IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!
Pepper Keenan, Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman, and Reed Mullin. The “classic” Corrosion Of Conformity line up is back with their first album of new material as a quartet in almost 13 years and it’s as if they never left. It’d be unfair to compare any of No Cross No Crown to anything that’s come before because, not only does the album immediately stand on its’ own within the storied discography of COC but it’s inevitably going to sound like bits from your favorite Deliverance, Wiseblood, etc. tracks because of the shared musical DNA. Also, this foursome is just really, really good at what they do.
But I digress.
COC is back and it was definitely worth the wait. Not just the gap between quartet albums but the gap between reforming in late 2014 and January 2018. First single “Cast The First Stone” was a tasty morsel of old school quartet magic but recently released “Wolf Named Crow” is the one that’ll really whet longtime fans appetite. Built upon a monolithic and memorable riff, the song just screams with that “COC sound”. Mullin is fill crazy and a veritable pummeling machine while Keenan sounds absolutely possessed. Then there’s that fabulous breakdown where you can just picture Weatherman grooving to the sweet riffage he’s creating as Dean bounces along.
“Forgive Me” is just a classically triumphant sounding jam while “Nothing Left To Say” is a somber affair which grows into a blistering storm of Keenan’s powerful vox and riffs before using the almighty fade out. But oh man, the riffs! John Custer, who’s produced almost every COC record to date, has once again captured the beauty of the band’s riffage so perfectly as well as every other amazing sound that comes out of your speakers when No Cross No Crown plays on.
“Old Disaster” and “E.L.M.” are two perfect songs to be matched up together in the track listing. One a slow riff rocker while the other a shredder in the Sabbath vein and instantly one that’s sure to be a live favorite. The title track drops next with a sinister Keenan vocal performance as it quietly lumbers along like a predator waiting to pounce with these intricate acoustic lines and parts that are almost like a hymnal. “A Quest To Believe (A Call To The Void)” drops next and is sonically one of the coolest tracks COC has ever created before fading away with a beyond epic and haunting Weatherman solo.
A cover of Queen’s “Son And Daughter” closes out the mighty fifteen track behemoth and has the feel of T.Rex meets The Obsessed with a bombastic opening as this fuzzed out swamp boogie proceeds to kick ass like that triumphant victory lap after the big game with Pepper and co. screaming “We’re back, baby!”
No Cross No Crown will be unleashed through Nuclear Blast on January 12th. Pre-order packages are available here and here. You can catch COC on tour early in the new year with Black Label Society. For dates and more, head on over here.