What can I say about Corrosion of Conformity? One. They're Southern. Two. They're loud.
The New Orleans four piece started off as a hardcore band, but soon (possibly influenced by the music of their home town) they crossed into the boundries of southern hard rock, metal and blues.
In The Arms of God is their latest offering and to many a return to form for Corrosion of Conformity. With guitarist/singer Pepper once again back at the helm it boasts a collection of passionate and powerful hard rock songs. Low on intelligence but High on power and delivery.
The album opens solidly with a heavy stomper in the name of Stone Breaker (officially one of the most hard rock song names ever). It begins with a some guitar wailing over keys but rather than being cheesy it builds tension before breaking into an identikit COC/blues rock riff that lets everyone know that COC are back on form. It's loud, powerful and with that beat that makes you want to stomp around the room.
The album continues in much the same theme. Each song progressing through riff upon riff of southern fury but each song still catchy and with the ability to make the listener become drawn in. You are no longer some sad schmo sitting in a bedroom, you're in some bar along a dusty strip of desert sipping a freezing pint and standing on a floor covered in sawdust.
COC don't really go in for many leads despite having two guitars. They generally prefer the approach of cramming a song full of varying leads and riffs. Guitarwise the SG sound is very strong and Sabbath-esque. The bass has some interesting riffs, but COC's previous efforts for bass writing are better. Drumming is sparse and steady but again there are some alright fills. Vocal-wise Pepper is powerful and strong with that sort of roar that James Hetfield wannabes will cream themselves over, though he is also more obviously southern and overall a better singer.
The album is 12 tracks long which is a fair length. However, it can drag somewhat. The endless riffs one after the other, which, let's face it have all been done to death since Sabbath can grate after a time and the random spacey mystical samples that play throughout do nothing to alleviate this. COC are not a band that will remain on your playlist forever though I find that I tend to dig them out whenever I just want to grab a beer and chill. They're simplicity, loud songs and New Orleans rock really is perfect for such situations.
Standout tracks are Stone Breakers. Paranoid Opoid (which features an insanely catchy riff), Rise River Rise (which features a nice Raga style riff and some nice melodies), Crown of Thorns and finally closer and title track In the Arms of God. It is interesting to note the world music influences in this album, one of the main most pleasing features.
So to sum up:
World music influences.
Too much filler
Not much originality