Twenty-five years ago Korn released their debut self-titled album and changed the face of music. Yeah we know you think anything “Nu’ and metal bites. You can see yourself out right now. Whether you like all things Adidas tracksuits and Hip-Hop beats with downtuned riffs or not, what Korn put down on that first album changed heavy music for the better. All heavy music.
Korn’s roots in the OC metal scene were well-known, where some similar bands like Coal Chamber had been around for a minute, and Deftones to the North in Sacramento had their demo and skater fans. Korn evolved from their precursor L.A.P.D. (Love and Peace Dude), and their love of Faith No More and The Red Hot Chili Peppers and distilled that down with Rage Against The Machine grooves and the more grungy moments of early Tool.
What really made Korn flow was those 7-string guitars and incredible drums. Korn’s use of simple riffs to make a swampy sound and David Silveria’s blend of tribal beats and Hip-Hop made every song memorable and heavy.
The bands unconventional sound owed as much to their genre hopping as Ross Robinson’s production. All of that coupled with Fieldy’s bass prowess and Jonathan’s vocals made for a magical sound.
Then there were the songs. Heavy grooves and hooks with all that urban flavor was just the thing for kids who liked Cannibal Corpse and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Sure ”Blind’, ‘Clown’, and ‘Shoots and Ladders’ would go on to become minor hits at radio, the deep cuts also had legs. Tracks like ‘Ball Tongue’, ‘Divine’, ‘Need To’, and ‘Fake’, ‘Helmet On The Bush’ became fan favorites staples of their live shows for a decade.
Impossibly Korn took off after a year of tireless promotion and non stop touring. The album has sold over 10 million copies to date and was copied by countless bands new and old.
Who then now?