Korn rides full throttle into the Forum in Inglewood, CA, taking an arena full of metalheads on a hell ride of epic proportions.

Korn makes their fourth stop on a seventeen date summer “Serenity of Summer” tour in support of their recently released twelfth album Serenity of Suffering. In this latest studio installation, the nu-metal pioneers return to their earlier sounds filled with bludgeoning guitar riffs, ripping baselines, pummeling drums, and of course Jonathan’s trademark death scream / melodically pained crooning. And on Wednesday night, the dreaded quintet hailing from Bakersfield, CA made it abundantly clear that they were in no mood to let their foot off the gas anytime soon.

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Adding to the chaos is Stone Sour in support of their own highly anticipated new album Hydrograd (set to be released June 30), Japanese J-pop/ speed metallers Babymetal, and the “ghetto cowboy” rapper from Alabama Yelawolf.

Stone Sour proves to be a standout in amping up the thousands of tatted up fans. Their set was filled with high octane, balls to the wall, in your face rock n roll. Corey Taylor is all over the stage belting out purely adrenalized notes.

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By the time Korn was ready to hit the stage the arena was filled with thousands of sufficiently bloodied up metal-hungry fans. Adding a strange twist is 70s funk music playing over the intercom as we awaited. The lights dim to a blue glow. The sounds of guitar hum into our ears, sending the crowd into an eager frenzy. From behind the curtain, we see a countdown light up 10, 9, 8, etc.. Then finally we’re battered by the first driving notes of “Rotting In Vain”, the second track off of their new album Serenity In Suffering. This track takes us back to why we fell in love with Korn in the first place. Punishing guitars, driving baselines, in your face drums, and Jonathan Davis commanding the stage with vocals that have never sounded better. Another early standout is “Did My time” where Ray Luzier’s drums send the crowd into the first of many mosh pits.

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After a brief break in complete darkness, we hear the ominous sounds of bagpipes that can only mean “Shoots and Ladders” is up next. Jonathan stalks around the stage playing note after note, taunting the audience, sending the whole pit into a sea of flailing bodies. Finally, when he’s ready, Jonathan gives the crowd a nod and punches us with the first driving grooves from his bass. Hands fly to the sky as Head and Munky lead us directly into the manic “Twist”.

The night ends with “A Different World”, another ripping track off their new latest album Serenity of Suffering. Corey Taylor comes out to join in with vocals, leaving the crowd screaming for more. And that’s just what we got.

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The encore starts off with Jonathan belting out the sombre notes of “4 U”, moving right into Munky and Head’s brutalizing notes of “Blind.”

Having been a fan of Korn since their inception in ’94 I can in all confidence say that they have never sounded any better. This has easily been one of the best shows I’ve been able to see in quite some time. There’s still plenty of dates to catch them on this tour. Check out the links below for upcoming dates and run, don’t walk, to see them when they play a show near you.

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by Matt Stasi / photos by Matt Stasi