Korn - The Path of Totality
Korn - The Path of Totality

Korn – The Path of Totality

1/5 stars
Album review by Mark Shukla.
Published 25 November 2011

Jon Davis: “They (our fans) don’t really understand dubstep but then they relate to it because it’s heavy and dark but not techno. They’re like, ‘This isn’t gay techno music. This is something different’.” Rarely has an artist managed to cut to the core of their own awfulness so concisely, whilst simultaneously revealing their own mercenary attitudes towards creativity.

Filled to buggery with pointless robot noises and ultrahardcore WUB WUB WUB-iness, The Path of Totality finds Korn welding their own brand of tired miserabilism to aggro productions from the likes of Skrillex, Excision and Downlink. The album’s one and only solid chorus crops up on Narcissistic Cannibal (briefly evoking a sort of early-Birthday Massacre gothic pomp), but the overwhelming impression is one of relentless, bludgeoning stupidity. The Path of Totality makes it very clear that the only thing Jon Davis learned from nu-metal was when to spot a potential marketing opportunity.

Comments (48)

Add a comment »
  • "Rarely has an artist managed to cut to the core of their own awfulness so concisely, whilst simultaneously revealing their own mercenary attitudes towards creativity."

    Mark, you nailed it.

    Posted by Ray Philp | Friday 25 November 2011 @ 14:24

    Report to moderator
  • Ok but where's the review?? Go back to school kid

    Posted by Ramirez | Friday 25 November 2011 @ 14:31

    Report to moderator
  • Awful review. I wouldnt be a Korn fan but this album seems to be grabbing alot of peoples attention. Best keep your personal feelings on Korn out of your reviews buddy.

    Posted by harry | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 10:50

    Report to moderator
  • There's no actual musical review here. "Pointless robot noises"? Do you also not like METALLICA because of all the "pointless guitar noises"? :) Kind of missing the point. Maybe best to not review genres you don't understand as a whole (dubstep, industrial, etc) and can't assess by their own merits/standards.

    Posted by Adam | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 13:09

    Reported to moderator
  • 1st this is not a review.
    2nd if U dont like KoRn keep it for yourself.
    3rd U can suck my dick and fucking like it!!!

    Posted by KoRnCreep | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 13:49

    Reported to moderator
  • This so called review gets 0/5. I would bet this guy never even heard the album.

    How old are you? 85 years old? These whippersnappers with music "filled to buggery with pointless robot noises". Meh, where's my geritol?

    "The Path of Totality makes it very clear that the only thing Jon Davis learned from nu-metal was when to spot a potential marketing opportunity."

    Yeah, because when Korn started in 1994 they knew their music would create a huge marketing opportunity and create a new genre of music.

    Reviews like this are quite the joke.

    Posted by MIke | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 13:57

    Report to moderator
  • Apparently all you have learned is how to do the minimum while still leaching a pay check. Your employment status at the company should be reviewed.

    Posted by friend | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 15:21

    Report to moderator
  • Can't believe my metal credentials are being questioned in this fashion. Only dude that takes longer to get through airport security than I do is Robocop. Real talk.

    Also, the comment "Your employment status at the company should be reviewed" is bringing me deep, deep joy right now.

    Posted by Shukla | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 16:05

    Report to moderator
  • Shukla delivered the truth serum, now you kids need to suck it up.

    Posted by Head | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 16:41

    Report to moderator
  • Great track by track analysis, and I can tell you listened to the album. (Sarcasm) Look, if you want to be a hater, don't try to pawn it off as you being a reviewer. I can tell you don't like Korn, which is fine, but this is a bash not a review. I will ignore this review because you showed no respect for the artist, and once again, IT IS NOT A REVIEW.

    Posted by Will | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 19:32

    Report to moderator
  • I can see, I can see, you Korn nuts have gone deaf. The wubstep routine is a pretty thinly veiled disguise for a band that ran shit out of ideas ten years ago.

