Corrosion Of Conformity - IX
Candlelight Records
Stoner Doom/Thrash
11 songs (42' 20")
Release year: 2014
Corrosion Of Conformity, Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Andy
Album of the month

Longtime heavy metal/punk/thrash/Southern rock veterans Corrosion of Conformity have finally released their ninth album. Creatively titled IX (yes, I'm being sarcastic), it continues their Pepper Keenan-free new era with the punk/crossover thrash sound of old, but by now infused with enough Southern rock to still sound a little like their 90s days. The result is a delightful sampling of their sound from the earliest days to the present.

Maybe it's just my high school years of listening to these guys' previous albums through a crummy off-brand stereo that lowered my initial expectations, but the production on IX is incredible. Right from the start of the screaming, wah-wah filled guitar Brand New Sleep starts with, the drums sound so damn crisp you could snap them off, and you can hear every note of the bass as a distinct entity. Elphyn's got a bit more of Mike Dean's vocals, as it wanders aimlessly from rhythm to rhythm in a shower of crushing riffs and brilliant solos. Denmark Vesey is much further towards the thrash side of CoC, but is nowhere near as inventive as some of the other songs and is cut off fairly quickly to be followed by a couple of my clear favorites on the album, The Nectar and On Your Way. Thrashy but with plenty of melody, they slow down to doom speed after a while and really drive home their infectious sound into the listener's ears, with Dean's yowled vocals fitting perfectly with the sound.

Trucker continues the doomy theme. While it doesn't have quite the same Southern-rock feel that Keenan was famous for, in some ways, this is even better. It takes the fiercer energy of their thrash days, adds a bit of Southern spice, and mixes it with a massive dose of doom, increasing as the record continues. On The Hanged Man it's almost 100% stoner doom with very little of any other influence, though Dean's vocals can never really evoke the Southern flavor that Keenan's could -- the band approaches it with as much fierceness as they can on Tarquinius Superbus, but even then it sounds more like a thrash band. The last track is puzzling -- they replay part of The Nectar when fading out. Granted, that was probably the best song on the album in my opinion, but given their clear abilities, I rather wish they'd just given us another track. Oh well...

Corrosion of Conformity clearly means to live up to their name. This isn't a new direction for the band, though -- it's a mix of all their unique twists and turns of sound as a group. And it is superb. Those who believe that the band's high point was Animosity, or who only want Deliverance-style Southern stoner rock, are bound to be disappointed, because this doesn't correspond precisely to either of those periods. But if you appreciate the sound of an experienced band who can still make a heavy and fresh-sounding album, this is one you'll want to pick up.

Killing Songs :
Elphyn, The Nectar, On Your Way
Andy quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Corrosion Of Conformity that we have reviewed:
Corrosion Of Conformity - Corrosion Of Conformity reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
Corrosion Of Conformity - Animosity reviewed by Cody and quoted 97 / 100
Corrosion Of Conformity - In The Arms Of God reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
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