Review Summary: It's time to pay attention.
Here we are folks, if anyone has the faintest bit of knowledge on Corrosion of Conformity’s shaky past, they’ll know this is the album fans have all been waiting for. The classic line-up which created the seminal beasts of Deliverance
is back to unleash hell once more. And it’s safe to say, after the dodgy offerings made in Pepper’s absence, this is clearly the line-up needed to make Corrosion of Conformity fire on all cylinders. Yes, the results of No Cross No Crown
are almost too much to digest; to think, a band with this much history and baggage could casually come back together for the first time in over a decade and create something which not only knocks it out of the park, but projects enough visceral rage to crush a planet to dust. These guys sound hungry on here, and it’s honestly the freshest they’ve sounded since Wiseblood
. Aesthetically, the album picks its homage to their classic sun-baked, tumbleweed bounding desert vibe; perfectly represented by the LP’s interlude jams which paint a vivid picture before shifting into high-gear to dispatch the riff. And you’ll hear plenty of that here, and it’s all so damn good: the harmonised soloing on “Cast the First Stone” and “Old Disaster”; the classic southern-rock blare of “Forgive Me,” which brings a bounding swing and brace of furious solos; or the quick-tempered, crusty riffs on “The Luddite,” which shares the stage with Pepper’s excellent melodic-bound choruses. These are just a few of the album’s highlights, and truthfully, I’m only scratching the surface here. If you’re a fan of COC
, the band’s southern-rock/metal sensibilities are in abundance here, and in this regard alone it’s sure to please fans.
Of course, there is much more to this album than just heavy riffs
: the melodically sound “Little Man” is a standout moment and brings a hefty amount of infection to its execution; “Nothing Left to Say” is Corrosion’s interpretation of a ballad track; while “No Cross No Crown” conjures up something which sounds like the dankest of Leonard Cohen tracks – and offers up a nice moment of respite to boot. But credit is largely due to how the guitars and Pepper’s vocals work synergistically to bring optimum results; at this point the band clearly know any insecurities or limitations within the bandcamp and work in sync to ensure songs work efficiently – and it’s this mindset which has resulted in the album reaping the rewards. At 15 tracks, this record really shows no signs of fatigue, this is down to everything working at its A-game: from the awesome guitar work, the cohesive atmosphere, Pepper’s varied vocal takes and the open-minded song-writing, which obliterates the thought of looking at your watch. No Cross No Crown
is a rare example of a classic line-up coming back to make music and killing it in the process. Final words: it’s a good time to be a COC
fan. Oh, and their cover of Queen’s “Son and Daughter” slays.
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A