My gateway to Corrosion of Conformity’s music was through their 1994 album, Deliverance, with Pepper Keenan at the band’s helm. I’ve always recognized C.O.C. as a four-piece band playing southern/sludge/stoner metal. That’s the reason why I ignore their older, hardcore metal albums –the ones they did in the 80’s when they were only a three-piece band, before Keenan came in. Not that they were bad. Their album Animosity is actually quite good. It’s just that I prefer the sludge of the Keenan-era over the fury of their Animosity days.
So, when I found out last month that the band was going to release a new album with the Animosity line-up, without Pepper Keenan, I felt betrayed. Still, C.O.C. hasn’t released an album since 2005. That’s way too long for a huge C.O.C. fan like me. So, I thought I’d give this album a chance, even without Keenan in it. Surprisingly, this eponymous album of theirs rocks!
Corrosion of Conformity (the album) can be summed up as a marriage of Corrosion of Conformity’s (the band) music: their 80’s hardcore trash and the Keenan-era’s southern sludge. Both types of music are usually found on the same songs too. The fifth track, “The Doom”, is a perfect example of this. The song showcases hardcore and sludge as it starts out with a slow, mud-wallowing riff and then abruptly becomes fast and furious.
The three-piece band also played pretty well. Reed Mullin, especially, who just got back from an injury, is the one that made this album work. His hard-hitting drum work just added a lot of weight to their sound. Woody Weatherman also did great. This guy has been playing for more than two decades with various styles. In here, he gets to play them all. Lastly, while I still prefer Keenan on the mic, Mike Dean also did a decent job on the vocals, to my relief.
A blend of various metal styles, Corrosion of Conformity is an awesome album. I listened to it for four straight hours after I picked it up last midnight, stopped to grab forty winks, and resumed listening to it when I woke up again this morning. It’s not as good as Deliverance, however. But it just shows that the band can still deliver even as a trio. The only thing that’s preventing me from enjoying this album even more is the absence of Keenan.