Album Review: Korn ‘The Paradigm Shift’


Prepare yourself for a new Korn album that is simultaneously unfamiliar and surprisingly nostalgic. This album is the essence of the Korn you remember with a little more vulnerability and all the angst Korn fans have come to expect. However, I have the suspicion that more die-hard fans may disagree with my opinions on the album. After all, it seems oftentimes said fans are much more difficult to please due to their unrealistic, lofty, romanticized views of the bands they love so dearly. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand such feelings, especially when so much nostalgia influences the way you view a band you’ve loved for the last 20 years. New is scary. But let me assure you, The Paradigm Shift is absolutely 100% worthy of your ears! Jonathan Davis’ voice hasn’t changed even the slightest bit throughout his career which delivers the delightful illusion that not a day has gone by since their first song aired on the radio. Yet each song has it’s own personality and hitting shuffle on your Korn playlist will never feel repetitive because your ears will be flooded with an undulating, pulsating stream of ear candy.

The first track, Prey For Me, is quintessential Korn and sets the tone for the entire album with intensely grinding bass guitars and lyrics dripping with sarcasm and bitterness. The lyrics basically say “I know I have issues and I’m sorry but here’s a list of excuses to explain why I’ll never change.” This is a very vague synopsis but it’s the best way I can describe the song without spoiling it for anyone. I’m not entirely sure what the purpose of using “Prey” instead of “Pray” is supposed to allude to, so I’ll leave it up to you to figure out.

As the album progresses, the continuity of it all is something I feel most bands never entirely master. But, The Paradigm Shift does so effortlessly. Listening to Spike In My Veins, I can see Davis’ head tilting back eerily as his eyes roll back in their sockets, giving an air of dismissiveness and apathy to the track while the lyrics paint a picture of unrequited affection and a bipolar emotional roller coaster ride.

It’s All Wrong wraps the album up just as flawlessly as it started. The track speaks of being in a state of emotional purgatory: the constant cycle of “who am I, where did I go wrong, how do I escape?” while wriggling helplessly under the weight of crippling apathy that stops any hope of overcoming said obstacles. While some might find lyrical content like this to be depressing, I would wager that Korn fans will find the album to be just as cathartic and therapeutic as any other album the band has ever released. Even if you’re not seeking solace in the songs, The Paradigm Shift is a damn good album in general.


Track Listing
1. Prey For Me
2. Love & Meth
3. What We Do
4. Spike In My Veins
5. Mass Hysteria
6. Paranoid And Aroused
7. Never Never
8. Punishment Time
9. Lullaby For A Sadist
10. Victimized
11. It’s All Wrong

Deluxe Edition
12. Wish I Wasn’t Born Today
13. Tell Me What You Want


Korn – Never Never
Never Never

Korn – Love & Meth
Love & Meth

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Aerialist. Brass Acrobat. Nudist. Snake Charmer. Painted Lady. Jill-of-all-trades. Heathen. Expert in all things nerdy.

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