In 2005, after finding religion and leaving Korn, Brian Welch turned towards a possible solo career. What resulted was, surprisingly, stronger than anything Korn had put out in some time. The album, titled ‘Save Me From Myself‘, was finally released in 2008, and immediately blew my admittedly low expectations away. I don’t know exactly what I had expected, but I know I was prepared for cheesy god-botherer pseudo-hymns that couldn’t be saved by the presence of a single heavy guitar. What I got, while still religous in some themes, wasn’t forceful in its message and, most importantly, was built from some of the best alternative metal I’d ever heard.
‘Save Me From Myself’ is not so much “join our team”, instead presenting itself as “here’s my story and here’s where I am headed”. Topics range from addiction, to abuse, depression, and tearing down institutionalized Christianity. And while the themes are well-intended, what is more important is the quality of the music – and the simple fact is the music is virtually unrivalled in the genre. Brilliant riffs, catchy hooks and, for someone not know as a singer, Head puts in a pretty amazing vocal performance on ever song, ranging from cleans, to growls, to roars.
Following this album, Welch went on to incorporate his touring band permanently, and they became Love & Death. Unfortunately, they’ve never been able to recapture the magic of the initial solo album, and ‘Save Me From Myself’ remains a singular, orphaned, work of incredible talent that, with Love & Death coming together and Head reuniting with Korn, we likely won’t ever see replicated.
While a religious person can listen to ‘Save Me From Myself‘ and read the lyrics, and take some very obvious themes from it, nothing is so direct that any non-Christian would feel alienated. The general messaging here seems to be “be good and kind to others and yourself“, and that might be a message sorely missing from metal, so how can we not welcome it?