to anything satisfying, and there’s never a moment of payoff.
The Path of Totality isn’t merely Korn’s worst album to date; it’s one of the most ridiculous and awful displays of music in recent memory. I dare anyone – Korn fan or not – to experience the album at least once. After all, you never truly experience music until you’ve heard the worst it has to offer, and while Totality may not succeed at being a complete failure, it does come oh so close, and you have to give it credit for trying.