Release Date: April 5, 2005
Reviewed by Jeff Brinn
Returning from over a 4 year absence Raleigh North Carolina’s kings of swamp rock have returned and what a mighty one at that it is. It’s been a long haul for C.O.C. from originally being known as one of the true underground pioneers of mid-eighties metal core to becoming the southern induced swamp laden rock act that we have grown to love today. I still remember driving over 4 hours back in 1987 to witness what I thought was the coolest underground band to ever rock my little world. Shit my friends and I even got to meet Woody and the boys behind some hole in the wall club in Detroit and I can still to this day remember the smell of burnt plastic that poured from their tour van. Reed Mullin explained how this was due to a heater being stuck on or something of that sort, now that’s paying your dues. Well after all these years it can easily be said that Corrosion of Conformity still reign supreme as one of metals true underground staples.
Corrosion of Conformity simply stated are stronger then ever. Firmly planting their boots even deeper into a southern induced rock fury only Pepper Keenen and the boys can bring to the table “In the Arms of God” is ominous. From the first mind bending riffs of the title cut Stone Breaker the listener is instantly taken on a vicious Sabbath induced journey of well crafted song writing further proving C.O.C. have stood the test of time. Pepper Keenens voice couldn’t be in better form and all the low end power riffing of guitarists Woody Weatherman is easily intact and possibly even the best it’s ever been. I’m sure a slew of hard core C.O.C. fans will say that “In the Arms of God” is an exceptional album but not as fine a recording session as Americas Volume Dealer but easily after a few spins they may have to re asst their opinions. Tracks like “Paranoid Opioid” and “So Much Left Behind” are true C.O.C. masterpieces with all the heavy weight riffage that their past efforts have been so appreciated for. It does become easy at times to hear such influences as Soundgarden, Sabbath, Skynyrd, Zeppelin and many other classic rock artists that have stood the test of time but don’t get me wrong this is not a rehash of what was. Even on the track “Dirty Hands Empty Pockets/ Already Gone” C.O.C. seem to have embraced such influences as the always quirky Frank Zappa mixing their brand of rough ass southern metal with a almost comical undertone that can only rank up their with the likes of Clutch.
Sure I could try to rip thru every song with comparisons of Classic rock and hard driving metal artists but one thing is for sure, this is Corrosion of Conformity at their best. “In the Arms of God is one of the few releases in years that can play from start to finish with ease. In today’s time of throw away artists records like this just don’t happen so this release should not be missed by any true rock/metal fan.
Be sure not to miss what is sure to be the best rock tour of the spring when Motorhead proudly take C.O.C. on their tour across the good ole red white and blue which will easily kick any true metal fans ass.