CORROSION OF CONFORMITY - No Cross No Crown
January 12, 2018, a year ago
The Pepper Keenan-era Corrosion Of Conformity have a couple of stone-cold classics under their belt—and the band's attempts at getting it together post-Keenan just did not click as much as I had hoped they would—so it was with much anticipation I put on No Cross No Crown for its first spin. Almost too much anticipation: like your first spin of a new Metallica album, it's just too much to figure out how to process it, what's good, and what's bad. But, I mean, kinda easy this time around: here, it's all good, COC laying down the heavy, groovin', southern metal that they do so well when they wrangle up Keenan.
First track proper “The Luddite” pretty much sounds exactly as one would hope, with huge riffs, Keenan absolutely on fire behind the mic, and some killer drum work (and awesome production to bring it out). And from there on out, the band plays their Wiseblood card pretty heavily, cranking through different moods and shades and hues, throwing in a handful of quiet interludes to make the sludge-ridden metal that much heavier when it comes in, songs like “Forgive Me” and “E.L.M.” (the riffs! The glorious riffs!) reminding us that absolutely no one does feel-good southern metal like these guys, and slower cuts like “Nothing Left To Say” proving, once again, how adept the band is at handling different moods and feelings. As the album wears on, the evidence comes in that COC is one of the few bands that can pull off rockin' albums that close in on an hour, by throwing in mid-tempo tunes like “Old Disaster” that just grab you by the neck and keep you along for the ride, the swampy and sludgey “A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void)” (which features a fantastic, soaring guitar-solo fade-out ending), and closer “Son And Daughter”, which starts '75 KISS and ends '94 COC.
Seriously: stay with this, Pepper. This is some magic you guys got together. Keep it rolling this time.