Band: Corrosion Of Conformity
Album: No Cross No Crown
Release Date: 12th January, 2017
Label: Nuclear Blast
Review by John
It’s fair to say that the latest offering from veterans Corrosion Of Confirmity comes under the weight of intense expectation, as the band welcome back Pepper Keenan into the fold to reunite what many consider to be the “classic” line up.
Happily, it’s like they’ve never been away.
After the doomy intro that is ‘Novus Deus’, the band waste no time in rediscovering their groove on the insanely catchy southern rock tinged ‘The Luddite’. As it chugs along it plants its seed deep into your brain and you immediately remember why, despite the fact that the band were releasing perfectly good material both pre and post Pepper, there was always a sense that something was missing. Keenan clearly brings a whole new dimension to the band.
‘The Luddite’ sets the bar high early on, but the band seem to maintain the high standards with ease.
Take a track like ‘Wolf Named Crow’. This is classic CoC, with Keenan’s vocals blending seamlessly with the music to create an infectious groove that sprinkles a liberal dose of fuck you attitude over the whole thing. It serves as a reminder that, good as it is to have Pepper back in the ranks, this is far from his show, and Woody Weatherman in particular is given ample opportunity to shine, while the slower, more atmospheric pace of ‘Nothing Left To Say’ brings out the best in bassist Mike Dean as the band channel raw emotion to pull at the heartstrings.
There is not a weak link to be found across the album, with even the short “interlude” style tracks serving to keep the album flowing.
Stand outs include the aforementioned ‘The Luddite’, along with the soaring, personal sound of ‘Old Disaster’ and the almost 70s sounding groove of ‘E.L.M’ with a sound that just makes you want to swing your pants as it swallows you whole.
The closing double bill of the epic ‘A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void)’ and psychedelic Queen cover ‘Son And Daughter’ ensure that the quality endures right to the end.
It would have been easy for Corrosion Of Conformity to churn out a quick and easy rehash of ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Wiseblood’ and still have fans singing their praises from the rooftops. Instead, they have set out to build on what has gone before, choosing to refine and expand their sound rather than simply give it a bit of a polish, and the end result is an album that stands out as their finest work for the best part of two decades.
A worthy return.
01. Novus Deus
02. The Luddite
03. Cast The First Stone
04. No Cross
05. Wolf Named Crow
06. Little Man
07. Matre’s Diem
08. Forgive Me
09. Nothing Left To Say
10. Sacred Isolation
11. Old Disaster
13. No Cross No Crown
14. A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void)
15. Son And Daughter
Visit the band on Facebook: www.facebook.com/corrosionofconformity
Get the album here: CorrosionOfConformity/no-cross-no-crown.html