Review by Rick “The Fish-Man” Ossian
Before giving my opinion here, let it be known that I am somewhat biased when it comes to COC. I have been a fan since they first hit the big time. I remember calling the radio station to request Albatross, a hit for them at the time. Unfortunately for those of us who were followers of the metal machine that they had become, their last record was Arms of God in 2005. Corrosion of Conformity hail from Raleigh, North Carolina, and they are Pepper Keenan on vocals and guitar, Woodroe Weatherman on guitar, Mike Dean on bass and vocals and Reed Mullin on drums and vocals.
It is evidently a really good year for hard rock and metal, because Corrosion is back! It could also be said that they are back in fine form. They have plenty to offer with this latest set of tracks, from the chop-and-slaughter of opener the Luddite to the squalling leads of Wolf Named Crow. There are a couple of throwaway tracks, so to speak, but it seems everyone is using intros and interludes nowadays. Novus Deus, No Cross, Matre’s Diem and Sacred Isolation all fit into this category.
Never fear, dear reader. There are ten other tracks on board, and they are all arse-kickers. The Luddite signals the return of the boys better than most opening tracks I’ve heard all year. It’s medium tempo, and a bit of a drone, but it has great chops and the rant at the end is awesome.
Cast the First Stone is more of an attack track, if you will. It is very uptempo and very in your face. There is an excellent lead guitar bit here also.
Little Man is a big heavy riffing monster. There are plenty of guitars throughout the mix here, and this particular number is a slower, grinding pounder. Sort of a blues metal slam, if you will. The drummer is very busy as well.
Forgive Me shows that the boys are ready to get back to the attack. It is again, rather bluesy, but with a super big beat and lots of riffing and lead guitar.
Nothing Left to Say is a different sort of beast. It begins with a weird intro, giving way to a blues lead guitar snippet. The blues here reminds me of their track Redemption City. There is a bluesy psych fade at the end à la Hendrix.
Old Disaster is another chops fest, with plenty of heavy attack. The fact that they return to the blues metal format again and again just reminds you how good they are at it.
E.L.M. is another very heavy “we’re back” sort of number. Not sure what the letters stand for, but there it is.
The title track is up next, and it is a veritable leviathan. The FX intro reminds you of a creepy swamp. There are priests chanting, more blues heaviness, and just a real rocking attitude throughout.
The closer, A Quest to Believe ( A Call to the Void) gets 5 cool points for sheer title awesomenicity. It is another barn burner that will no doubt get you off of your couch and on your feet.
In short, if you are a COC fan, and you have been anticipating a fine return to intensely rocking form, than you will NOT be disappointed. Go out and get it now!