Metal Hammer (UK) - - Lives -

Bak­ers­field’s nu metal icons roll back the years

Seren­ity Of Suf­fer­ing saw Korn con­tinue a rich vein of form, with many of the songs sound­ing like they could have been plucked straight from their early al­bums. The fact that Brix­ton Academy is sold-out tonight despite Korn hav­ing played in Lon­don last De­cem­ber, and that the au­di­ence fea­tures a widerang­ing scope of ages in­clud­ing plenty who prob­a­bly weren’t even born when nu metal was the norm, proves that Jonathan Davis and co are pretty much as pop­u­lar as they’ve ever been.

Be­fore they hit the stage, though, HACKTIVIST [7] bring their djent-hop hy­brid to a quickly fill­ing Academy, per­form­ing with su­per­charged en­ergy to win over plenty of those in at­ten­dance. Those think­ing rap metal was dead are in for a pleas­ant sur­prise here: the venue is near-packed al­ready, and the Lon­don band prove a perfect fit for the head­lin­ers.

While many bands at the mid­dle-aged mark still slog away at the tour­ing cir­cuit to pay the bills, sport­ing midlife paunches and an ap­a­thetic ap­proach to their craft, KORN [8] are not one of these bands. Jonathan Davis in par­tic­u­lar ap­pears in great shape in his pat­terned trade­mark kilt, bound­ing across the stage with en­thu­si­asm and hit­ting the notes with a no­table con­fi­dence that he lacked in his early years. And so he should; Korn are tighter than ever.

Tonight is es­sen­tially a great­est hits set, though new tracks like Rot­ting In Vain and Black Is The Soul get solid re­sponses and blend into the set with ease. Fall­ing Away From Me is dropped sec­ond song in, for Shoots And Lad­ders the bag­pipe ap­pears, and all the while the en­ergy in the au­di­ence is elec­tric – hot as hell, but revved up and bounc­ing off the walls.

As well as a stun­ning light show, be­hind Korn is a huge screen that flashes ran­dom im­agery and il­lus­tra­tions, from geo­met­ric shapes and derelict build­ings to a haunt­ing merry-go-round, but they don’t even need the back­drop when the per­for­mance is this solid. A four-song en­core closes with the in­evitable Freak On A Leash as smoke ma­chines ex­plode and the au­di­ence belt back the words: go­ing by tonight, Korn are still here to stay.

Jonathan Davis: in fine voice Munky laughs of f mid­dle age

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