JONATHAN DAVIS AND THE SFA – Alone I Play – Live At The Union Chapel

  • 9/10
    JONATHAN DAVIS AND THE SFA - Alone I Play – Live At The Union Chapel - 9/10


Music In Motion
Release Date: August 22, 2011

User Review
7.5/10 (1 vote)

One of Metal’s most unique vocalists, Jonathan Davis, of Korn fame, embarked on a worldwide solo tour in 2008. The songs he played were semi-acoustic, rearranged versions of Korn classics as well as songs he wrote for the Queen Of The Damned soundtrack. The concert at Union Chapel in London, England, was recorded and professionally filmed and it’s now out in both CD and CD + DVD editions. The DVD contains the entire concert and is available in stereo as well as in 5.1 surround sound.

The album is called Alone I Play, and granted — it’s Davis’ solo record, but he’s definitely not alone up on that stage. He hand-picked a backing band of multi-talented musicians called SFA (Simply Fucking Amazings). Especially impressive is the violinist Shenkar who often brings an oriental perspective to the songs; something that really enriches songs like “Forsaken” and “Slept So Long.” The variation of the arrangements are really wide — you get “Hey Daddy”, which is really funky, courtesy of upright bassist Miles Mosley, and songs that are really close to the original arrangement, like “Dirty”. However, the upright bass played with a bow and the addition of congas makes the latter something special as well.

The CD/DVD also contains a guitar solo from Shane Gibson in the middle of the set that’s really technical Baroque-esque stuff. There’s no question about Gibson’s skills, but the solo seems a bit out of place in this setting as guitar solos aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you listen to a Korn CD or Jonathan Davis’ solo stuff. The part isn’t really that long and doesn’t really do much “damage” … it’s just a bit weird.

The highlights of this album are many. “4 U” is as slow and haunting as ever, but the instruments used by the band members really take this song to another level. A stripped down and piano-driven first part of “Falling Away From Me” makes the song come out in a different light; it’s really refreshing to hear this side of Jonathan Davis. “Careless” is a previously unreleased song from the Queen Of The Damned soundtrack and starts with an Oriental-inspired vocal part performed by Davis and Shenkar, and continues with a violin part where both Davis and Shenkar play violin. Davis starts off by playing the violin like a small guitar — plucking at the strings, but soon finds a bow and shows that he knows how to play that instrument to some extent as well. However, it’s Shenkar that will really blow your mind with his playing on this CD/DVD.

Alone I Play – Live At The Union Chapel is an album recommended for any fan of Rock and Metal who enjoys being a bit experimental. Extended knowledge of the Korn and Jonathan Davis’ material isn’t required, but it will no doubt enhance the experience.

Line-up:  Jonathan Davis (vocals), Michael Jochum (drums, percussion), Shane Gibson (guitar), Miles Mosley (upright bass), Zac Baird (keyboards), Shenkar (violin, backing vocals)

Track list: System (Queen Of The Damned) / Last Legal Drug (Korn) / 4 U (Korn) / Hey Daddy (Korn) / Forsaken (Queen Of The Damned) / Dirty (Korn) / Alone I Break (Korn) / Slept So Long (Queen Of The Damned) / Kick the P.A. (Korn) / Not Meant for Me with guitar solo intro (Queen Of The Damned) / Hold On (Korn) / Careless (unreleased song off Queen Of The Damned) / Redeemer (Queen Of The Damned) / Got the Life (Korn) / Falling Away From Me (Korn)


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.