Korn – Take A Look In The Mirror (2003)

I had a little bit of a catch-up with Korn’s mid-to-late 2000s releases on Amazon recently. For some reason, the young-me never picked up 2003’s follow-up to Untouchables; Take A Look In The Mirror, which was unusual, especially considering that this was the last record the band did with the full original line-up. I really think Silveria’s drumming, whilst not incredibly technical, is extremely unique, and is noticeably missing from the later Korn stuff (as is Head’s guitar work). That’s not a diss on the drummers that came alongside / after him – it’s just it is hard to not notice an unique style, if you get what I mean.

Unfortunately, the “original five”‘s last record together wasn’t the most inspired thing that they’ve ever done. It isn’t necessarily bad in the grand scheme of things, but it is completely Korn-by-numbers, through and through. The whole thing smacks of their tried and tested formula, made even more consumable by the Untouchables-grade polished production. There’s even a track (“Alive”) where the instrumentation in the chorus (not the vocal) is pretty much exactly the same as “Need To” from their debut album (I’ve posted comparison videos at the end of the blog). I did some research and found out that “Alive” was the original version of “Need To” from Korn’s first demo and it has been re-recorded for this record.

On top of all that, sneak 30 seconds of bagpipes in somewhere along the way and hey fucking presto – another Korn record. Also, I get the sneaking suspicion that this record has a similar deal going on as that with Metallica’s Load and Reload; it came out suspiciously quickly after Untouchables (even more suspicious when you consider the gap between Issues and Untouchables) and has more or less the same vibe, minus the weird electronics shit that broke up the previous album.

So is  this an album of tracks left over from the previous record? Maybe, maybe not. Does this CD sound like an album of tracks left over from the previous record? Yes. Yes it does. Despite this, things are still fairly heavy – I guess helping me to appreciate this is the full-band dynamic that would become absent on future records. There are some Korn klassics here as well; most metalheads know “Right Now”, “Did My Time” and “Y’All Want A Single”, but there are also some hidden gems in here, as well as some total fucking stinkers. If you love the klassic Korn template then pick this up because it’s cheap as fuck everywhere now. If you don’t, then, well, don’t bother.