For a long time now, over 20 years actually, I’ve been a fan of Korn. Their early albums were some of the albums that shaped my teenage years. The lyrics of Jonathan Davis have always stood out. The guy bares his soul for the world and people to feel like they aren’t alone. Since Korn hit the scene, Jonathan has been one of the best frontmen in rock. The delivery of the songs each and every night while on stage is almost like a purge of demons from inside. During the height of Korn, Jonathan was asked to work on the soundtrack for the film Queen Of The Damned. The movie was pretty bad but, the soundtrack was excellent. There were 5 original songs written for the film by Jonathan though, label interference got in the way of releasing the songs on the soundtrack with Jonathan singing on them. Either way, at this point, I started to wonder what a solo Jonathan Davis album might sound like.
Fast forward many years till now, 2018, and we now have the first solo album, Black Labyrinth by Jonathan Davis. This album has been in the works for over 10 year and is pretty much a departure from what Korn is. Everything from the instrumentation, production, musical styles, and some of the lyrical content is different. There are moments on the album that hark back to the new wave/ new romantic era of the 80’s, along with some interesting goth vibes. There is even a bit of an early 90’s alternative sound, more in the realm of a band like Porno For Pyros. Something else that makes Black Labryinth interesting and different are the explorations of different styles from all over the world. The use of certain flutes, percussion, and other instruments, give this album a trippy almost psychedelic sense. The exploration of genres on this record is really cool. As well as the genres I mentioned above, there is a bit of an industrial/electronic vibe going on. Different guests appeared on the album like Wes Borland, Ray Luzier, Miles Mosley and more. There are so many songs that really stand out like “Final Days, “Everyone,” “Basic Needs (which is my favorite song on the record),” Your God,” “The Secret,” “Please Tell Me,” “What You Believe,” and “What It Is.” The entire album is an experience from start to finish. Those songs mentioned are just the ones that have really hit home a bit more for me
Black Labyrinth showcases how talented Davis is as a songwriter. His knack for writing powerful songs both musically and lyrically is astounding. The fact that he’s remained relevant for over 20 years shows the power music has, as well as a loyal fanbase. Never mind the fact that most of these songs were written about 10 years ago, they still hold meaning and fit perfectly today. The last Korn record, The Serenity Of Suffering was a resurgence of creativity in the right path for the band, and by releasing this solo album, it’s allowed Jonathan the chance to really explore all the things he’s wanted to do. I’m very interested to hear both the next Korn album and Jonathan’s solo record. Give Black Labyrinth a chance and I bet you’ll be rather surprised by what you hear.
Jonathan Davis- Black Labyrinth: