Korn : Glasgow SECC

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They've come to rescue us from the fires of Limply Bizkited damnation. While wearing skirts

As official spokesman for the League Against Nu-Metal Tedium, Korn‘s Jonathan Davis has an important announcement to make. “Glasscow”, he declares sagely, one marble-white talon held devilishly aloft, “you’re still NUMBER FUCKIN’ ONE!” “Glasscow” – essentially three thousand shrieking Scottish fans and a huddle of petrified parents – straps itself in and, acknowledging the compliment with a cochlea-rupturing “YAAAAAAAIIIIIIIYYYY!”, prepares to be rocked to its boots.

There’s always been a theatrical element to Korn‘s electro-peppered mental machine music and tonight’s show is nothing short of an avant-panto. It’s Cinderella in cinders; Mother Goose being goosed by five thirty-something Duran Duran fans with riffs for brains. To celebrate such an auspicious occasion, Davis has come dressed as Widow Twankey in a billowing skirt.

It’s rather nice, if a tad showy, for the Archdeacon of Nu-Metal Despair.

With fifth album ‘Untouchables’ mauling the charts like a big, blood-fleckedmetal wolverine, the original nu-metal band have decided to pull out all the stops and party on down to their own walloping back catalogue. And lo, it is tremendous.

If Davis’ choreographed squat-thrusts and arm-flexing stage moves are anything to go by, he’s also been hanging out at Beelzebub’s power yoga classes. The dozens of Dursts and Dicks that have sprung forth in Korn‘s wake may have stronger voices and bigger issues, but Davis is the perfect focal point for Korn‘s bladder-rupturing metal blitzkrieg. Meanwhile, the rest of Korn make like furniture. Albeit hairy, frowning furniture. In horrible trousers.

Guitarist Munky, peering out from a huge, unnecessarily brown raincoat, stands motionless, like a nu-metal Wurzel Gummidge. Jut-jawed drummer David Silveria resembles Stretch Armstrong in kohl. Everyone else just looks like a leg of tattooed ham. Still, at least they’re not Nickelback. Plus, in Korn‘s dark, dark world, lyrics take a back seat to their brain-battering riffage. Here, the music’s the thing. Or, to be precise, the NOISE is the thing. And, crikey, what a noise. ‘One More Time’ is a neo-industrial robot-rap freak-out. ‘Falling Away From Me’ is a Nazi rally melted down and poured into Nine Inch Nail’s fish pond. If Glasscow had jack-boots, it would click them approvingly. The ghosts of Ministry, Sepultura and Gary Numan, meanwhile, mosh throughout ‘Untouchables’ fx-laden tool box. And if it all gets a tad draining after a while, the arrival of ‘Let’s Get This Party Started’ is a timely reminder that Korn‘s sherbet-dip eclecticism and fervent allegiance to the Experimental Rock cause is worthy of a retrospective salute or three.

As a lesson in neuron-challenging existentialism, Korn are as meaty as Quorn. But, as sheer riff-powered ENTERTAINMENT, they are the five thoroughbred horseman of the mad-metal apocalypse, and they’ve come to rescue us from the fires of Limply Bizkited damnation. While wearing skirts. Make no mistake: Korn are still number fuckin’ one.

Sarah Dempster