    Posted by Don | Saturday 26 November 2011 @ 19:43

    Report to moderator
  • I love how all you people have something to say. Here's an idea: get off your fat-pimpley blogging asses and write something better than ANY korn song (Korn 3 excluded because that album is a piece of shit and even korn knows that). btw sukla my balls. Anyone can be a critic :)

    Posted by Mike | Sunday 27 November 2011 @ 00:18

    Report to moderator
  • Wow, Horrible review. Clearly you know nothing. Read all the other reviews of this album then actually listen to it, and come back and do the review again.

    Posted by donnie | Sunday 27 November 2011 @ 03:31

    Report to moderator
  • Ok, so where's the review of the album? From you know, to people who have ACTUALLY reviewed the album as its gotten pretty amazing feedback, and appears to be critically acclaimed. Trolls are hilarious.

    Posted by Patrick | Sunday 27 November 2011 @ 08:59

    Report to moderator
  • @ shukla

    If someone is paying you to write this fragmented dribble then your job should be in question.

    Your first paragraph of this "review" is just a misinterpreted and personalized spin of Davis' quote. And I can't find anything in it that can be interoperated as the conclusion you came to.

    After reading this article it's pretty evident you can't write, articulate a thought, support an idea or talk music to boot. Just read your second paragraph, "pointless robot noises and ultrahardcore WUB WUB WUB-iness"

    - It's like he's fucking 5 years old. LOL.

    The fact that you think you're "metal/hardcore" cuz you wear chains/studs/safteypins what-the-fuck-ever, just proves how absolutely flawed your thought process is.

    The problem isn't that you don't like Korn or the album, but the fact that you can't separate your personal prejudices from your work. Oh and that this "review" reads like a below average middle school students writing.

    btw : do you even know what BUGGERY means?

    IT"S LIKE HE'S FUCKING 5

    Posted by john | Sunday 27 November 2011 @ 11:09

    Report to moderator
  • Lovely stuff. Keep it coming!

    The good news is you guys are probably going to love where this album is coming from.

    Posted by Shukla | Sunday 27 November 2011 @ 15:37

    Approved by moderatorReported to moderator
  • Loved your article Shukla.
    Although I'm rather envious of your particularly fine collection of 'butt-hurt-commenters'.

    JOHN is my favorite.

    'IT"S LIKE HE'S FUCKING 5' is now forever synonymous as 'the thing you scream when the internet hurts your vagina'.

    I'll totally swap you one of mine for him.

    Posted by FRED FLETCH | Sunday 27 November 2011 @ 19:38

    Report to moderator
  • Ha ha, super-studded 5 year old Shukla who cannae write a word about music getting multi-figure pay cheques from The Skinny per review. Wow, uncannily nailed it, didn't they? Good stuff Mark, you encapsulated this album, for me at any rate. Keep it up!

    Posted by Lewis | Sunday 27 November 2011 @ 21:46

    Report to moderator
  • Thanks gents.

    And Fred, I think the idea of a reader exchange program has legs. I'm sure Ros could throw together some kind of Guantanamo-style induction evening for potential candidates.

    Posted by Shukla | Monday 28 November 2011 @ 01:18

    Report to moderator
  • Your mother respectfully disagrees; she seemed very happy with 'the main thrust of my article'

    Posted by Shukla | Monday 28 November 2011 @ 08:48

    Approved by moderatorReported to moderator
  • Adam: "Maybe best to not review genres you don't understand as a whole (dubstep, industrial, etc)."

    Wow.

    Make it stop.

    Posted by Ray | Monday 28 November 2011 @ 12:21

    Report to moderator
  • Hey. Give Shukla a break. You have to realize how hard he works producing for the Skinny and that reviewing something like 'The Path of Totality' isn't easy.

    REVIEW STEP 1: Listen to KORN's new album.
    REVIEW STEP 2: Consider your own, personal feelings on the sound of Jonathan Davis's dick being pressed relentlessly into your ear for 37 minutes.
    REVIEW STEP 3: Convert these subjective feelings into a series of descriptive sentences and entertaining, comparative statements.
    REVIEW STEP 4: Make sure review is presented in a manner that is clear enough to be read past even the most disappointing KORN-fan's erection.
    REVIEW STEP 5: Sexually satisfy each and every butt-hurt-commentor's mum.

    I for one salute you Shukla.

