1. Stone Breaker 2. Paranoid Opioid 3. Is It That Way 4. Dirty Hands Empty Pockets (Already Gone)
5. Rise River Rise 6. Never Turns to More 7. Infinate War 8. So Much Left Behind
9. The Backslider 10. World On Fire 11. Crown of Thorns 12. In the Arms of God
Corrosion of Conformity:
Woody Weatherman (Guitar)
Reed Mullin (Drums)
Pepper Keenan (Vocals and guitar)
Mike Dean (Bass)
Sanctuary Records / Release Date: April 12, 2005 / Overall rating: 6
Corrosion of Conformity is a band that I have seen go through many phases. They came up in 1984 as a kind of hardcore "skater punk" band with their album, "Eye For An Eye". It was the kind of hardcore punk/metal that maxed out at two riffs, and two minutes, for each song. Add a lot of screaming to the mix and, well, you get the idea. In '85 they released "Six Songs With Mike Singing," and it was basically the same formula with bass player Mike Dean screaming. Some change in style was coming about with 1986's "Animosity" album though. Songs were getting a little bit longer, and they even ventured into three chord territory once or twice. Still the same screamo punk metal, but the tracks were actually starting to resemble songs somewhat. The "Technocracy" album in 1987 was a similar offering to "Animosity", also. It wasn't until 1991 that this band really came to be. With the release of "Blind," C.O.C. became a viable, straight forward metal band. They abandoned their street punk roots and penned a precious metal album. With "Blind" came the release of their first ever single, "Vote With A Bullet," which, arguably, remains the best song they've ever written.
You had to ask yourself what happened. What happened in the four years from the "Animosity" album in 1987, to the "Blind" album in '91? Well, let me tell you. Pepper Keenan happened. Sure, the guy brought his guitar playing to the band (and I mean real guitar playing), but most of all he came with real songs. The style of his writing was a perfect match for the direction that the band was ready to travel. But, we still needed to prepare ourselves for one more contribution from Pepper Keenan. It was on 1994's masterpiece, "Deliverance," that Pepper took over the lead vocal duties - and the rest, as they say, is history. Keenan's looser, deeper, and ultimately more punishing vocal style was yet another perfect match for the band's overall sound. This is the point where the band could've conquered the world (if it wasn't for Pearl Jam, anyway). Their follow-up LP, "Wiseblood," was not quite the force that "Deliverance" was, but it was still far above the average metal album of the time. This band was set to explode, it was only a matter of time. In between C.O.C. albums, Pepper Keenan combined forces with Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo to bring us the Down project. By cutting one of the best metal records of all time, with that first Down disc, Keenan had proven himself to be a premier songwriter and guitar player in the metal scene. After returning to the C.O.C. fold, the band released "America's Volume Dealer," which was, again, much better than your average metal record, but not quite what "Deliverance" was. The band released a live album in 2001, which shunned all of the releases before "Blind" entirely; which made it perfectly clear that they had found their calling. The band was now poised to carry on with their top notch, straight forward metal formula, and release the centerpiece of their career. Let's see if "In The Arms Of God" is that record.