Whether you’re a fan of Korn or not, it’s impossible to deny their uniqueness. Not only did the quintet singlehandedly invent the nu metal subgenre on their 1994 debut album, but their swagger and imagery are just as iconic as their influential tunes. After all, for 25 years, they’ve been fronted by Jonathan Davis: a pioneer of a vocalist standing in a kilt and wielding bagpipes behind a H.R. Giger-designed microphone stand.
In 2018, however, the lauded frontman became eclectic in a different regard, fusing genres from metal to synthwave to industrial to world music on his long-awaited solo album, Black Labyrinth.
The entire affair was looking adventurous from the very get-go, as January’s lead single “What It Is” offered fans a first taste and took the form of a piano-driven alternative metal ballad. But that was just the tip of the iceberg: nobody would have been able to predict the sheer aural lunacy of the sitar- and bongo-infused “Basic Needs”, the ominous dissonance of “Gender” and the primal guitar riffing of “Walk on By”.
Black Labyrinth is akin to a journey through Wonderland, becoming more and more brilliantly twisted as you explore deeper and deeper.