North Carolina heavy metal punk thrash innovators Corrosion Of Conformity are back with their new offering “No Cross No Crown’, released Jan 18th 2018 on Nuclear Blast Records, much to the joy of their fans and followers.
Hailing from Raleigh, N.C., Corrosion Of Conformity (C.O.C.) has experienced quite a career, full of changes in lineup and band numbers, changes in tack and approach to their music in order to
follow their punk rock roots, hard rock and heavy metal thrash, changing their sound, shaping up their approach until finally reforming the band with lead vocalist Pepper Keenan, where they’ve
plumped their ranks once again to a strong, hard edged 5 piece band that’s about to give the rock music world a tutorial in how to do it like a pro and deliver an album to smash the haters out of the
‘No Cross No Crown’ is interspersed with the customary musical interludes that appear on many metal albums, ‘Novus Deus’, ‘No Cross’, ‘Matre’s Diem’, ‘Sacred Isolation’ the respite tracks that clean the palate before drawing you back into the album. Notably ‘Novus Deus’ is the introduction to the album consisting of deep breathing, the sound of a slow rhythmic heartbeat that seems to simulate the controlled nature of someone ready to take to the stage, ready to embark upon something huge as the music makes its way into the track and the heartbeat gives way to the music.
The album is orientated around C.O.C.’s groove-laden heavy tracks that ooze sludgy riffs, hammering drums and those snarling, raspy, whiskey soaked vocals that make Keenan such a great vocalist.
Every ounce of this album is set to pummel the senses, slipping from the energetically fast paced intro in ‘Little Man’, to the slow acoustic moments in ‘Nothing Left To Say’, then onto doom laden
and intensely atmospheric ‘No Cross No Crown’. This album has it all, variation in tempo, heightened vocals and that pure sludgy swagger that any hardcore C.O.C. fan is going to lap up and replay
time and time again.
‘Old Disaster’ feels grimy and dirty, the vocals from Keenan rasping through the speakers like an old vinyl thats seen better days, but thats the beauty of it! ‘Cast The First Stone’ attacks with the same ferocity of a mountain lion, ripping out your throat with the initial roar from Keenan. The riffs ride high and wild on this one while the rhythmic and chugging bass and drums batter your ear drums just for good measure.
Halfway through the album the musical interlude ‘Matre’s Diem’ (translated to Mothers Day in Latin) takes a step back from all of the sludge heavy grooves with a perfectly placed delicately delivered acoustic guitar that just slows the mood, calms the soul for a short moment which is really a nice touch. As I said before, it cleans the palate ready for the next chunk of ear fodder that starts with the heavy number ‘Forgive Me’. More booming vocals from Keenan fill the air as he pleads “Forgive me, please forgive me” and the calmed acoustic is quickly forgotten, rapping up the mind in the intensely catchy chorus that this track delivers so effortlessly.
‘The Luddite’, ‘E.L.M.’ and ‘A Quest to Believe (A Call To The Void)’ deliver those heavy tracks that sit so well in any C.O.C. album. While the the stand out track on this album is without a doubt ‘Wolf Named Crow’, vocally it’s intense assertive and growls in all the right places, complemented by some distorted riffs and edgy bass tones, delivering a track that alone would make the album a worthwhile purchase.
‘No Cross No Crown’ is a comeback album to be proud of. It’s everything I would expect from C.O.C. and it delivers every part of the track with the utmost production quality, everything perfectly in unison and every millisecond is a showcase of all that these guys have to offer. If you have never heard one of their albums I suggest you start here and work backwards. It’s the album that all fans have been waiting for and it’s about time!
Pepper Keenan -vocals, guitar
Woodroe Weatherman – guitar
Mike Dean – bass, vocals
Reed Mullin – drums, vocals
Cast The First Stone
Wolf Named Crow
Nothing Left To Say
No Cross No Crown
A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void)
Find out more from Corrosion of Conformity on the following links: