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Coming out of California, USA, Korn are one of the most influential bands of the past thirty years. Since forming in 1993, they effectively created the genre of Nu-Metal and are one of the biggest heavy metal bands in the world to this day.
The band was formed out of three members of the experimental thrash metal band L.A.P.D. When that band broke up the remaining members, or at least the ones still talking to each other, drafted in vocalist Jonathan Davis and guitarist Brian “Head” Welch and heavy metal history was made.
They instantly made a splash, legend has it that they even drew a crowd outside the studio they recorded their demo tapes in, since their music was so thrillingly different to anything being released at the time.
By 1994 they’d released their self titled debut album, which remains one of the most influential rock albums of the 1990’s and has sold 10 million copies in the years since. This is especially astounding considering that in terms of lyrical content and musical style, Korn were up their with Nirvana in terms of sheer darkness.
The music can get very difficult to listen to at points, with Davis bravely opening up about childhood traumas with unflinching honesty, all the while backed with Welch’s dissonant, wrenching guitar riffs. With that in mind, their astronomic sales and influence becomes a testament to their ability to connect with the lost and distraught more than anything else, and if that’s not a truly inspiring thing then I don’t know what is.
Korn might not be the most critically acclaimed band around but the figures and the fans speak for themselves, and no matter what Pitchfork might think, they speak louder than anything else in the world of rock and roll.