Sound: Corrosion Of Conformity have been releasing albums since their debut in 1984 with "Eye for an Eye" and as they have their sound has evolved from punk metal to more of a straight metal sound. Their self titled album will be their 8th studio release. This will be the first album in 25 years that Pepper Keenan will not be filling the vocalist role in the band. From what I've read, while Pepper Keenan is still technically a member of the band, his conflicting responsibilities to his other band, Down, kept him from being involved with this album. Both Pepper and the remainder of the band have stated they will continue to work together in the future. For this album Woody Weatherman (lead guitarist) and Mike Dean (bassist) performed vocal duties between the two. This has left the band as a 3 piece for the first time in many years.
The sound of this album is hard to describe it is metal by musicians who used to be into punk. There are times this punk sensibility shines through the metal and becomes more noticeable. While you could no longer really call Corrosion Of Conformity a punk band, you can definitely hear it as an influence. The guitar tone is like the standard in heavy rock/metal tone from the late 80's and early 90's that you don't really hear anymore, but with a more modern chunky sound to it. It reminds me of watching "Headbanger's Ball" on MTV. The drumming is tight and the cymbals were mixed right which a lot of metal bands don't do they weren't ear piercing but they still sounded like a live kit, which is how it should be. The bass lines are pretty straightforward and solid as well. A few times during a listen of the album I did get bored but the next song would always get me engaged again. // 7
Lyrics: The vocals are adequate on the album, but there isn't really a point where they stand out and shine. Possibly being that the vocal duties are split by the guitarist and bassist when neither have a lot of experience with vocals (besides back up vocals), they are still finding their voices. Unfortunately, the vocals are the weakest point of the album and while not horrible they could have been executed much better. If they have future releases without Pepper, then I expect they will naturally progress in skill. This is where I started to miss Pepper Keenan. I do hope that in the future they will work with Pepper again soon. The lyrics are the standard what you would expect type of lyrics for a metal band. The best vocal performance is probably "Come Not Here". I can't quite tell when Woody or when Mike is singing just can't tell their voices apart. I personally like distinctive singing voices and maybe because of that I'm being too harsh on their singing. Listen for yourself and you can be the judge of that. // 6
Overall Impression: I haven't heard anything from Corrosion Of Conformity in years until I heard about this album release. I made myself go back through and listen to their previous work to catch myself up before purchasing their self-titled album. While this isn't my favorite album by Corrosion Of Conformity, it isn't my least favorite either. My favorite songs on the album are probably "Come Not Here", "El Lamento De Las Cabras", and "The Moneychangers". I liked most of this album, but the song that I felt was the biggest let down was probably "Leeches". A few other standout tracks on the album are probably "What You Despise" and "River Of Stone". This is an album that I will probably keep my favorite few songs on my mp3 player, but not the whole album. This is still a respectable release, especially coming after a 7 year stint with no new studio releases by Corrosion Of Conformity. // 7
- Brandon East (c) 2012