    Posted by FRED FLETCH | Monday 28 November 2011 @ 16:35

    Report to moderator
  • Having John threaten to teach me "the meaning of buggery" was perhaps the most upsetting part of the whole ordeal.

    Posted by Shukla | Monday 28 November 2011 @ 20:59

    Report to moderator
  • Buggery and sodomy are different things. One can only be done to a human, while the other can be performed on any living creature with the requisite apertures.

    I always forget which is which, inevitably leading to embarrassment at dinner parties.

    Posted by Bernard | Monday 28 November 2011 @ 21:37

    Report to moderator
  • Looking at Mark Shuklas recent reviews, I did not see any other metal bands other than Deftones and Mastodon respectively. It kind of made me scratch my head a bit. Why review Korn? This really does not look like the kind of site that would even bother, then all of a sudden its on here.

    To me it seems like a quick shot to the nuts of the album, rather than a detailed review so the meta-critic score is lowered. I have doubts you have even listened to the entire thing. Thats all I have to say, sorry.

    Posted by Carlin | Monday 28 November 2011 @ 23:35

    Report to moderator
  • Hey Carlin, thanks for your posing your question in a calm and reasonable fashion. You win a similarly calm and reasonable answer:

    I'm not a regular reviewer/writer these days. I've actually been with the magazine since its inception but nowadays I generally take the odd review by bands which the staff know I have a long history with/have a particular interest in. Believe it or not, Korn is one of those bands. Of their 10 studio albums I've bought 6 of them with my own dough. Their S/T dropped when I was in school and I witnessed firsthand both their initial impact and subsequent vicissitudes. During this period metal, alt-rock and their associated offshoots were my bread and butter.

    Nowadays I still follow metal, rock and much else besides but my main interests are experimental, drone and electronic music - including but not limited to so-called dubstep and bass music.

    I feel I am very well placed to talk about this album for obvious reasons, and this review is an accurate reflection of my true feelings. I have no grudge against Korn whatsoever - I simply find the album to be artistically moribund. The review is only 150 words as that is the publishing word limit. I did have the option to upload a more detailed, web-only review but a more thorough evisceration would have served no-one's best interests.

    The Skinny has reviewed countless metal bands in the past, including Korn - there was no ulterior motive to the review. We reviewed it because Roadrunner gave us a digital copy for that purpose.

    For the record I estimate I listened to the album approx 5 or 6 times in its entirety over a period of about 3 weeks.

    Hope this answers your questions.

    Posted by Shukla | Tuesday 29 November 2011 @ 04:28

    Report to moderator
  • I appreciate the response, after reading your comment I understand where you are coming from then. I apologize if I sounded a bit rude on some bits. If they did not have a word cap I am sure you would not have the angry Korn fans all up your behind.

    I appreciate it again, take care.

    Posted by Carlin | Tuesday 29 November 2011 @ 04:35

    Report to moderator
  • Not sure where this critical consensus that this is a good album comes from.

    By the look of things it's getting some decent reviews but most place it as being firmly mediocre.

    http://www.anydecentmusic.com/review/3971/Korn-The-Path-of-Totality.aspx

    I interperet the 1 to 10 scale as 9/10 being classics that all can enjoy, 7/8 as you'll love it if that sort of music is that type of thing, 4-6 as mediocre but you might get some joy out of it if you're a fan and 1-3 as irredamably shite.

    So maybe in their own minds some Korn fans will feel justified in hurling abuse but it's not going to convince anyone else!

    Posted by Bob | Sunday 04 December 2011 @ 10:19

    Report to moderator
  • Not sure where this critical consensus that this is a good album comes from.

    By the look of things it's getting some decent reviews but most place it as being firmly mediocre.

    http://www.anydecentmusic.com/review/3971/Korn-The-Path-of-Totality.aspx

    I interperet the 1 to 10 scale as 9/10 being classics that all can enjoy, 7/8 as you'll love it if that sort of music is that type of thing, 4-6 as mediocre but you might get some joy out of it if you're a fan and 1-3 as irredamably shite.

    So maybe in their own minds some Korn fans will feel justified in hurling abuse but it's not going to convince anyone else!

