IX (out June 24 via Candlelight Records) is the ninth studio album for sludge veterans CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. It is also the second LP with the reformed as of 2010 Animosity lineup of Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman, and Reed Mullin. C.O.C. is one of those bands I feel like most people hope never goes away. With every record they release, the riffs are alive; it’s REAL music! The doom, groove, and sludge that deliver the signature C.O.C. sound is certainly present 30 plus years later on IX.
“Brand New Sleep” is the first track and starts off in a very trippy and spacey fashion. The sounds created by Woody’s guitar and Mike’s bass during the opening moments are reminiscent of JIMI HENDRIX mixed with PINK FLOYD; just much heavier! The song transitions from its proggy, trippy atmosphere to straight up heavy, dirty riffing. Mike’s vocals sound terrific, especially in sections where harmonies take place. The moments of thick, sludgy, chunky riffs matched with Mike’s voice create a unique texture. The guitar solo on this track is one of my favorites from CORRISION OF CONFORMITY’s catalog. “Elphyn” follows the opener with a blistering intro section. The overall feel of this song leans more to the doom side of this band. Certainly a song and sound of its own, “Elphyn” reminds me of a song that BLACK SABBATH could have written back in their early days. It is a favorite of mine on this 11 song collection. Track three is titled “Denmark Vesey” and is an absolute RAGER! Clocking in at just over two minutes, the song is relentless in speed and aggression. Screaming vocals, accompanied by pounding drums and thrashy riffs make “Denmark Vesey” destined to be a new crowd favorite at live performances.
“The Nectar” has a punk feel throughout, dashed with some slower tempo sludge. Reed’s drumming stands out the most to me on this track. His fills, timing, and emphasis make this song even heavier than the riffs alone. It has everything you’d hope for in a CORROSION OF CONFORMITY song; catchy and heavy. “Interlude” is a short instrumental track, featuring only guitars. It provides a nice halfway point in the LP before “On Your Way” steamrolls through with its mammoth guitar riffs. The guitar tones on this album are superb and I feel that this number makes them shine the most. Mike’s voice is full of soul and feeling, and the overall groove of this one is infectious. I have found this song stuck in my head frequently. “Trusker” features elements of a stoner rock jam at first, giving way to that trademark C.O.C. thrash and doom. It showcases two great guitar solos as well.
“The Hanged Man” is dark and ominous with a bit of southern influence. It is certain to get you headbanging. I really enjoyed the ending to the song, as it creates a “live” feel and is somewhat unpredictable in its finish. “Tarquinius Superbus,” in a word, JAMS! This is my undisputed favorite on the album as it features more of that CORROSION OF CONFORMITY raw aggression, thrash, and punk attitude. Again, this track includes more excellent guitar soloing from Woody and C.O.C. really breaks it down towards the end of this one. “Who You Need To Blame” slows things back down into the southern sludge before the album closing “The Nectar Reprised” sees a visitation of the LP’s fourth track chorus section. It slowly fades out, bringing the epic record to a close. The trio delivers heavily on IX and display songs that true to their roots without being stale or rehashed. It is a worthwhile record for you to pick up on release day!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Elphyn”, “Denmark Vesey”, “On Your Way”, “Tarquinius Superbus”
WRITTEN BY ERIC THE BULL