People: Korn

People: Korn Korn: Untouchables
June 2002
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On this follow-up to 1999’s multi-platinum Issues, Korn remains the cream of the genre it pioneered: an emotionally cathartic brand of alt-metal incorporating hip-hop influences. “Here to Stay,” the disc’s feedback-heavy first single, already dominating rock charts with its goth choruses and angry lyrics, belongs on the soundtrack of an Anne Rice film adaptation. Which is fitting, considering front man Jonathan Davis scored for last year’s Queen of the Damned.

Davis, a former assistant coroner, has been the guiding force behind Korn’s raging confessionals about alienation and abandonment since the quintet’s 1994 debut, voicing the angst of a generation marked by tragedies like Columbine. Untouchables continues in that tradition, melding Davis’s gritty, anguished wail with the low, guttural roar of the group’s signature seven-string guitars, which often mask moments of lyrical profundity. “Sometimes I feel it chasing me/ All the hate that’s breaking me/ I realize I’m taking everything/ And the kids seem to follow,” Davis ruminates in a distorted growl on the spooky, slinky “Make Believe.” The heavy guitars and even heavier themes deftly tackled by this much-imitated band are definitely not pop-Korn.

Bottom Line: Metal With a Message

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