CORROSION OF CONFORMITY‘s re-emergence over the past few years has been a welcome return for the iconic band that straddled genres and fanbases until DOWN seemed to take frontman Pepper Keenan away from them for a few years. With the previous album IX, they looked back to the angrier hardcore period of their history, but after the Deliverance anniversary tour, and Pepper‘s return to the band, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY have appeared with an album that takes you back to that era where they were supporting METALLICA in arenas across the world.
After the brief intro of Novus Deus, which hints at that classic crunching guitar sound, The Luddite comes crashing with a huge riff and Pepper’s laid back wail bringing back waves of nostalgia. It’s almost as if they’ve never been away. Cast The First Stone follows in similar vein, giving the album an upbeat, vibrant sound before the sombre instrumental of No Cross tempers the mood slightly. The next two tracks kick up a more metal vibe than the earlier tracks, but still manage to keep that relaxed vibe flowing throughout No Cross, No Crown.
The acoustic Matres Diem opens up the second half of the album and it carries on much like the first half. From the quiet title track, to the upbeat Old Disaster and the slow heavy doom approach of A Quest To Believe. The short instrumentals may break the album up a little too much, but on the whole the is a solid chunk of blues infused stoner doom rock that just sounds and feels good. You get the feeling that this is CORROSION OF CONFORMITY settling back into the groove, and if that’s the case, then the next album could be something a bit special.
No Cross, No Crown is a decent album to start off the year. It has plenty of life and energy but it is just right for kicking back and escaping from everything for an hour. For the band to comeback and produce two very different but very CORROSION OF CONFORMITY albums is testament to the band’s legacy. It also offers up very little about where they will go next, which makes their future more exciting than just another band reforming and going through the motions. While No Cross, No Crown may not quite live up to their very best albums but a decent CORROSION OF CONFORMITY album still outperforms swathes of other similar sounding records.
No Cross, No Crown is set for release on January 12th via Nuclear Blast Records.
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