If you listen to heavy music, then you have heard the name of Corrosion of Conformity. If you enjoy southern metal, stoner metal, or anything that is good, then you have heard their music at least once. Formed way back in 1982, and has been crushing ear drums ever since, in various forms, and with some breaks “Pepper’ed” (fans of the group will get that little word play LOL) throughout. Well, they are back, and with Pepper Keenan, he was in C.O.C. before, back at the helm; No Cross No Crown, available on January 12th, 2018, marks a return form of sorts. “In 2014, after nearly a straight decade traversing the globe as a guitarist with New Orleans super-group Down, Keenan reconnected with the core CORROSION OF CONFORMITY trio of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean, and Reed Mullin to hit the road hard. “Reed called me and mentioned maybe playing a couple shows,” Keenan recalls. “I said, ‘Let’s just go to Europe and see if it works.’ So we went to Europe and then ended up going back four times in one year… We toured for a year and then started tracking about ten or eleven months ago.
Throughout No Cross No Crown you can definitely hear Keenan’s style, as he has a sound that is definitely his own. I’m listening as I type this and it’s hard to sit still, the riffs are full of heavy groove, and it’s just impossible to not move to it. I have loved the guitar tone these guys get, it’s dirty, raw, and has a nice clear sound. “Little Man” is what’s playing, and the full on heavy groove is just overpowering, and so awesome. When the lead kicks in, the song really moves forward, and it’s a well-played, tasteful section. “Matres Diem” opens up with some subtle bluesy, played on an acoustic guitar. It’s really quite beautiful, in the songwriting, and the execution of it. The track has the feel of a Sons of Anarchy episode closer, or something. It’s a short break from the heavy, and reminds me also of the kind of stuff Black Sabbath would do on Master of Reality, just a short interlude of pretty before the heavy takes back over. “Nothing Left to Say”, opens up with a Led Zeppelin inspired clean guitar part, which stays clean until the hallway through the verse. It reminds me a little of Chris Cornell in the execution of the vocals, there’s a slight tone of when Cornell would be singing the dirtier way he did back on the album BadMotorFinger. This is a killer track, and reminds of what Keenan was doing with Down.
If you are a longtime fan of Corrosion of Conformity, then you are going to be very happy with No Cross No Crown. New fans of the band will enjoy the groove heavy riffing, and southern metal feel. It doesn’t come out until January 12th, 2018, but there are a couple singles out there. I’ll drop you a few links to find them! Enjoy!
For more of Corrosion of Conformity Check out: