Corrosion of Conformity – Corrosion of Conformity

Corrosion of Conformity

Corrosion of Conformity
Candlelight
In a storied career spanning 28 years, it’s a testament to Corrosion of Conformity to see themselves standing where they are today. From the original hardcore punk styling, through to crossover thrash, Southern metal and beyond, they’ve managed to survive a number of sound changes and line-up alterations that would kill many a band in the modern era. Indeed, most bands seem to get stick for daring to evolve their sound, unjustified as that sounds. But perhaps the biggest threat to Corrosion of Conformity, if it could be called that, was the unstoppable rise of NOLA-supergroup Down, featuring their lead vocalist and guitarist Pepper Keenan. After the demise of Pantera, thanks to inner turmoil and ‘Dimebag’ Darrell’s tragic death, Down appeared to become the number one priority for its members and despite releasing ‘In the Arms of God‘ in 2005, it does feel like Corrosion of Conformity became the side-project, rather than the frontline band it deserves to be.

Yet despite Pepper’s increased involvement with Down, the remaining members of C.O.C. – bassist/vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist/vocalist Woody Weatherman and returning drummer Reed Mullin – picked up the mantle and went ahead without Keenan. Although it should be stressed Pepper is by no means out of the band and will probably work with the band in the future, it’s of great relief to see a re-energised C.O.C., and with Dean taking on the lead vocal role for the first time since 1985’s ‘Animosity‘, its fair to say that C.O.C’s eponymous eighth studio album was one of their most anticipated in years.
 Corrosion of Conformity – The Moneychangers
While the band never actually look like going back to crossover stylings at any point, they do pay homage to their vast musical journey on the opening track ‘Psychic Vampire’, which briefly flirts with their old hardcore stylings before finishing with a cracking riff in the second half of the song. ‘In the Arms of God‘ sounded huge, and while ‘Corrosion of Conformity‘ is a different beast, it still sounds absolutely massive, especially with wrecking ball riffs as evidenced on ‘River of Stone‘.
The pinnacle of the album lies around the two tracks initially released from the record, those being ‘Your Tomorrow’ and ‘The Doom’. Both of these tracks really hit home, ‘Your Tomorrow’ possessing a catchy refrain, while ‘The Doom’ sways between a slow doom-esque lurch and a punk gallop. You almost miss where ‘Your Tomorrow’ ends and ‘The Doom’ begins, so seamless is their transition to one another.
It’s not their best record, although it isn’t far off. The fusion of their vast experience flows throughout the record, with punked barbs like ‘Rat City‘ prevailing all the way to the end. All in all, ‘Corrosion of Conformity‘ is a welcome return from the North Carolinians, who, thirty years into their career, are still producing vital records through sheer grit and passion for the music. The soulless rock types who dominate mainstream radio rock stations can’t hold a candle to music like this, when it comes from deep within its members’ boots. And while it would be nice to see Keenan return to the band in future, we should be grateful that messrs Dean, Weatherman and Mullin didn’t just rest on their laurels and other assorted achievements.
Peter Clegg
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