The iconic guitarist Brian 'Head' Welch has officially announced his return with former band Korn since leaving in 2005. Welch, one of the co-founders of Korn, had left the band to focus on his solo career and family after turning to Christianity. In 2008, the album Save Me From Myself was released and reflected much of Welch's life and experiences while maintaining a very 'Korn-esque' flavour.
While Korn fans would have more than likely felt the absence of the enigmatic Head, the band went on to produce a series of albums while experimenting with different sounds. Their tenth album, The Path of Totality (2011), had a twist of dubstep while most of their work after Welch's departure lacked his trademark atmospheric and detuned riffs.
News of the iconic member reuniting with Korn after nearly 10 years was announced by the musician through Twitter. The rejuvenated band is believed to have been in the studio working on the follow-up to The Path of Totality.
The short and poignant video montage was released on YouTube 4 days ago, and features Welch with the full Korn line-up, in the studio, calibrating, synchronising and gearing up for what seems to have all the ingredients for a trade mark, dark and delicate Korn project. While dark art and music lovers, audiophiles and escapists with a taste for edgy, dark and powerful rock fusion have more than one reason to be overjoyed, the one incredible point worth noting is the fact that Welch has rejoined James Munky Shaffer. The pair re-imagined the possibilities of electric guitars in the early 90s, when they experimented and set the stage with their avant-garde sounds. Shaffer and Welch created and engineered Korn's very distinct sonic flavour with the distorted seven-strings in an era where most only knew of six-strings. Their creativity paid off as Guitar World ranked both Welch and Munky in the 100 greatest metal guitarists of all time.
The early 1990s was an era marked by Kurt Cobains grunge phenomena, however Korns unique take in shaping the rock-rap culture echoed worldwide when their 1998 album Follow The Leader hit mainstream success, starting at number one in the Billboard 200 with 268, 000 copies sold. Furthermore, Korn influenced the Nu-metal scene by helping Limp Bizkit to a record deal, after bassist Reginald Fieldy Arvizu relayed their demo to producer Ross Robinson.
The band's take on rock lead to a whole fusion of sub-cultures, with their artistry encapsulating a variety of influences, and more importantly, creating their own brand. Much of the branding was through Welch and Shaffer's unique creative endeavours with the strings; where turntable sounds were created from guitars; and the abrasive, distinctive and dissonant sound of Korn was established.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Welch gave more details regarding his emotional meeting with Korn.
"I played one song last May ," Welch tells Rolling Stone. "I showed up at that festival I was on tour with POD, and we had a few days off. They had a big festival, and Korn, Evanescence and Five Finger Death Punch were playing. I wanted to go and my daughter loves those bands. So I took her, and I was just going to go hang out. "Then I met up with Munky, who I hadn't seen in seven years, and talked with him for 30 minutes. It was really heavy. Then, 10 minutes before they went onstage, Fieldy is like, 'I'm just saying, we have a guitar set up for you.' I'm like, 'What? I just want to see you guys! All right, I'll play 'Blind.' It was just crazy, because it was really emotional. That's what set it up. Munky called me a month after that, and he said, 'Hey, if you ever want to come back, the door's open. We miss you.'"
Should rock fans look forward to Korn's new projects? Any other rock legends owe the same treatment to their fans? Is the time right for Nu-metal? Any sounds dark art lovers should be listening to? Please feel free to have your say in the comment section below.
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