Review: Jonathan Davis – ‘Black Labyrinth’

“I will not give in”. Davis instantly changes it up straight after though on the Middle Eastern-tinged ‘Final Days’. It’s an unexpected twist, and one that continues to surprise when the bombast that is expected any moment, doesn’t arrive. The bombast does, however, arrive on tracks like ‘Happiness’ and ‘Walk On By’, the latter perhaps being the track that Korn fans might identify with the most. On the whole, though, this is an album which might find more of a home with those who wouldn’t class themselves as fans of the Nu-Metal giants. It’s dark and emotional, but really draws the listener in. ‘Happiness’ features some guttural growls along with the lines, “You were never there for me at all, You always gotta tear me down, You, you take the best of me It’s gone, my happiness is never allowed”. It’s Jonathan Davis at his angst-ridden best, but he also sounds as strong as hell when he is singing these lines. A form of catharsis, no doubt. ‘Medicate’ is another dark moment, but this time Davis sounds vulnerable, repeating the line, “I medicate everyday”, over and over as the song fades out. The flip side arrives with ‘Basic Needs’, which is an open letter to his family and loved ones, complete with a far-out, trippy Middle Eastern mid section and one almighty drum solo which comes to life with the coolest of musical explosions. Seriously, get the sound cranked up at 4.54 minutes! Couple of things to point out; ‘Black Labyrinth’ is a brave and bold album. It’s also a grower. It might take a few listens before you pick up everything that is going on and truly appreciate it. It has some incredible playing, the drums in particular are massive; a great mixture of real drums and a drum machine, and the synths are out of this world! I knew that Jonathan Davis wouldn’t simply replicate Korn with his solo album, but this was an unexpected pleasure. Available now through Sumerian Records. Review: Dave]]>

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