Tuesday, July 26, 2005

review - Corrosion of Conformity - In The Arms of God

In The Arms of God is Corrosion of Conformity's 9th album in 21 years and I recently saw them in concert, in support of Motorhead. Compared to the other opening acts, Corrosion of Conformity proved themselves to be deft musicians who put on an excellent show. You simply can't easily pin a label on their sound when they pull out more suprises than most bands.

Their songs are characterized by dirty, sludgy bass lines, bluesy riffs, razor-sharp thrashy guitar and tons of well placed CRUNCH! The drums are more Bill Ward than Lars Ulrich. Unlike many of their contemporaries, COC's gives you variety in each song rather than just one dominant sound. Take the album's opener, for instance. When the bluesy opening quickly turns into crunch and destruction, you know you are listening to a band off the beaten and overly worn track.

Doom and thrash meld together and one the best examples of this Dirty Hands Empty Pockets. The song turns on a dime and changes pace, getting faster. Vocalist Pepper Keenan wrote most of the songs and sings like he's reaching down deep giving it his all. "Rise River Rise" is more laid back but no less intense, with his searing vocals. Keenan vocals are not buried in the mix and can be understood. World on Fire is another teriffic track that starts out sounding like something that would not be out of place on an Ozzy-era Black Sabbath album. The outro reminded me of "Fade To Black", but it stands on its own, rather being an imitation.

The final and title track, "In The Arms of God", is a glorius, neck-snapping, opus. Other tracks that I like include "Never Turns To More", "Stone Breaker" and "Paranoid Opioid."

What's most admireable about this album, my first taste of COC on record, is the attention they pay to crafting difficult to categorize songs. They give you a more challenging listen.


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