Korn - Live At The Hollywood Palladium (AFM Records)

A Korn live album. Still with us? This one may be for you then
Release Date: 
12 Sep 2012 (All day)

Korn are a band that's no stranger to controversy. Certainly, when The Path of Totality came out, a lot of people decided that frontman Jonathan Davies had obviously lost what musical credibility he had left and wrote Korn off entirely. Nonetheless, dubsetp and drum & bass seemed to be the way that Korn were going now, and this writer for one actually enjoyed bits of The Path of Totality. I’m just thankful none of you know where I live.

Anyway, the dreadlocked monkeys have seen fit to release the soundtrack to their live show at the Hollywood Palladium, featuring such luminaries as Skrillex (interestingly on guitar) who I’m sure a vast amount of this website’s readership have a picture of (albeit placed over their favourite dartboard).

A live album is sometimes a band’s way of keeping the fans and label happy, which some could argue about this album to be honest. It’s often hard to judge how well a band pulls it off live purely based on a recording of a live set, though from what can be heard of the crowd reaction, and bizarrely some guy shouting “Skrillex!” before the band even came on, the new songs are going down just as well as the older material.

Speaking of older material, they’re still there. Old favourites like Freak on a Leash and Blind are placed next to the newer tunes, though not mixed in. There’s a very obvious break to let the crowd gather itself before the band come back on and give the punters what they truly came for. Actually, maybe a cover of Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In The Wall might not be what absolutely everyone wanted, but they got it anyway.

Jonathan Davies's crowd banter is, perhaps, an area that could be elevated. "Just express yourself" is a sentiment which should really be taken for granted at a metal gig, but it's said nonetheless. His occasional need to sing along with the electronic noises is also faintly annoying, like someone singing along to a song who doesn't know all the words, but tries to sing anyway. The singing is occasionally a little flat too, but interestingly more so on the newer songs than on the older ones. Practise makes perfect I gues.

If anything this album proves to people that are too poor to afford gigs (*cough cough*) that Korn could actually pull off the new sound live, and wouldn’t just substitute in some sort of crappy DJ. Then again, knowing how much money they have now, to not have pulled out all the stops in trying to recreate their album sound live (though somewhat bassier) would seem like the biggest betrayal to the fans of all.