Genre: Doom/Crossover/Sludge/Southern Metal
Label: Nuclear Blast Records
It’s pretty obvious the fact that 2018 is dynamically starting its course after the release of the new CORROSION OF CONFORMITY album. The long wait came to an end, the whispers and gossip stopped and yes, the band’s album comeback tied up with the arrival of notorious Pepper Keenan a dozen years later. As early as 2014, when he stopped touring with DOWN, Keenan started establishing bridges of communication with his old gang Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean and Reed Mullin. The latter invited him to do some individual shows in Europe. I think they visited our continent 4 times, so everything seemed ready for Keenan’s studio return. At this point I should remind you that in 2012, and COC’s (at that point) latest album entitled ‘Corrosion of Conformity’ the fans (and not only just them) we loved him and as always the bar is too high as are our requirements. With a title that reminded us of the motto ‘No Gods No Masters’, ‘No Cross No Crown’ was introduced to us with the first “Cast The First Stone” engaging our interest right away. Recorded in North Carolina with their longtime collaborator producer John Custer, the record was written with a relative time comfort. Nothing came out hurriedly, nothing was pressed, and in some way the album was written on its own. The jamming of the studio manifests in the melancholic guitars and the southern sounds (‘The Luddite,’ ‘Little Man,’ and ‘Forgive Me’) where the 70s’ dark Sabbath interludes and several St. Vitus elements blend with each other (‘No Cross,’ ‘Matre’s Diem,’ and ‘Sacred Isolation’). It’s an easily flowing record that reminds us of ‘Deliverance’ (1994) and ‘Wiseblood’ (1996); a catchy release that will be embraced by the otherwise diverse American audience that translates into a mosaic of metalheads, stoners, bikers, doomsters and those who are only here for the tags. We shouldn’t manically attach ourselves to stupid and silly things, the year started impressively. Patience until mid-January when the album will find its way to the stores.