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Hear This: Jonathan Davis – ‘What It Is’


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After months of speculation, charismatic Korn frontman Jonathan Davis has kicked his solo career into high gear.

Jonathan Davis

In the build-up to both an as-yet-untitled debut album (set to be released via Sumerian Records this summer) and an appearance on the Zippo Encore stage at Download Festival 2018, the Californian nu metal veteran has unveiled his first single, the sublime ballad ‘What It Is’.

Opening with a dulcet piano riff, the song quickly distances itself from the grooving, funk-inspired ‘90s-ness of Korn. However, Davis still maintains his signature rasp as the verse commences, his gritty and iconic tone this time accompanied by slow, emphatic percussion and acoustic guitars. As the song progresses the emotion only builds and builds, with layer after layer adding up until a crescendo of a chorus, peaking with an anthemic refrain and hard-hitting electric guitars.

‘What It Is’ then stays somewhat true to Davis’s Korn roots by neglecting the idea of incorporating solos, instead separating itself with ambient acoustic- and key-driven interludes. What results is one of the most emotionally sombre yet cathartically enjoyable cuts from Jonathan Davis’s extensive and lauded career.

For die-hard Korn fans, ‘What It Is’ is a different experience instrumentally, yet the single still adheres to the group’s hard-rocking modus operandi of big choruses and an equally massive reliance on show-stealing swagger.

Jonathan Davis’s debut solo album will be released this summer via Sumerian Records. He will also be performing on the Zippo Encore stage of Download Festival 2018 in June.

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