Live At Montreux -- 2004 (DVD)


Eagle Rock, 2008

REVIEW BY: Bruce Rusk


Among the flood of bands that surged forth with the nu-metal movement of the ‘90s, few have achieved the success and adulation that has been laid upon Korn. Korn cast its own original mold, fusing Metallica-influenced heavy metal, a dose of hip hop, and industrial psychedelia.

Guitarists Brian "Head" Welch and James "Munky" Shaffer created a two-headed sonic sound machine unlike any other. Never really soloing or practicing traditional heavy metal guitar playing, they simply laid down dense riffs and a wide variety of atonal sounds, emulating “pseudo-samples” to emphasize the West Coast hip hop flavor that was an important part of their formative sound.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Singer Jon Davis set a standard for the times with his maniacal wailings and rantings, each song becoming an emotional catharsis. He deftly makes up for a somewhat limited range with a stupefying repertoire of vocal hysterics and moaning, wailing angst, which is then laid on top of the manic, funked-up bass stylings of Reginald “Feildy” Arvizu (typically more felt than heard), and one of modern rock’s most talented drummers, David Silveria.

One of their last outings with all five original members was captured on this live performance DVD, a show that was powerful but sadly lacking in both heart and grit. I blame the video editors, frankly. They seem to have cut out almost all the action between songs and the Montreux audience is barely acknowledged. Other than a few bits of Davis encouraging the audience to put their hands up or make noise, there is almost no interaction whatsoever, at least not any which survived the editing process. The first part of the show is a bit low-key for the crown princes of modern metal, but they kick the energy up a few notches when they dig into their early catalog. “Blind” kicks off a run of older songs, along with a smoking version of “Shoots & Ladders,”a chunk of Metallica’s “One,” and a really excellent cover of “Another Brick In The Wall.”

This is not the best this band has to offer. It’s still a nice slice of their career, if only because it’s one the last performances with Welch prior to his leaving the band. I have to say, though, that the boys looked a little tired. I've seen them live several times and the usual high energy that I've become used to wasn't in evidence here. I guess touring will do that to you, but I was largely unimpressed frankly. The sound is excellent, very crisp and nicely mixed. So audio-wise, it’s a great listen, but watching it became tedious. Again, I largely blame the post-production work, which retained the songs in a rather sterile format but lost the essence and spirit of a live show.

Rating: C+

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© 2008 Bruce Rusk and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Eagle Rock, and is used for informational purposes only.