Metalcamp - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Korn, headliner of the Wednesday (third day) of Metalcamp, ought not need any further introduction; by now people should know whether they love them or hate them.
For our part here at Metalmoments, we quite agree with each other on the early stuff having some kind of sentimental value to us, in addition to being fun to hear played live once in a while, but neither of us have kept much up to date with the band since the turn of the millennium.

Had we done that, I might have known at the time that the calm, electronical intro we were given before the concert was in fact the song Serenity by JDevil, the name Jonathan Davis uses in his role as an EDM (electronic dance music) artist.
I didn’t know this however, and thus only found the intro a bit out of place, and very long. Other things that felt out of place was the new bassist Korn had with them, which turned out to be Ryan Martinie from Mudvayne. He was filling in for Reginald 'Fieldy' Arvizu as he had stayed home to be with his wife and their newly born son.
Back at the show though, as soon as the odd intro was done, the band came straight on and picked up the pace in a well-needed way, starting off with Divine and Predictable from their debut album; not the most common choices from this album, but that kind of change isn’t necessarily bad.
Korn kept the old stuff coming for a short while longer, before moving into a long stretch of newer material which I was unfamiliar with, and the combination of this and the bad take that the band had on the audience made me lose interest for a while in the show. It wasn’t that the band didn’t move about or anything, in fact Korn was probably one of the liveliest bands we had seen all day, but surprisingly enough (this is a well-established band after all, with a long story by now) they had a hard time moving the energy over the edge of the stage – it looked like a party, but it didn’t feel like we were invited. One of the major reasons for this, to my mind, was that frontman Davis spoiled almost every chance he had in speaking to the audience, and it wasn’t because the band was moving along the setlist with a tremendous speed either. In fact, there were several long pauses between songs, something which surely also brought the overall energy down...

Now, don’t get me wrong, there was a huge crowd for the show, and already during the first song a massive moshpit took form, but we didn’t get further than the second song before it began dying down again already in the second song, and by the fourth song things were beginning to be thrown onto the stage (fruit I think, by the looks of it).
Apart from this, the crowd was generally calm, no to say standing completely still, and especially for the stretch of newer songs nothing really happened at all, it wasn’t until further into the set where Korn returned to their more well-known live favourites that things began moving a bit again.

Throughout the newer songs, it was made quite clear that Davis has incorporated more and more of his alter-ego, JDevil, into Korn’s music as well, noticeable by the vast amount of electronical music laid in over the metal parts (I’ve also later noticed that this black-eyed and toothed persona shows up in a few of their newer videos as well), but as I mentioned the band began trailing a bit backwards in their career again, starting this trend off with Here To Stay from their 2002 album Untouchables, then moving on to Freak On A Leash and Falling Away From Me.
After this Korn surprised me with a portmanteau of the Another Brick In The Wall suite by Pink Floyd, and it was quite an enjoyable ride even if I prefer the original. Then came the solo. A long and winding, not to say tedious, guitar solo which I could definitely have done without, much the bass solo earlier on and the drum solo which was yet to come. Korn did regain a bit of respect after this though, as they shortly visited Pink Floyd again with Goodbye Cruel World.
Here we arrived at yet another one of those demotivating breaks, after which Davis returned to the stage for what was probably supposed to look like an encore (I don’t think anyone believed they were really going), bag-pipe under his arm that signalled the beginning of Shoots And Ladders, which towards the end interestingly enough broke off into another cover, One by Metallica. Finally, the band began realising that there was a crowd present as well, and that they maybe should do something to grab their attention. Not a bad idea in itself, but a bit late in the evening maybe?
Well, another song and solo later, we arrived at the final song for the evening, Blind, and it was greeted by enthusiastic fans from all over the grounds, and as the outro, a weird jazzy version of Freak On A Leash, began rolling out over the Slovenian mountain tops, the band parted ways with just about a million or so drum-sticks, guitar picks and drum-skins, all of which they let fly out to the collection fans in the audience. A bit overkill if you ask me, but I’m sure it pleased many a festival goer.

I cannot deny that Korn put on a killer production, both expensive and good looking, here at Metalcamp, but my problem with it was that it looked incredibly rehearsed and I didn’t feel that a single song on the long setlist was delivered from the heart. A sad state of affairs, but that’s how it was.


Serenity (JDevil song)
Solo (Ryan Martinie)
No Place To Hide
Good God
Narcissistic Cannibal
Kill Mercy Within
Chaos Lives In Everything
My Wall
Get Up!
Way Too Far
Here To Stay
Freak On A Leash
Falling Away From Me
Another Brick In The Wall
Solo (James ‘Munky’ Shaffer)
Goodbye Cruel World
Shoots And Ladders / One
Got The Life
Solo (Ray Luzier)

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