(8/10) What came a bit of leftfield last week was the new album of Korn frontman Jonathan Davis. At least I haven’t had it on my list and the more I was excited to listen to the newest delivery of the charismatic Korn-frontman. Next to all his years with Korn, Davis also has a longer track record when it comes to guest appearances, like when he lent his voice to Linkin Park, and also contributions to video games are part of Davis’ musical vita.
A thing that was missing up to date is a solo album; and here it is. ‘Black Labyrinth’ is the title of a record that features 13 songs. This debut isn’t a quick shot out of the hips. The starting point was already in 2007 and since then Davis’ continued work on tunes that found a spot on this tracklist. He doesn’t solely focus on the vocals. Davis also contributed guitar and keys to an album that unveils its beauty along the way. The first time I listened to the songs didn’t leave too much of an impression on me, but spinning ‘Black Labyrinth’ a few more times opened up all the dark pleasure that comes with it.
While the mothership Korn is loud, wild and heavy it’s more subtle gloominess that comes with these songs. ‘Black Labyrinth’ is different, it’s not Korn and it isn’t a sunshine-celebrating longplayer. The inspiration for this disc comes from the Ganzfeld Experiment which is a technique used in parapsychology. The theme impacts the mood of the album and there is an underlying melancholy that is weaved into each of the tracks.
From a musical point of view things on ‘Black Labyrinth’ are calmer than what we know from Korn. There are some guitar outbursts, but there are also moment when keyboards take the lead. Such a combination helps to get more depth into the album and opens up the width of sounds. There are moments when I was reminded of Richard Kruspe’s Emigrate project and there are other songs that let me think of Marilyn Manson. Last but not least there are tunes of which the level of darkness made me think of German End Of Green.
Jonathan Davis’ solos debut is an impressive album that might need some time to grow. It shows a creative mind at work and compared to the well-planned way of recording Korn albums this longplayer was done ‘live’ which gives the final result another touch than what we’re used of Davis’ Korn contribution. ‘Black Labyrinth’ is worth to be checked out.
- Underneath My Skin
- Final Days
- Your God
- Walk On By
- The Secret
- Basic Needs
- Please Tell Me
- What You Believe
- What It Is
Label: Sumerian Records
Genre: Dark Modern Rock
Release Date EU: May 25th, 2018