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Korn-Untouchables Review

By Shawn McKenzie 06/17/2002

I have been a Korn fan since I heard their first album in college in 1994. In fact, I was the first person to play their song "Shoots and Ladders" on my college radio station. The other DJ's didn't want to play it because they thought a metal song with a bagpipe intro and nursery rhyme lyrics was too stupid to play on their shows. I thought it was original sounding. Then their label released the song as a single. Suddenly all the jocks loved the song! I went through that a lot in college...

The point being, Korn, at least at that time, was an original, unique-sounding band. They combined rap and metal, they had Jonathan Davis's weird vocals and bagpipe, and they had some really hard, crunchy guitar licks. On Untouchables, some of that is gone...and missed.

Gone is the rap, the bagpipe, and the originality. Actually, they lost the originality soon after their second album, because by that time, there were so many imitators that all of Korn's songs just seem to blend into one another. It almost seemed like they were making cool new strides in music videos rather than try to evolve musically.

This new album doesn't find Korn rapping at all (which I'm okay with since every band and their grandma is doing the rap/rock thing today), but along with the rapping they also used to have some original, interesting sound guitar-playing by James "Munky" Shaffer and fast, rythmic bass-playing by Fieldy. Plus I kinda miss the bagpipe!

There is one song on the album that you could dance to (if you feel you need to dance to a Korn song.) The very last track, which is a hidden track, is the remix of "Here To Stay." It takes away the crunch of the original version's guitar and replaces it with a pretty generic hip-hop beat. It really points out that Davis's vocals need the guitar backing it or he just sounds goofy.

Untouchables is still a hard album, but it kind of takes a dip in hardness throughout the middle of it. After the promising opening track, the first single "Here To Stay," the album dips into creepy, slow goth-rock territory. Not that Korn has ever been a sunny, cheery band, but the music just starts sounding like the soundtrack for a gothic horror movie (maybe Davis spent too much time on the Queen of the Damned soundtrack?) The creepiness is just musically (and of course vocally, as Davis's vocals usually are), but not necessarily lyrically, or at least nothing stood out in my head. Normally a Korn album disturbs me as much as it rocks me, but not in this case. The goth style displaces most of the hard riffs until track 10, "Embrace," where it starts to pick up again. From then on until the end, the album rocks hard, and it actually has some original sounds in the music and vocals (only slightly though.)

Untouchables is certainly not Korn's best album, but if you look at all the other bands out there trying so hard to copy their sound, it only makes sense that they would dump parts of what made them famous so they can sound a little different than the rest. It just sounds like they may have dumped some of the wrong parts! (R.I.P. Mr. Bagpipe!)

Check out the album for yourself:

Also give their groundbreaking self-titled first album a try, featuring "Blind" and "Shoots and Ladders":

Also available is their second album, featuring "A.D.I.D.A.S.":

Their third album features "Freak on a Leash":

The fourth album features "Falling Away From Me":

Buy these albums at

Ratings System:


Buy this album when you get the money...

Burn a copy of your friend's album...

Listen to your friend's album at his/her house...

Throw away your friend's album or use it as a coaster!

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