Right, first off the bat I am a massive Korn fan, I have been for nearly 15 years. They were one of the first metal bands I ever really got into. BUT I really can’t stand live albums; I just don’t see the point. Live is about the visual as much as it is the audio in my opinion, so I view live CDs with as much suspicion as I do “greatest hits” albums. That aside, I was quite excited by the prospect of reviewing this Korn’s twelfth album. Given that this is their first live album since forming in 1994 I was keen to see what had made the cut.
Playing a set list heavily culled from their latest studio offering (2011’s Path of Totality) Korn decided not to just play these songs, but to get the dub step artists involved in their creation to perform on stage alongside the band and as a result, the set is effectively split into two halves with the first seven songs given over to Path of Totality and the rest a “greatest hits” set.
The set opens with the powerfully bassy Get Up! and for the next 25 minutes or so we’re treated to seven of the best tracks off of Path of Totality, with each track’s guest producer/artist taking a turn on stage. It’s a wee bit stop start, but the momentum doesn’t flag too much. The crowd are clearly audible throughout and are obviously enjoying the show. Highlights from this section include Chaos Lives In Everything and Way Too Far. What this album proves is that these songs CAN actually be played live and as such Path of Totality is anything but a novelty album as had been suggested in some quarters when it And as the last notes/chords/pulses of Narcissistic Cannibal are left hanging in the air Jonathan Davis thanks “…all the metal and electronic fans..” for coming together and creating something special.
From here on out it’s a straight up Korn show. The band kicks in with crowd favourite Here To Stay . Freak on a Leash is up next and is received in raptures with the audience in fine voice. Falling Away From Me follows in quick succession and again you can hear the crowd go crazy for it.
Next up is something pretty old school that Jonathan claims he’s “pulling out his ass” and “isn’t planned” – Predictable is a track seldom played in recent years off of Korn’s 1994 self titled debut album.
Korn normally play two covers live and in my humble opinion do pretty decent jobs of both, Pink Floyd’s Another Brick in The Wall and Metallica’s One. Happily both make this set list, sitting either side of bagpipe and nursery rhyme laden Shoots and Ladders.
With two songs left Korn turn to arguably their most successful album 1998’s Follow The Leader and pull out Got The Life, before going back to (in Jonathan’s words) the “song that started this motherfucker!!” for set closer Blind to send everyone away smiling.
Overall this album does well to convey the live experience, unlike some bands they haven’t (as far as I can tell) gone back and re-recorded and parts to cover up dropped notes muffled vocals or any of those other wee barely noticeable mistakes that let you know things are truly live. The mix of the album is good as well, finding a nice balance between the music and crowd noise. It doesn’t sound like a rough studio album with some screaming between songs, but nor does it sound like a crowd recorded boot leg but then you would expect nothing less from a band of Korn’s size.
So all in all, this is far from a bad album and Korn fans who don’t have an irrational distrust of live albums will definitely enjoy it, so as a result I’m going to be awarding this album a score of 8/10.
Korn – Live At The Hollywood Palladium is available as both CD/DVD and CD/BluRay packages on September 7th by AFM Records through all major retailers.
01. Get Up!
02. Kill Mercy Within
04. Chaos Lives In Everything
05. My Wall
06. Way Too Far
07. Narcisstic Cannibal
08. Here To Stay
09. Freak On A Leash
10. Falling Away From Me
12. Another Brick In The Wall
13. Shoots And Ladders
15. Got The Life
Jonathan Davis – Vocals
James “Munky” Shaffer – Guitar
Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu – Bass
Ray Luzier – Drums
Guest Appearances by:
Skrillex, Excision, Datsik, Downlink, Kill the Noise and 12th Planet.