We already know through his work with Korn that Jonathan Davis likes to experiment. A founder of the NuMetal movement Davis has teased us in the past, most notably when Skrillex was brought in to add a new dimension to The Path Of Totality. Black Labyrinth, although a solo album with clear individual traits is something that will appeal to Korn fans rather than repel them, because that experimentation has the foundations of knowing what works in the band.
There are some givens such as the vocals which are exactly as you would expect. Davis has such a unique singing style that makes it hard for admirers to not like anything he appears on. Here though he uses his skills to great effect, particularly in quieter passages. The difference on this solo record is that the vocals seem to be driven by a range of emotions we don’t often see elsewhere. There’s less angst and more calm. It’s not so much a massive change as a shift in balance, and it works wonderfully well.
Musically Black Labyrinth is just the right side of adventurous. There’s more than enough to show this is Davis’ brainchild rather than just a Korn offshoot. It’s still part of the same family though so it’ll have a ready made outlet happy to lap up each and every track. The pitfalls are few and far between and when it rocks this album is immense. What It Is in particular is a shoe in crowd pleaser. Solo releases from well known band members often fall flat. This one does the opposite and bodes well for the future for Jonathan Davis. Importantly he is putting this out while remaining with Korn. A smart move from a much respected artist. Almost proving you can have your cake and eat it Black Labyrinth bucks many trends as an outstanding release that fits comfortably within a larger dynamic. Can we have more please.