Corrosion of Conformity means a lot to me, but not mainly due to their music.
Well, it’s a has a lot to do with their music, but I will explain. When I first started writing blogs, it was small step all the time. Mostly down to the fact my early attempts are nothing short of embarrassing, but slowly I started to get shares.
However, one of the first bands to share one of my blogs was Corrosion of Conformity for my review of XI, it’s something I’ve never forgotten and I’ll always be grateful for as it gave me confidence in my ability (if not my spelling).
No Cross No Crown is the 10th studio album from Corrosion of Conformity which they have released via Nuclear Blast Records.
It’s also their first album to be recorded with the classic Deliverance line-up of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean, Reed Mullin, and Pepper Keenan. It’s also the first album since the reformation of CoC to feature Keenan after his stint in Down, this has made a lot of people extremely excited about this record.
An awful lot of the other reviews I’ve read have been focusing on Keenan’s return, which is a shame as it’s sort of disrespectful to Messrs Dean, Weatherman & Mullin. They did release some fine albums without Pepper Keenan, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious about how they sound as a four-piece again.
So, have Corrosion of Conformity gone for broke, or played it safe?
It would be incredibly easy for them to revert back to that tried and tested formula that made them popular. If I’m honest, they’ve gone somewhere in-between, but with lessons learnt from their time as a three-piece.
Out of the fifteen tracks on the album, there are three interlude numbers, so really it’s a classic twelve track affair here. With songs such as “Cast the First Stone”, “The Luddite”, and “Forgive Me” are CoC classics in the making, “Old Disaster” is such a sweet number with a sick riff that makes the hairs’ on my neck standing to attention, as the riffs roll out with effortless ease.
Another amazing number on this album is “A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)”, a song so heavy that Black Sabbath will be checking to see if they originally wrote it. But the surprise is the cover of “Sons and Daughters” originally by Queen at the end, which combines the rock element of the original with some CoC Southern Metal, it’s a brilliant cover!
But what is my overall opinion of No Cross No Crown?
The overall sound is smoother than the feral beast that is IX, you can see the influence of Mr. Kennan’s influence on their sound and I cannot argue with the results. We find CoC to be in fine form on No Cross No Crown, which is not surprising when you consider the pedigree of the band. Even at this early stage of 2018, this is could be a contender for the Metal album of the year.
If there is only one issue I have is No Cross No Crown is that it’s a little too polished when you compare it to IX, but that has turned into my favourite CoC album ever. So, there was already a hard act to follow in my mind, but I have to admit that they have done a great job here.
And the reason for that is that they didn’t play it safe and repeat the same record, they mixed their classic sound with a bit more metal and delivered the goods. This album is a record that keeps getting better with each spin, so this could turn out to be a slow burner for the rest of 2018.
No Cross No Crown is a heavy metal record for all fans of metal, amplifier worship, and people who love rock in all its forms.