Comeback albums are quite difficult to make. When the band has been gone for a good amount of time, there is always a specific question that comes up. Does the band still have “it” to make a great album? Well in the case of Corrosion of Conformity, you bet your ass they do. The bands first new album with singer/guitarist Pepper Keenan back in the fold since 2005’s In The Arms Of God, is everything you’d want from the band and then some. Their new album No Cross No Crown is every bit a classic COC album but it’s fresh and full of rip roaring riffs and thunderous rhythms, not to mention some of the best vocal performances of Pepper’s career.
From the moment the instrumental intro “Novus Deus” begins, the feeling of epic awaits. “The Luddite” is one hell of a way to start things off. This song has Sabbath worship all over it with bits of a High On Fire vibe too. “Cast The First Stone” is one of those signature rip roaring songs that COC does best. There are so many songs on this new album that are badass that it’s hard to pin point an absolute favorite. I will tell you though that songs like “Wolf Named Crow,” “Forgive Me,” “Nothing Left To Say,” Old Disaster,” “E.L.M,” “No Cross No Crown,” and “A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void),” are all outstanding songs. I would put money on these songs going over so well live, people would be clambering for a live album of the material from this album. Something else about this album that really stands out are the little interludes between songs. It really gives the album a real “album” feel, something that is definitely missing from a lot of bands these days. The album and band’s longtime producer John Custer really knows how to get the absolute best tones for all the guys in the band as well as making sure they deliver the best performances.
It’s all very refreshing to have this version of Corrosion Of Conformity back. The band originally started as a three piece way back during the beginnings of Hardcore Punk but in the late 80’s early 90’s shifted to more a heavy rock band with the inclusion of Pepper Keenan. Their legacy has never been questionable. They have delivered great album after great album, from Deliverance and Wiseblood to this new one. If you have not known about COC, or are rediscovering the band, No Cross No Crown is a great way to get into the band. Throughout listening you will find yourself grooving your head along to the rhythms and riffs. You might even break out into a sudden air guitar moment with how good the riffs are.
Thank you Corrosion Of Conformity for putting out a sheer contender for Album Of TheY Year, and it’s only January.
Overall Rating: A
Corrosion Of Conformity- Cast The First Stone:
Corrosion Of Conformity- Wolf Named Crow: