Review of Korn: Live at Montreux
Label
Eagle Eye Media
Korn: Live at Montreux 2004

Reviewed by R. David Smola

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n 2004, Korn was still a five-piece band. This DVD was filmed before Brian “Head” Welch left because he could not reconcile the hedonistic lifestyle of a metal band’s guitarist with his new values as a born-again Christian – and also before the indefinite hiatus of drummer David Silveria, who still has not returned to the band since taking a time out in 2007. This DVD features the band at full strength, and accents the material that blasted the band into nu-metal juggernaut status.

The track list is culled from the six discs they put out prior to 2004, including four songs from the album they were touring in support of at the time (2003’s Take a Look in the Mirror). Arguably, this set does focus on their strongest material, because the two latest records are hit and miss – See You on the Other Side was interesting, while Untitled was unremarkable. The charm of this DVD is that it features, probably for the last time, the original lineup of the band. I don’t imagine that “Head” will ever come back, and Silveria’s status appears to be a mystery – and live, their contributions cannot be undervalued. Silveria is a beast on the kit, hammering out the funky and muscular drum work.

Despite some of the clichéd behavior, and the constant use of “fuck” as between-song banter, the star of the show is the relentless guitar attack undercut with brilliant drumming and nasty deep bass playing within these anthems of angst and frustration. Yes, Korn mixes elements of rap and hip-hop within the metal structure, but you hear plenty of funk and a bit of psychedelia to spice things up. Jonathan Davis may want to consult a thesaurus at some point, because not only is “fuck” prominent in his banter, it is a base word for many of the songs, including the incredibly catchy closer, “Y’All Want a Single.” The word is utilized nearly as much as Al Pacino muttered it in “Scarface.” No, this is not a prudish judgment. Fuck is a great word, but like anything else, it loses its punch when overused.

The one-minute tease of Metallica’s “One” is a gas, as is the cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in The Wall.” “Falling Away From Me” and “Freak on a Leash” are stand-out tracks, too. Eagle Rock does an excellent job of producing these concert films; there are plenty of shots of the band members plying their craft, and further angles displaying the total reaction of the audience to the music. Korn is an important band, in that it really honed and developed the nu metal genre and is still surviving today. This is a nice document of their best material with their strongest lineup.

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