That early 2000s bubble of Nu Metal and prog revival in the shape of or KoRn and The Mars Volta is kind of back. They both have new albums this year but my reaction to them is the total opposite of what I'd expected (and maybe hoped).

I think KoRn is one of those bands that has some real ability and ideas but it all gets clouded by the more ridiculous aspects of their output. The scat vocals, collaborations with Limp Bizkit, and the jeans. It can feel a bit juvenile. I have to admit that going back over the earlier albums recently has been pleasantly surprising. Issues has some really well structured tracks, and Untouchables carries their style forwards into a pretty mature (for Nu Metal) sound. This years album sounds exactly as it should; it's their sound, unmistakably.

The Mars Volta absolutely blew me away with their debut in 2003, and I was so exceited for the follow up a couple of years later I took the day off work to pick it up and listen to it properly. This year's album isn't a Mars Volta album. It may have the core members of Cedric and Omar, but I really feel as if it sould have come out under a different name. It's not their sound. It's not a bad album, but I personally would have been more accepting and excited for a 'new' project from former Mars Volta members than this sharp departure from their past.