What’s the Best Korn Album of All Time?


Original photo of Korn standing for a posed photo.

What’s the best Korn album of all time? – Story by Anne Erickson, courtesy photo via Korn

There’s no other band quite like Korn. The Bakersfield, California, guys are pretty much responsible for creating the nu-metal genre, even though they don’t necessarily like being crowned nu-metal kings. But, there’s something about Korn’s dropped-D tuning, groovy rhythm section, haunted sonics and dark lyrics and vocals from vocalist Jonathan Davis that just sets them apart. So, what’s the best Korn album of all time?

What’s the history of Korn?

Before we get into Korn‘s best album, let’s delve into the history of the band. Korn were one of the most unique and easily identifiable bands of the late 1990s. At the focal point of their sound are down-tuned guitars and Davis’ tortured singing and rap-rock passages. Davis often sings about his personal experiences, from childhood trauma to daily emotional battles.

Korn released their self-titled debut album in 1994, making them one of the first, if not the very first, band to release nu-metal-type music. In comparison, Linkin Park’s debut didn’t arrive until six years later. With that debut, they build a passionate following, and they followed up the release with 1996’s “Life is Peachy.” Going into the 2000s, things quickly changed, though, as Korn became one of the biggest rock bands on the planet with albums such as 2002’s “Untouchables,” 2003’s “Take a Look in the Mirror” and 2005’s “See You on the Other Side.”

Before Korn, the guys started out as the metal band LAPD, featuring guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch, bass player Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, and drummer David Silveria. Later, they hooked up with Davis. Once Davis arrived, they renamed themselves Korn. They then set out to record their demo, “Neidermayer’s Mind,” in 1993 with producer Ross Robinson.

I remember first discovering Korn when they were on the The Family Values Tour in 1998. What a tour. I mean, Limp Bizkit, Korn, Rammstein, Ice Cube and Orgy. That’s classic. They broke out on that run and became household names, at least in rock-loving households.

What’s the best Korn album of all time?

It’s difficult to pick a No. 1 best Korn album of all time. But, it has to be 1998’s “Follow the Leader,” which is really their breakout album. Korn released “Follow the Leader” on Aug. 18, 1998. The release entered the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1 and scored the guys some major hit singles in “Got the Life” and “Freak on a Leash.” They also scored a Grammy for the “Freak on a Leash” video. That was the perfect setup for the guys to embark on the aforementioned Family Values Tour later that year.

There’s no denying that “Follow the Leader” is the group’s most commercially–successful album. It went five-times Platinum by the RIAA. But, that’s not why it’s the best Korn album of all time. It’s No. 1 on list list because “Follow the Leader” did exactly the opposite of its title: It wasn’t in any way derivative. It was totally original and helped create an entire movement of nu-metal bands to follow. Now, years later, it’s still a classic. Also, it’s great to see Korn still releasing new music, the latest full-length album being 2022’s “Requiem.”

Check out 10 nu-metal songs that should have been bigger here.

Anne Erickson
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Posted by Anne Erickson | Alternative, Features, Metal, Music, Rock

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