Corrosion Of Conformity – No Cross, No Crown
Album Review by Adam McCann
Label : Nuclear Blast Records
Year : 2018
Corrosion of Conformity find their stride again
It’s been awhile since Corrosion of Conformity (CoC) have fully been together under an ‘original line-up’ guise, but since their self-titled album in 2014, the band have been spending more time with Pepper Keenan. Keenan has returned to fold, able to be much more committed to splitting his time between both CoC and Down.
This brings us to 2018 and the classic line-up of CoC is back firing on all cylinders with their tenth studio album ‘No Cross, No Crown’ (NCNC) for the first time in 13 years since the release of ‘In the Arms of God’ back in 2005. It would appear that with the release of ‘NCNC’, the pieces of CoC have once more fallen back into place and the missing integral part of Keenan and CoC have released their strongest album in years.
The axis of Pepper Keenan and Mike Dean has been reinvigorated that Sabbath stoner groove and the return of Keenan to the vocal duties only serves to remind us what made ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Wiseblood’ so enjoyable in the 90’s. It is this sound which makes a welcome return, particularly during ‘The Luddite’, ‘Cast the First Stone’ and ‘E.L.M.’, going to show that after a few, well, lacklustre albums, there is life in CoC yet.
The worst thing about ‘NCNC’ is that a significant portion of the album is given over to 1:50ish interludes. These interludes are not only utterly pointless, but also relatively boring and although some of the themes reappear during the title track, ‘NCNC’ is best served without. Other than this time filler, the track ‘Nothing Left to Say’ has all the southern groove of a Down outtake better suited to ‘NOLA’, whilst ‘Little Man’ swaggers like Soundgarden’s ‘Superunknown’ and as cool as they are, they just don’t have that CoC feel.
However, ‘NCNC’ is a welcome return to form by CoC, when the album is good, it is excellent, the songs are memorable and fun in the way that the band should be and even at its most average, ‘NCNC’ is still, well, pretty good. Welcome back Corrosion of Conformity. Welcome back.
Rating : 78/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann