CORROSION OF CONFORMITY — IX (review)

CORROSION OF CONFORMITY — IX album cover Album · 2014 · Stoner Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
UMUR
"IX" is as the title suggests the 9th full-length studio album by US metal/hardcore act Corrosion of Conformity. The album was released through Candlelight Records in July 2014. After making a comeback with the self-titled album in 2012 and then later in the year with the release of the "Megalodon" EP, Corrosion of Conformity announced that their new three-piece lineup of Mike Dean (Bass, Vocals), Reed Mullin (Drums, Vocals), and Woody Weatherman (Guitars, Vocals) was just one of the lineup constellations that Corrosion of Conformity would continue with. They also plan to record and release albums in the future with Pepper Keenan (vocals, guitars). "IX" is recorded by the three-peice lineup though.

Stylistically the music on "IX" varies from hard rocking stoner metal to faster-paced hardcore punk and at times the transitions between those two styles are a bit confusing. Of course if you´re familiar with the back catalogue of the band and their hardcore punk past, it´s no surprise, but I can see the more inexperienced listener being a bit surprised after listening to the two stoner metal opening tracks "Brand New Sleep" and "Elphyn" and then suddenly being exposed to the hardcore punk track "Denmark Vesey" and a track like "The Nectar" which opens with a punk section but then settles into a stoner metal sound. That´s quite a change in musical style. The hardcore punk sections are relatively few on the album though and the main musical style on the album is Black Sabbath influenced stoner metal.

Corrosion of Conformity manage both musical styles with conviction and as always the musicianship are organic and tight. The vocals are decent and delivered with passion, but none of the three guys singing here are on the level of Pepper Keenan, and it´s hard not to wonder how much the extra dimension of Keenan´s vocals could have added to the music.

"IX" is a well produced album featuring an earthy, raw, and organic sound. It´s a playful album and while it predominantly stay rooted in Black Sabbath influenced stoner metal territory with the odd excursion into hardcore punk territory, Corrosion of Conformity don´t seem to have set any boundaries. They don´t follow a strict songwriting formula and if they feel the need to play a solo, they play one, and if they don´t, they don´t. It´s an album that oozes a laid back and relaxed atmosphere (which by no means results in a powerless show). Corrosion of Conformity are comfortable with what they do and that´s one of the greatest assets of "IX". A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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