Release Date: Feb 28, 2012
Record label: Candlelight
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Sludge Metal, Punk Metal
It would be impossible to overstate the crucial role Corrosion of Conformity have played in the evolution of heavy metal. COC’s blend of gravel-rash hardcore, doom metal and Southern rock played a pivotal role in defining the ‘80s crossover scene, forever altering metal’s parameters. Since the band’s inception in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1982, they has become a firm favorite among fans and critics alike.
Review Summary: No Pepper, but well spicedCorrosion of Conformity is an album of many firsts and new beginnings for the long-standing, well established group. Seven years preceded this latest release, the greatest gap between albums in their history. It is also the first with Reed Mullin behind the kit since the release of America’s Volume Dealer at the turn of the century.
On their eighth studio album, Corrosion of Conformity let their punk roots bubble closer to the surface, reintroducing the world to their old selves with a self-titled release 30 years into their career. Featuring the same lineup that delivered the 1985 crossover thrash classic Animosity, the album finds the band returning to the power trio format in the absence of Pepper Keenan. While this lineup may be slimmed down, it lacks none of the fury and aggression that listeners have come to expect from C.O.C., combining a raw, almost grimy guitar sound with a songwriting approach that hearkens back to their more hardcore-influenced days.
You've likely heard about Van Halen's recent comeback, a surprisingly vital reboot of their classic David Lee Roth incarnation. Considerably further underground, another veteran hard-rock band, Raleigh, N.C.'s three-decade-old Corrosion of Conformity, is answering the same nostalgic muse. As with the Roth and Sammy Hagar Van Halens, it's helpful to think of C.O.C.
The one constant in the life of North Carolina juggernaut Corrosion of Conformity has been change, with four different lead singers and an exploratory path through the forest of heavy rock. The band's latest represents a shift backward, reverting to the lineup of its 1985 punk/metal crossover classic Animosity. Bassist Mike Dean may not have the monster vocal chops of immediate predecessor Pepper Keenan, but he's forceful enough to cut through the firestorm whipped up by guitarist Woody Weatherman (the only consistent member during the past 30 years) and drummer Reed Mullins.
The back story to this one is so confusing that it sends everyone who even attempts to understand it into a tailspin the likes of which previously only thought possible by Suicidal Tendencies-related tales of line-up and discography mix-ups. Here we have Corrosion of Conformity's Animosity-era line-up back together, no Pepper Keenan involved despite him being the face of the band for the past couple decades. The sound returns to the punk rock of old, but not without some sidesteps into Sabbath-y dirges (see the excellent "The Doom") and the Southern metal COC became synonymous with during Pepper's era.