Grammy Award winning, multi-platinum, hard rock innovators KORN release their eleventh studio album ‘The Paradigm Shift’ on 7th October, via Prospect Park/Caroline International. The release follows their 2011 dubstep/metal hybrid ‘The Path of Totality’.
The release sees the return of the band’s co-founding guitarist, Brian ‘Head’ Welch after a eight year hiatus from the band to address his own issues with addiction. Having left the door open to their brother, a triumphant and tear-filled reunion happened on stage when the group headlined 2012’s Carolina Rebellionfestival and Head came up and reprised his legendary part on ‘Blind’. Plans were then made to move forward, and a new album was discussed.
With Head back in the fold, the group retreated to where it all began in Bakersfield. Writing new music in a hometown rehearsal spot, everything immediately felt as if it was meant to be.
“We’re all at the right place in our lives,” admits Head. “That’s the main reason I came back. There’s nothing negative out here anymore. Things had really changed. Everybody has his head on straight. The opportunity to rejoin the band presented itself and I thought, ‘I’ve know these guys for my whole life. Love is unconditional. The time to reconcile is right now.’ Every sign was there for me. When I left, I rebuilt myself. The guys did as well. It’s better than ever.”
Jonathan agrees, “When he came back, it was really like he never left. We always wanted him to come back when he was ready and everything was right. Carolina Rebellion opened all of our eyes. I’m so happy. We were all ready to take the next step together and make our best record.” “Everybody had to go through his respective trials and tribulations to have a clear vision of what we really wanted as a band,” Munky elaborates. “We wanted to have fun again. That’s what we’re doing. We have a renewed vitality. We’re all dads. We think about tomorrow. That’s something we didn’t do ten years ago. We didn’t care. We care about our health and our families. That’s given us the perspective necessary to make the best music possible. That music is going to be around forever so we want to be proud of it.”
Kicking off 2013, they holed up in the studio with producer Don Gilmore. The producer encouraged the five to focus on song craft. With that in mind, the group churned out some of their most hypnotic and heavy hooks ever. “He took everything to another level,” drummer Ray Luzier states. “He’s not just a producer. He’s also a musician, and he really got down and dirty with the structures. It was instantaneous, and I feel like he brought the best out of us.”
On the likes of ‘Punishment Time,’ foreboding guitars decay into a cinematically destructive bridge. Meanwhile, Jonathan’s vitriolic and visceral snarl drives ‘Lullaby for a Sadist’ through a clean guitar reprieve with a dose of theatrical panache. ‘Love & Meth’ tempers teetering seven-string violence with a towering refrain. Then, there’s the lead single ‘Never Never.’ A slow, hulking beat stomps into screeching electronics before bleeding out on a bouncy chorus evocative of the swooping prowess of ‘Got the Life’ and ‘Freak on a Leash.’
In some ways, the album title encapsulates the group’s very ethos. “It’s a shift in the way you look at things,” explains Munky. “I saw a piece of art on the internet related to The Paradigm Shift. It was a picture of a duck, but if you backed up, it looked like a rabbit. You can see different things from other angles. To me, it’s a new way of thinking. It’s a shift in consciousness. It’s shift in the band towards a positive direction. We’re the same people. We have the same elements. We just have a better outlook on our music.”
“Our bond is at its tightest,” concludes Head. “Munky, Fieldy, Ray, Jonathan and I strengthen each other. It’s incredible having my friends back in my life. The fans are amazing. This is all for them. We have a gift, and we’re giving it to them. They’re uplifted by what we do. That’s the biggest thing. There’s nothing better than that.”
Jonathan concludes, “These are my brothers. We’re doing exactly what we want to do. Yeah, this is a new chapter. This is also fucking Korn.”