CORROSION OF CONFORMITY ~ S/T
Label: Candlelight Records
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Corrosion of enormity, the triumvirate returns… The absence of Pepper Keenan didn’t stop Corrosion Of Conformity from recording and releasing their eighth album, the self-titled Corrosion Of Conformity. Keenan, who is currently guitarist in the heavy metal band Down, hasn’t left the band but he has been absent during the entire recording of the new album. He joined Corrosion Of Conformity in 1989 and this is their first release since then without his guitar and vocal work. This leaves them with the same lineup they had for 1985’s Animosity with Woody Weatherman (lead vocals, lead guitar), Mike Dean (bass, vocals) and Reed Mullin (drums, percussion). Corrosion Of Conformity is the first release from the Raleigh, North Carolina trio since 2005’s In The Arms Of God. The band started out as a hardcore punk group and you can still hear many strong punk influences in their music today. Corrosion Of Conformity marks a milestone for the band as they celebrate thirty incredible years together.
The album kicks off sludgy and doomy with “Psychic Vampire.” It quickly turns up the heat showing a little punk speed and it utilizes tempo changes effectively throughout the track. They use this to perfection and you will notice it a lot on this album. Dean’s vocals are rough and edgy and work perfectly with both tempo speeds. “Psychic Vampire” may sound like a strange name to you so I’ll give you an explanation. A psychic vampire is a person who is negative by nature, they are human succubi that suck the energy and will out of everyone they are near.
“River Of Stone” starts out quite a bit heavier than the previous track. Dean’s vocals aren’t as deep, but they are near perfect again. This song features some killer riffs that sound like they could have been on Deliverance. The lyrical content is excellent and there is even some badass solo work. This is definitely one of the standout tracks on the album.
“Leeches” is the shortest track (barely) at just over three minutes. It starts out at a frenetic hardcore punkish pace and sounds like it would have fit in perfectly on Animosity. “Rat City” is the other short hardcore track at also just over two minutes long and it follows along the same style although it’s a little heavier than “Leeches” and features some killer melodic guitar.
The doomiest song on the album is an instrumental piece, “El Lamento De Las Cabras.” It has no drums but plenty of excellent guitar work with some southern rock qualities and even a little grunge.
The sludgy “Your Tomorrow” picks up the pace again with a political rant against the government. Corrosion Of Conformity previewed it in 2010 on a Southern Lord 7″, however, the new version is much more intense.
“The Doom” starts out sludgy and slow but soon gallops ahead to another hardcore speed before slowing down again. Dean’s vocals are once again spot on and at times it even sounds like this could have been a Black Sabbath cover.
“The Moneychangers” starts out at breakneck speed, another one of the punk songs that keeps the tempo up for the majority of the song although when it does slow down towards the end it comes back heavier and adds some excellent guitar work.
“Come Not Here” starts out doomy and grungy with a slight Alice In Chains feel to it. The vocals are awesome and it’s another one of the standout tracks. “What We Become” picks things up again with speedy thrash, nice solo work and a message for sellouts. Closing the album out is a heavy, perhaps even a bit bluesy piece, “Time Of Trials,” showing off some more Sabbath like influence and excellent guitar work.
Corrosion of Conformity was recorded at Dave Grohl’s Studio 606 and once again produced by John Custer. While many will be quick to juxtapose this album with Animosity, there is much more going on here. More depth and variation, that perhaps time and wisdom unearth. Or perhaps it’s knowing that you just don’t give a shit what others think at this point in your career. Corrosion of Conformity bleeds with that type of unrestrained freedom.
Overall, this album is another solid release from Corrosion Of Conformity. This is the perfect way to celebrate thirty years of plastering metal and punk together and shoving it up the ass of everyone who says the two can’t work together. This is an album the guys can be proud of, especially since it was all done without any help from Keenan. I’m giving this album a big HELL YEAH!!!