Korn - Untouchables review



Reviewer:
9.2

330 users:
7.10
Band: Korn
Album: Untouchables
Release date: June 2002


Disc I
01. Here To Stay
02. Make Believe
03. Blame
04. Hollow Life
05. Bottled Up Inside
06. Thoughtless
07. Hating
08. One More Time
09. Alone I Break
10. Embrace
11. Beat It Upright
12. Wake Up Hate
13. I'm Hiding
14. No One's There

Disc II [DVD] [digipak bonus]
01. Here To Stay [Live at Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC]
02. Here To Stay [video]
03. Thoughtless [video]
04. Got The Life [Live at Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC]


I wanted to make a review for this album for quite some time, but was reluctant do to so. Why? Because it's my all-time favorite, and I wanted to make sure I'd get it just right. However, after some time spent brainstorming about it, I decided simply to go with the flow and take the spontaneous approach.

It's the year 2002 and Korn fans have already waited for almost three years since the release of Issues, which was the first album that distanced them from the classical nu-metal sound they pioneered and brought into the mainstream and themselves with it. True, with every previous album they were slowly forming a new, thicker and more mature sound (not to mention far far cleaner production, which probably didn't appeal to some), but with this album, they finally hit the creative pinnacle.

While nu-metal elements are never completely gone, they're deeply buried within the alternative, melancholic sound of Untouchables. Insane gibberish scatting like on "Freak On a Leash" are practically no longer here. Guest rappers also. The uncompromising don't-give-a-fuck attitude best showcased on songs such as "Ass Itch," "K@#Ø%!" and "Faget" got a little cleaner and more refined, which is still a reason some people only prefer albums until Follow The Leader. But make no mistake, this is still Korn that you know and love (yeah, I took a great liberty assuming you love them). I would even dare calling it their most mature, haunting and darkest release to date.

So what IS there you'll ask? From the opening single "Here to Stay" (especially if you watch the uncut version of the video), you'll see that they mean business. Lyrical content mostly features struggle with personal demons as always, but they weren't afraid to tackle some political themes, as well as question the existence of God and meaning of life; as evident in the disturbingly beautiful and melancholic "Hollow Life." Very depressive and sorrowful closer "No One's There" with its great melodic passages and chorus that brings you on the brink of despair always awakens special feelings in me, and holds a place very close to my heart. If you want some dosage of rage, you'll be wanting to hear "Wake Up Hate" which showcases some good old Follow The Leader groove, and a very fast pace. I'm very pleased with singles, too, whom I regard as probably the best songs on the album (which is usually NOT the case). "Alone I Break" is a classic depression story which overall dark and melodic atmosphere is something you'll get used to in this album by the time you get to hear it. I would be very angry at myself if I didn't mention that "Thoughtless" is still my favorite song, which I can relate to so much. Finally, as I said before, if you're feeling nostalgic of earlier albums, turn up "Make Believe" and "Beat It Upright," extremely groovy stuff, the latter of which is especially appropriate for being intimate with your significant other.

So there I said it. This album marks a crucial point in Korn's career, only one album later, and their original lineup is all but gone. From lyrical maturity, to the highly melodic and depressive sound which does not forget the old nu-metal roots that fathered it, it is truly their finest piece of work to date. A piece of work which unfortunately will not be matched anytime soon. But I guess if Korn would copy their every album, then they would cease to be the band we all know, and the band which constantly experiments and tests their musical limits with every release, for better of worse.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 10

Written by Kennoth | 26.10.2010


 


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments

Comments: 11   Visited by: 108 users
26.10.2010 - 13:47
!J.O.O.E.!
Defunct
I actually agree with this, I still love this album and regard it as their best.

Good work!
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26.10.2010 - 14:05
vezzy
Stallmanite
I, of course, hate this album, but nevertheless, kudos on the well-written review.

As long as your next review doesn't involve giving Disturbed's Asylum a 9 or more, it's all fine with me.
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26.10.2010 - 14:09
Deadsoulman
Lemmyng
Definitely not my favourite Korn album, but definitely not their worst either. It stands right in the middle. It's a decent alt-rock/metal album with a couple of awesome songs but unfortunately quite a lot of filler too. And it also features J. Davis's best vocal performance so far IMO.
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26.10.2010 - 14:11
Kennoth
Written by vezzy on 26.10.2010 at 14:05

I, of course, hate this album, but nevertheless, kudos on the well-written review.

As long as your next review doesn't involve giving Disturbed's Asylum a 9 or more, it's all fine with me.


Thank you. Well, to be honest, that will probably be my next review, so it remains to be seen...
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*insert something deep and profound*
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26.10.2010 - 14:38
jupitreas
hi-fi / lo-life
Well, lets not get all caught up in the praise, this album has plenty of issues as well, most notably the repetitive, formulaic songwriting. I do actually believe that this is Korn's most appealing sound; however, with all the songs following very similar pop-rock formulas, it gets old fast.
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26.10.2010 - 14:54
Kennoth
Well, of course that every album has issues, that's normal. I know it probably doesn't deserve such a high rating, though it's how I view it and feel it. While some songs follow a similar formula, you can't say that for all of them, most notably Hollow Life, and Here To Stay.
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26.10.2010 - 16:30
Uirapuru
Liver Failure
Written by Deadsoulman on 26.10.2010 at 14:09

Definitely not my favourite Korn album, but definitely not their worst either. It stands right in the middle. It's a decent alt-rock/metal album with a couple of awesome songs but unfortunately quite a lot of filler too. And it also features J. Davis's best vocal performance so far IMO.


That's my feeling towards this album as well. Despite the obvious great songs, I feel that this album was simply ''too easy''... in the same way that I think of Drowning Pool's Desinsetize, some pretty choruses and a few melancholic songs and all is done. It feels like their lost that irresponsable charm with the song structures that makes the early albums so great.

Issues suffered from the same ill... and although I like both albums, I have to agree that they get old very fast...


By the way Kennoth, from the moment I saw the review, I imagined it was from your authorship Very fair and well written man. o/ But I strongly disagree with the rate.
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member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
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26.10.2010 - 18:06
Xim
Rocker of Worlds
I'd agree. Untouchables is one of their best albums for sure. It showed they can do more than just screamy-angry stuff and make some very nice sounding songs.
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26.10.2010 - 22:18
Lit. Metalhead
Account deleted
Untouchables is a definate good for them. Alone I Break and Thoughtless are ones that peaked my interest.
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27.10.2010 - 00:44
Sunioj
This album is timeless for me. Amazing album.
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09.03.2012 - 03:26
@gent_-_orange
Massive Nostalgia for this album, One of the records that got me into metal and its weird to think how much my taste has changed, I still have it somewhere but
I doubt I would listen to it nowadays, But this is a good album for what it is.
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Alone he sits, A vanquished Lord upon an oaken throne, presiding o'er this conflict that chills him to the bone, for each tarnished blade that festers is a thorn thrust in his side and his pain alone bears witness to the folly of mankind.
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