Regarding the album, vocalist Jonathan Davis stated: "I want to trail-blaze. I want to change things. I want to do things we're not supposed to do. I want to create art that's different and not conform to what's going on. We didn't make a dubstep album. We made a Korn album." The album was made available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes on October 21, 2011; as well as special bundle packages available on Korn.com.
On September 4, 2012 Korn released Korn: The Path of Totality Tour - Live At The Hollywood Palladium on DVD, Blu-ray, and CD through Shout! Factory
The album features production by Skrillex, Datsik, Feed Me, Excision, 12th Planet, Flinch, Downlink, Kill the Noise, and Noisia. Datsik, Downlink, and Jim "Bud" Monti contributed to the mixing process. The band recorded The Path of Totality with electronic producers back in Davis's home studio in Bakersfield during inspired sessions. It was revealed by Jonathan Davis that vocals were actually tracked in the singer's home theater or in closets and hotels everywhere from Korea to Japan.
Music and Lyrical ThemesEdit
The Path of Totality is claimed by the band to be a fusion of their traditional sound with dubstep and drum and bass.It is however mostly filled with dubstep/drum and bass due to a lack of their trademark distorted seven-string guitar and lack of five string bass. Korn collaborated with a number of producers for the album with each producing their own individual tracks. Roadrunner released the following statement:
|“||The Path of Totality is unlike any previous Korn release; it's an experimental record which finds the band shifting gears and exploring new territory. For the record, Korn collaborated with some of the leading dubstep and electronic music producers in the world, including Skrillex, Excision, Datsik, Noisia, Kill the Noise, and 12th Planet. The result is something completely new, yet utterly and definitively Korn.||”|
Korn frontman Jonathan Davis describes the new album as "very well-rounded, with a mix of mellow, upbeat tracks; possibly the most well-proportioned Korn album of all time." In a new biography on Roadrunner Records' official website, Jonathan Davis declares The Path of Totality as "future metal." "We're mixing metal and electro music, and you're not supposed to do that. Since day one, Korn has always been all about going against the grain, experimenting, and trying to take music different places." Metal Hammer, in their November 2011 review of the album, described the album as the birth of "metal-step".
Album Title and PackagingEdit
The album title was revealed as The Path of Totality. "The title The Path of Totality refers to the fact that in order to see the sun in a full solar eclipse, you must be in the exact right place in the exact right time," says Jonathan Davis, explaining the story behind the name. "That's how this album came together. I think all the producers feel the same way. I'm not sure it could ever happen again."
"I wanted to come up with a name that felt otherworldly," Shaffer explains. "A shadow is cast on the earth when a solar eclipse occurs. The moon has to be perfectly aligned with the sun to create this flawless shadow that completely covers the sun from the earth. Similarly, all of the producers and writers had to come together at the perfect time to cast these songs onto tape."
The album is a standard 11-track album, with the deluxe edition featuring extra songs and The Encounter as a bonus DVD. The band's website is also offering special pre-order packages that include a Path of Totality T-shirt and signed lithograph as well as the CD/DVD deluxe combo. Hot Topic offered a signed lithograph with pre-orders for a limited time.
Korn commenced a world tour to promote the album named The Path of Totality Tour, which offers special VIP packages. "Get Up!" was released as a promotional single, becoming a top ten hit on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart. The digital single has sold over 200,000 downloads in the US according to Nielsen SoundScan. A lyric video for the single was released on YouTube which accumulated over 3 million views and more than 35,000 likes. The second single, "Narcissistic Cannibal", was released to radio stations and digital music outlets on October 18 and 24, respectively; a music video was filmed in Hollywood by ShadowMachine. A number of new songs have been added to the tour's setlist, including "Kill Mercy Within", "My Wall", and "Way Too Far". "Narcissistic Cannibal" leaked onto YouTube on October 11. It was later released for free download on Korn's official website as a WAV file. A lyric video was also released on both Korn's official YouTube channel and Roadrunner's channel as well. It has since accumulated more than 461,000 views and 6,200 likes. Hot Topic premiered a new track, "Sanctuary", on November 16. Roadrunner Records and Korn started streaming the album in full on December 1, as well as offering lead single "Get Up!" as a free download. "Way Too Far" and "Chaos Lives in Everything" were released as the album's third and fourth singles, respectively.
The album received mixed reviews. Rock Sound gave the album an 8/10 rating, remarking that "It may not be perfect, but Korn have thrown caution to the wind and set out an impressive template for a future sound, for a band doing that nearly 20 years into their career, they deserve your respect." They do note however that the album sounds "a little formulaic" and "monotonous" at times. Spin gave the album a 7/10, saying "Thing is, dubstep's slithering textures actually suit Davis' demented croon". Henry Northmore from The List gave the album a rating of 4/5 saying that "the purists (both metal and dubstep) will probably hate it, but if you are willing to have your brain assaulted from every direction by a new Frankensteinian metal/beats hybrid, you’ll find an album packed with pure adrenaline." Allmusic gave the album 4/5 saying that "despite all the electronics, there’s no mistaking The Path of Totality as a Korn album...and one of their better ones to boot." Alistair Lawrence from BBC Music criticized the album saying that "once the novelty of the squelching, space-aged din they’ve birthed fades, what’s apparent is how little Korn have to say for themselves these days." Sputnikmusic strongly criticized the album giving it a score of 0.5/5 stating that "The Path Of Totality is a truly horrible album, built on a foundation of tired and overwrought stereotypes put together not by just a clueless band, but a bunch of equally confused artists who truly have no proper understanding of the genre they claim to be a part of." Mark Shukla from The Skinny has also given the album the lowest score 1/5, citing "filled to buggery with pointless robot noises and ultrahardcore WUB WUB WUB-iness, The Path of Totality finds Korn welding their own brand of tired miserabilism to aggro productions from the likes of Skrillex, Excision and Downlink." No Ripcord gave the album a 1/10 stating that "it is samey, ugly and spectacularly stupid at the same time." Jason Heller from The A.V. Club gave the album an 'F' stating: "To Korn’s credit, The Path Of Totality is its most radical reinvention to date. It’s also the worst slab of sludge it ever shat." The album received mixed reviews.
NME gave the album a 6/10 saying that it's "not quite a car crash, but a near miss" and jokingly asking: "What do you do when you’re 10 albums into your career, sliding down festival bills and trying to bury the tag of creators of a genre you now despise? If you’re Korn, you Google ‘2011 music’ and rope in a bunch of DJs for a ‘dubstep’ album, of course." On April 11, 2012, The Path of Totality won "Album of the Year" at the 2012 Revolver Golden Gods Awards. This was Korn's first ever win at the Golden Gods Awards. Revolver has named The Path of Totality album of the year in their 100th issue.
1. Chaos Lives in Everything (Skrillex, Jim Monti) 3:47
2. Kill Mercy Within (Noisia, Jim Monti) 3:35
3. My Wall (Excision, Jim Monti, Downlink) 2:55
4. Narcissistic Cannibal (Skrillex, Jim Monti, Kill The Noise) 3:10
5. Illuminati (Excision, Downlink, Jim Monti) 3:16
6. Burn The Obedient (Noisia, Jim Monti) 2:38
7. Sanctuary (Downlink, J Devil, Jim Monti) 3:24
8. Let's Go (Noisia, Jim Monti) 2:40
9. Get Up! (Skrillex, Jim Monti) 3:42
10. Way Too Far (12th Planet, Flinch, Downlink, Jim Monti) 3:49
11. Bleeding Out (Feed Me, Jim Monti) 4:49
12. Fuels The Comedy (Kill The Noise, Jim Monti) 2:49
13. Tension (Excision, Datsik, Downlink, Jim Monti) 3:56
The Path of Totality sold 55,000 copies in its first week to debut at number ten on the Billboard 200, making it Korn's eleventh album to peak within the top-10. The album has sold around 250,000 copies in the US as of August 24, 2012.
Jonathan Davis - lead vocals, electronic bagpipes
James "Munky" Shaffer - guitars
Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu - bass, additional guitars
Ray Luzier - drums, percussion
Production and dubstep tracksEdit
Skrillex - tracks 1, 4 and 9
Datsik - track 13
Feed Me - track 11
Excision - tracks 3, 5 and 13
12th Planet - track 10
Downlink - tracks 5, 7 and 13
Kill The Noise - tracks 4 and 12
Noisia - tracks 2, 6 and 8
Jonathan Davis - executive producer
Jim Monti - engineering, mixing, additional production
Downlink - mixing
Datsik - mixing (track 13)
Ted Jensen - mastering