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Korn, Reborn: Tradin’ in Korn for a Crown of Thorns: Part II
By psychologist, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka, Dr. BLT
Phantom Tollbooth Listeners: Feel free to listen and download (for free) the two-song “soundtrack” to the article below:
Tradin’ in Korn (For a Crown
If you want to study the collective psyche of today’s youth as we enter the latter first decade of the new millennium in Western civilization, look no further than the band from Bakersfield. Look no further than Kern County, or “Korn” County, as I call it. Look no further than the music of Korn.
It’s devolution in action. It’s obscenity-laced dark energy. It’s simultaneous sensory deprivation and spiritual deprivation. It’s fear. It’s alienation. It’s spiritual stagnation. It’s desperation. It’s despair. It’s perversity. It’s brokenness. It’s emptiness. It’s darkness. It’s Korn.
The music of Korn is redolent of a whimpering, wailing, wild animal caught in a trap. It’s a Stygian abyss marked by intense emotional storms. It’s a sinking island engulfed by deep, impenetrable waves of sadness and boiling rage. The dark energy of Korn is hypnotic and oddly engaging.
I’ve recently visited the lyrics of “Korn” County supergroup, Korn. The lyrics mirror the music. It’s a depressing place to visit and you wouldn’t want to live there.
In the of lyrical land of Korn, the “cobb” is filled and the stalks are plentiful, but what you find in each kernel may disturb you.
In the song, Children of Korn, featuring rapper Ice Cube, the band seems to be simultaneously celebrating and bemoaning their dubious legacy by depicting their own “offspring” as “Generation triple X, we’re all about the weed and the kinky sex…”
The only silver lining behind
Korn’s lyrical black cloud of self-contempt, obscenity, and perpetual perversity
is the authenticity. Jonathon Davis is the tortured soul who stands
at the helm, deftly delivering the band’s deleterious ditties with demonic
Are Korn’s songs likely to
promote positive mental health (or “metal” health) habits? For the
most part, I wouldn’t recommend them for this purpose. I don’t want
to take the lyrics out of context or pretend to understand the context
in which each song was penned. I don’t want to claim to understand
the precise meaning behind each song. Jonathon Davis would be the
man most likely to pull that off. But to a mind that is on the brink
of breaking, it really doesn’t matter. Many of these songs could
push that person over the edge. What ultimately matters is where
the songs transport the listener. Korn’s lyrics and dark sound are
not a reflection of a healthy mind and a happy heart.? They are not positive
or uplifting.? They are not, for the most part, nourishing to the soul,
unless one assumes there is some type of vicarious catharsis that takes
place in the psyche of the listener.?
Brian “Head” Welch, who is the dues ex machina that saves the day. If you are addicted to the music of Korn, I would recommend that you check out the music and story of Brian "Head" Welch, who turned to Christ, gave up meth and left the band to seek higher ground, both musically and otherwise.? Here's the link to Head's website, Head to Christ:
Welch’s music is every bit as dark. But this dark tunnel has a bright light shining at the end, and the way out of the darkness is made simple and clear. So, if you’ve been Korn-fed, on a steady diet of Korn Bread, I’d recommend a brand new diet. If you disagree with me, I’d like to hear from you. I’d like to know why today’s youth is better off with, than without them.
Furthermore, I’d like you to imagine this: What if Korn were re-born? What if Korn were transformed? What if all of the members followed in the path of Head? How do you image their new music would sound? What would they sing about? Would Brian “Head” Welch get back with the band? Let me know your thoughts.