Corrosion Of Conformity

Album Review: Corrosion Of Conformity- No Cross No Crown


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:

Anticipated Albums of 2017


2016 was a great year for music. So many great albums were released. I’ve mentioned this before, but I really think that in ten years, 2016 will be looked back on as a great year for music.

So as 2017 is right around the corner, here are my most anticipated albums for the new year.
With Our Arms To The Sun- Orenda
AFI- AFI (The Blood Album)
Black Map- In Droves
Code Orange- Forever
Marilyn Manson- Say10
Wear Your Wounds
Stone Sour
The Black Queen?
Alice In Chains?
Corrosion Of Conformity
A Perfect Circle?
Royal Thunder
Royal Blood
The Cure?
Brand New?
Nothing More
Wild Throne
L.A. Guns with Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns
Will Haven
Less Art
Cult Leader
Killer Be Killed?
He Whose Ox Is Gored
Spirit In The Room
Depeche Mode
Here Lies The Hero

Underrated and Influential: Corrosion Of Conformity


When a band has been established in one genre it’s often hard to break out of that shell. When Corrosion Of Conformity was formed, they started out as a hardcore punk band, then a lineup shift happened and they became a more sludgey southern rock band. Corrosion of Conformity (C.O.C.) was formed in North Carolina by Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin. Their debut album Eye For An Eye is regarded as one of the quintessential hardcore punk albums along with their follow up album Animosity. In 1987 Mike Dean departed the band leaving COC in a state of flux for a couple of years. The remaining members re-tuned the line up and searched for a new vocalist. After much searching, Karl Agell was recruited on vocals, Phil Swisher on bass and a gem of a guitar player in Pepper Keenan. In 1991 the bands music had shifted to more metal sounding with the release of their album Blind. This would be the first album of COC  to receive mainstream attention. The video for “Vote with a Bullet” (the only song with Keenan on vocals on the album) received airplay on MTV. In 1993, Agell and Swisher left the band and formed the band. Mike Dean returned and Pepper Keenan took over lead vocals. The following year COC signed a major label record deal with Columbia Records and released their great album Deliverance. Deliverance saw the band move more toward a southern metal sound that they took with them into the writing of their next albums Wiseblood and America’s Volume Dealer.  During this time as well their song “Big Problems” was featured on the soundtrack for Clerks, and “Clean My Wounds” was also featured in the anime movie Tekken.  Deliverance was the band’s biggest selling album. This was mainly due to the singles “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds” becoming Top 20 hits on rock radio and the album managed to peak at number 155 on the Billboard charts. Wiseblood was released in October 1996. Despite producing a radio hit with “Drowning in a Daydream” and a worldwide tour with Metallica, the album failed to match the sales set by the previous album. “Drowning in a Daydream” was nominated at the 1988 Grammy’s for Best Metal Performance. Soon after the release of Wiseblood, Columbia dropped COC. The band then moved labels to Sanctuary Records. The band released its first album for its new label, America’s Volume Dealer, in November 2000. The album was even more of a commercial failure than Wiseblood not even managing to make the Billboard 200. However, the single, “Congratulations Song”, did give the band another Top 30 hit. No videos were made from the album. Reed Mullin left the band in 2001. Over the next few years, the band worked with a series of drummers Including Jimmy Bower of EyeHateGod/Down), Stanton Moore of Galactic amongst a few others. After a few years COC returned in 2005 and released their critically acclaimed album In The Arms Of God. This album performed much better than their previous effort, debuting at No. 108 on the Billboard 200.  A video was made for the song “Stonebreaker” which saw airplay on MTV2’s recently revived Headbanger’s Ball. The band spent the rest of the year touring the US and Canada opening for the likes of Motorhead and Disturbed.  In 2010 after a long hiatus it was reported that the Animosity lineup of COC had reunited and were working on a new album that was more in line with their earlier influences. During this time the band mentioned that Pepper was still in the band but was working on other projects at the time, mainly Down. In 2012 a self titled album was released with just the original three members. Not long after that the band quickly went and recorded another album entitled IX which was released in 2014. Pepper Keenan has stated that he looks forward to working on some Deliverance type material in the near future with the band.

This is one band that really deserves to be heard. Their influence can be heard in many many bands. When Pepper decides t come back into the fold after his commitments with Down have wrapped for a while, I’m sure the material they come up with will be heavy and full of the classic approach they have. Personally I’ve always dug the albums with Pepper on them.




Clean My Wounds:


Drowning In A Daydream:


Vote With A Bullet:

A Second Look: DOWN (and 2 For Tuesday)


Many “supergroups” have come and gone. Some have been great while others were put together to capitalize on the members names. One group that has always stood out to me is Down. During it’s inception, Down was meant to be a side project for the members during their downtime while in Pantera, Corrosion Of Conformity, EyeHateGod, and Crowbar. Comprised of Philip H. Anselmo, Pepper Keenan, Jimmy Bower, Pat Bruders, and Bobby Landgraf, (Rex Brown and Kirk Windstein have since parted ways with the band to focus on other projects) these gents have put together a formula of righteous heaviness. A lot of people pronounce Pantera as the holy grail of heavy, but I’ve always though that Down was the better band. Sure I get a lot of flack for this opinion, but I stand by it. All you have to do is listen to the songs. There really is something special about the music that these guys made. Not to take anything away from Pantera, Down just has had more of an impact on me.

Their first album NOLA, is quite a classic in todays heavy rock circles. Songs such as Temptations Wings, Stone The Crow, Losing All, Jail, and Bury Me In Smoke, all portray such vulnerability and strength in the delivery of them. After NOLA was released and a few shows were played, Down was put on the back burner until 2001. When Down reconvened, they did so at Phil’s home and transformed his barn into a studio and wrote and recorded their next album Down II: A Bustle In Your Hedgerow in 28 days. While the album wasn’t as solid as their debut, there are still quite a few gems on the album such as Ghosts Along The Mississippi, Learn From This Mistake, Beautifully Depressed, The Seed, and New Orleans Is A Dying Whore. In 2002 Down toured as part of Ozzfest, only to take another break soon after. Then again in 2006 they reformed in the wake of the travesty of Hurricane Katrina and the death of Dimebag Darrell. The result was Down III: Over The Under which proved to be every bit of what fans would expect the album to be. It’s raw and filled with anger, remorse, sadness, and hope. Quick side note it’s also the only of their albums not to have any profanity on it. The album features some truly great well written songs including The Path, On March The Saints, Beneath The Tides, In The Thrall Of It All and the epic Nothing In Return (which has become one of my favorite songs ever). In 2012, the release of part 1 of their 4 EP set was released. The Purple EP was a slight return to the raw unpolished sound of their original material. Misfortune Teller the closing track on the album really showcases this return.  Down are now gearing up to release part 2 this year.

Down has been able to wrangle themselves into quite the group. They are honest musicians that create music that satisfies the savage beast in all of us. They can write songs that are heavy as heavy can be but also can take you on an epic trip. If you’ve never really given Down a listen you should really sit back and enjoy what they have to offer.

Nothing In Return: I love listening to this song to end my evening after a night out or just when I’m coming home from work.

Bury Me In Smoke: Another great song to end the night to, also a great song to just listen to while driving with the windows down.