The untitled eighth studio album by American rock band Korn was released on July 31, 2007, through Virgin Records and is the first album without longtime drummer David Silveria. The standard edition holds thirteen tracks, whereas the deluxe edition holds fourteen. The album was intentionally released without a title, as vocalist Jonathan Davis reasoned, “Why not just let our fans call it whatever they wanna call it?” The album was certified Gold in the US on October 30, 2007. As of January 4, 2013, it has sold 1,449,723 copies in the US according to Nielsen SoundScan.
|Studio album by Korn|
|Released||July 31, 2007|
|Recorded||October 2006 – March 2007|
|Genre||Industrial metal, alternative metal, nu metal|
|Singles from this album|
This album was the first without former drummer David Silveria, instead, Korn enlisted the help of Terry Bozzio, Brooks Wackerman, as well as Jonathan Davis for drumming. Also, the band recruited Zac Baird as keyboardist on this album. An MTV article published on May 17, 2007 includes an interview with Munky as he details the process of the new studio album, while also revealing several song titles. On May 28, vocalist Jonathan Davis joined Dutch radio station 3FM immediately after his performance at the Pinkpop Festival. He commented on the band’s upcoming album, stating it “will not be titled.” He elaborated, “We had the world’s greatest drummer Terry Bozzio in and Brooks Wackerman from Bad Religion in and I played drums on some songs too. I’m so proud of it, we just can’t wait to show people what we’ve done.” Davis went on to say “We didn’t want to label this album. It has no boundaries. It has no limits and why not just let our fans call it whatever they wanna call it?” It is the first and only Korn album to ever be recorded by the band as a three piece.
After successfully recording six tracks with Bozzio, Zac Baird announced that Bozzio would not be touring with the band on the Family Values Tour 2007. Jonathan Davis claims “things just got weird [with Bozzio].” Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion was brought in to record some tracks, and even Jonathan Davis himself contributed, something not done since 1999’s Issues. Munky stated in an interview that Bozzio had imposed himself on the band. He mentioned that among other things, Bozzio had demanded to be a full member of the band while receiving 25% interest; the band felt that this was “offensive”, therefore, Korn decided not to tour with Bozzio. Joey Jordison of Slipknot would tour with Korn on the Family Values Tour, along with the Bitch We Have a Problem Tour.
When premiering the single “Evolution” on KROQ on May 16, 2007, guitarist Munky noted that the band re-recorded much of The Matrix’s tracks with Atticus Ross because of the band being dissatisfied with how the material had turned out. This was later confirmed in a Reuters/Billboard article:
|“||This time around, amid some changes—founding drummer David Silveria is on hiatus to become a restaurateur, and The Matrix left the project early in the recording process—the band has crafted perhaps its most musically serious work since 2002’s Untouchables. On the album’s 13 tracks, Korn balances every chorus with murky keyboard atmospheres and toying arrangements, with songs that deeply explore a mood before exploding into a frenzy.||”|
“We always wanted the atmospheres, and to really go deep,” guitarist Munky told Billboard. “It wasn’t until this record that we really felt comfortable to do that. As records progress, the urge to do that becomes greater. We feel like we’ve finally solidified ourselves in the rock world, and wanted to take this one a little deeper into that direction. It’s less pop, and it’s more experimental.” Jonathan Davis said of the songs, “I don’t want to say that it’s heavy, because that pisses the other band members off. It’s still the Korn sound, but it’s also very atmospheric.”
The album was released through EMI/Virgin in various territories, starting on July 27, 2007. The band ventured on the trio’s Family Values Tour 2007 several days prior to the release and toured in support of the new record. The deluxe edition contains the bonus track “Sing Sorrow” (which precedes the thirteenth track, “I Will Protect You”), a bonus DVD containing behind-the-scenes footage, hundreds of never-before seen photos of the band. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, a personal best since Untouchables. Though debuting at number two like Untouchables, the untitled album sold less than one quarter of the units in its first week. It also fell off the charts within twelve weeks, accumulating twenty weeks altogether.
|New York Daily News||(Mixed)|
|The New York Times|
Critical response to the album has been mixed, Metacritic scoring the album 51, while the user’s average score is 7.4/10.
The most positive reviews coming from IGN, The Gauntlet, and Billboard. IGN noted that “There’s an overall cohesion from start to finish, and repeated listens continue to reveal new and intriguing elements at every turn, which bodes well for the future”, while The Gauntlet wrote ” ‘Untitled’ is the most articulate recording the band has delivered to date.” Entertainment Weekly also praised the album as being the band’s best release “since 1999’s ‘Issues’ “.
On the contrary, Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine noted that the band is going through a “middle-age slump” and that the album “doesn’t break them out of it.” Rolling Stone asserted that Korn sounds “wounded and diminished”, while PopMatters agreed, calling it “tired, bland and dated… merely going through the motions rather than creating honest music.”
|3.||“Bitch We Got a Problem”||3:22|
|7.||“Do What They Say”||4:17|
|9.||“Love and Luxury”||3:00|
|13.||“I Will Protect You”||5:29|