    Posted by Bob | Sunday 04 December 2011 @ 10:19

    Report to moderator
  • You, dear Mark, are a fucking idiot. Not only has this become a sucessful cross into a grenre, but it has seriously come close to creating a new genre on it's own. I understand your point of view for only one reason, you are a narrow minded bafoon with no true music compasion. Your head is so stuck up your ass because you don't like a genre of music, that it's clouded your judgment. If you want toncritique music, you need to really listen to,mor be willing to experience and understand, any genre. I hate country and rap music, yet I know good country musicians and rappers, as wellnas good songs in both, becuase I love music, and anyone who does their respective genre good deserves a chance. This isnt even that heavy, try listening to straight up dubstep. You, are not just a failure in music critique, but an overall failure to any fan of music in general. If I were you, I'd give up on trying to review music, until you learn to appreciate all styles of music.

    Posted by David Turner | Sunday 04 December 2011 @ 21:36

    Report to moderator
  • DAVID TURNER WAS BROUGHT TO YOU TODAY IN ASSOCIATION WITH 'MONISTAT'.

    (TELL YOUR CHEMIST ABOUT THIS REVIEW TO GET £3 OFF A 500ML BOTTLE)

    Posted by FRED FLETCH | Sunday 04 December 2011 @ 21:53

    Report to moderator
  • Enjoyed your comments guys, gave me some entertainment on my lunch break.

    In my opinion, Korn have been pish since Take a look in the mirror, and I have no intention of listening to their new stuff any time soon.

    Posted by Crusher | Monday 05 December 2011 @ 12:53

    Report to moderator
  • David Turner, your criticism makes little sense in relation to the review. You have come steaming in like a screaming toddler armed to the teeth will ill-judged assumptions.
    At what point in the article do you arrive to the fact that he is unwilling to appreciate any genre? If you understood the first paragraph, you might have appreciated the same sentiment as yours (ironically), as Johnathan Davis is proposed as "revealing their own mercenary attitudes towards creativity" in a shallow attitude towards a genre. And if you are talking about "real" dubstep then you know that there a vast amount more to offer than the trade mark wub-wub LFO basslines and blippy electronic decoration as exhibited on this album, and this is point that critiqued in the review – not the entire genre of dubstep, nor the notion of combining it with another genre, which you have shoe-horned in as an issue which is not present. No-one is going to disagree which your sentiment towards appreciating every genre of music, but aside from that keep your fallacious statements to yourself by not inventing arguments that aren't even there.

    Posted by Lewis | Wednesday 07 December 2011 @ 12:21

    Report to moderator
  • Seems to me 5 year old wrote this.

    Posted by Kirmeister | Wednesday 07 December 2011 @ 13:57

    Report to moderator
  • THE PATH TO ILLITERACY

    Posted by Shukla | Thursday 08 December 2011 @ 00:03

    Report to moderator
  • HOLY SHIT.

    It looks like I picked the right time to buy shares in 'No More Tears Shampoo' & Vaginal-Douches.

    Posted by FRED FLETCH | Thursday 08 December 2011 @ 06:58

    Report to moderator
  • I feel bad for people who can hate a whole genre, its not just the fact that they are ignorant, but that they are missing out on so much great music.

    I love Dubstep to Trance, Metal to Classic Rock, so don't tell me there is a whole genre full of shit and not one track worth listening to.

    That said overall I love the album, however half of the songs do seem rushed and by that I mean to say they have generic 'dubstep' bass-lines and nothing to fancy. As for Korn's part in it the vocal timing which is one of the main reasons this band impresses me feels off on a lot of songs, while other songs the vocals are spot on such as "Bleeding Out".

    Posted by TheGWD | Thursday 08 December 2011 @ 14:47

    Report to moderator
  • "so don't tell me there is a whole genre full of shit and not one track worth listening to"

    No one on this page has tried to write off any particular genre apart from Jon Davis.

    Posted by Shukla | Thursday 08 December 2011 @ 23:52

    Report to moderator
  • Shukla,

    Read the review and well it was seemingly short to be a review, I know it seems to be a very odd mixture of the two genres however this is an experiment that has come to be very fruitful for the band and for its fans. I have listened to the album many times (on the way to work, at home, ect.) and from the prospective of someone who is not into dubstep, which I apologize for the assumption however, "pointless robot noises and ultrahardcore WUB WUB WUB-iness" leads me to believe that is the case. I will admit that dubstep wasnt my thing but has grown on me over time, and as Jon said fans dont know what dubstep is but relate to it because it is dark and heavy. As we the fans see it, we desire something that is very heavy. So with that in mind, the cross of nu-metal & dubstep gives us that booming sound which complements Davis' voice.

