When Brian Welch first started talking about Korn’s then-forthcoming album earlier in the year, he said that The Serenity of Suffering was going to be a heavier album than The Paradigm Shift. It turns out that it is a surprisingly heavy album, a nice return to the sound of their first few albums. It’s also one of their most successful albums in years. In a recent interview with Premiere Guitar, Welch says producer Nick Raskulinecz helped the band get back to basics:
He stepped in and told us a lot of stuff that was difficult to hear, which was basically, ‘What happened to Korn?’” recalls guitarist and cofounder James “Munky” Shaffer. “He said, ‘Where’s the heavy riffs? Where’s Fieldy’s [Reginald Arvizu] bass? There’s no funky weird-sounding guitars. That’s what you guys are good at, but on the last few records I haven’t heard that.’ It was like, ‘Wow, I guess he’s right.’ It was hard to hear, but at the same time, it was something we needed to hear.”
But he also says the album could have been even heavier, as the band wrote with eight string guitars and Jonathan Davis compared the stuff he was hearing to Meshuggah:
We started first in early June  in Hollywood, just ripping out half-song ideas. When we started writing, we used 8-string guitars. We were like, “I want to try something different.” It was so fun and sparked a different way to write just because it sounded different, and then we brought the idea to the studio and let Jonathan [Davis, vocals] hear it, and he was like, “This doesn’t sound like Korn.” And then we went back to the basics. He said it wasn’t in his vocal range and was like, “You guys sound like Meshuggah now.” We took a couple of those songs and made them into 7-string, just the regular tuning, and only a couple of them worked. The other ones we had to throw away because it didn’t sound good on 7-string.
Hopefully those demos still exist, because it’d be fascinating to hear the songs even heavier. Meshuggah is probably an exaggeration, but congrats to Davis for knowing who they are at least. Regardless, here’s hoping that we get to hear them on the 10th annivesary edition of the album or something.
[via Metal Injection]