CORROSION OF CONFORMITY — In the Arms of God (review)

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY — In the Arms of God album cover Album · 2005 · Stoner Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
"In the Arms of God" is the 7th full-length studio album by US heavy rock/metal act Corrosion of Conformity. The album was released through Sanctuary Records in April 2005. 5 years between albums is a long time, but especially lead vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan kept himself busy with Down and he also tried out for the, at the time, vacant bassist position in Metallica. There´s been one lineup change since the release of "America's Volume Dealer (2000)" as drummer and founding member Reed Mullin left the band to pursue other interests. He is replaced here by Stanton Moore (Galactic).

Besides the lineup change and a slightly more energetic drumming style by new drummer Stanton Moore (who comes from a jazz background), "In the Arms of God" is more or less business as usual for Corrosion of Conformity. That´s if you compare the style on this album to the style on the preceeding three albums by the band. Corrosion of Conformity effectively mixes alternative metal elements with stoner/doom metal and hard rocking riffs. There are three names that pop up at various times during the playing time and that´s Soundgarden, Monster Magnet and of course Black Sabbath. The latter act´s influence is heard all the way through the album but especially tracks like "Stone Breaker", "Paranoid Opioid", and "The Backslider" are very Black Sabbath influenced. Thankfully Corrosion of Conformity are not clones and they successfully blend stylistic elements from their influences into their material while still maintaining an original sound.

Pepper Keenan´s "Ozzy meets Hetfield" type vocal delivery is as always full of attitude and emotion. The man is a great singer with a strong delivery and a recognisable voice. There´s a bit of variation in the vocal department when bassist Mike Dean and lead guitarist Woody Weatherman take up the lead vocal duties on "Infinite War", which is one of the harder edged tracks on the album. Actually the variation in the songwriting is one of the strengths of "In the Arms of God". I like the fact that we´re both treated to really heavy blues based doomy riffs (Iommi style) but also acoustic guitars and more exotic notes and moods. There´s always a catchy guitar hookline or chorus in sight, and that´s Corrosion of Conformity in a nutshell.

12 tracks distributed over 64:32 minutes might be a few tracks too many as a couple of the tracks aren´t up there with the best of the material on the album, but the quality of the tracks is generally very high. We´re talking great organic production, excellent musicianship, and for the most part inspired songwriting, so I have very few complaints and a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.
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