    I appreciate that you have given your opinion on the album, though short that it may be, it gives alot of incite through another persons ears. Not saying the album is a classic but it is a breakthrough. Out of a 5 star rating it deserves, at least in my book, a 3.8/5

    Posted by Deuce | Monday 12 December 2011 @ 05:49

    Report to moderator
  • "relentless, bludgeoning stupidity"

    The most deceptively simple but richly descriptive three words in music this entire year. Lovely.

    It should, in fact, be on the album poster in quotation marks, with Mark's name underneath it and an exclamation point after it. It'll sell in f**king droves.

    Posted by Alex K | Tuesday 13 December 2011 @ 03:14

    Report to moderator
  • Ayo, anyone in need of a good old laugh needs to copy and paste this shit ASAP:

    http://youtu.be/6XfsLsyHFfE#t=02m41s

    fucking lost my shit when his voice cracks at 3.00. I wish I could say this was a shreds video but it's actually "the future of metal"

    Posted by Shukla | Tuesday 13 December 2011 @ 04:53

    Report to moderator
  • Have to agree with Mark, this album is a shameless attempt to cash in on the artists who have eviscerated all that was good about dubsteop in order to sell it as stadium-filling enormo-bollocks to raver kids with no tatse. If you like dubstep, go back to the real shit: Pinch, Shackleton, Distance, Hatcha, fucksake even Caspa and Rusko (pre-albums). There is neither Dub nor Step in what Skrillex do, and pairing his tired, repetetive production with a coffeetable metal band like Korn is like placing a rotten cherry on top of a steaming turd. I'm all for bands that mess with genre-bending, but not when it's done as a blatant cash-in rather than a genuine attemmpt to create something new. This album is godawful, cynical in its approach, and has absolutely no redeeming vaue as a collection of songs - props to Mark for not pulling his punches.

    Posted by Bram | Tuesday 13 December 2011 @ 15:41

    Report to moderator
  • Maybe the butthurt commenters should be reading The List instead, they seemed to like it (4/5):

    http://www.list.co.uk/article/38914-korn-the-path-of-totality/

    "The purists (both metal and dubstep) will probably hate it, but if you are willing to have your brain assaulted from every direction by a new Frankensteinian metal/beats hybrid, you’ll find an album packed with pure adrenaline."

    Thanks, I'll stick to proper industrial music.

    Posted by Bram | Tuesday 13 December 2011 @ 15:45

    Report to moderator
  • incredible! this has made my day!

    Posted by GrambAL | Monday 19 December 2011 @ 19:51

    Report to moderator
  • "The Path of Totality makes it very clear that the only thing Jon Davis learned from nu-metal was when to spot a potential marketing opportunity"

    You're not a fan are you, go do some research on the last 5 years for jon and then come back to us, moron.

    Posted by CyPha | Friday 23 December 2011 @ 02:31

    Report to moderator
  • RESEARCHING KORN, BRB.

    Posted by Shukla | Friday 23 December 2011 @ 07:20

    Report to moderator
  • Hurry SHULKA.

    The Korn-Community is eagerly awaiting a follow up research-paper intitled 'JON DAVIS:5 Years of not being very good'

    Aim to have it done within the next 4 hours, if their erections persist beyond this time they may have to consult a Doctor.

    Posted by FRED FLETCH | Friday 23 December 2011 @ 10:25

    Report to moderator
  • 'Jon Davis: The Influence of Tracksuits in Metal and What It Means for Obama'

    'Jon Davis: Beyond the Wobble - The Pataphysics of the Donk'

    'Jon Davis: Bagpipes and a Pencil 'Stache - the Secret History of Scotland's Greatest Hero'

    etc, etc.

    Posted by Shukla | Friday 23 December 2011 @ 17:30

    Report to moderator
Leave a comment on this article