|Corrosion of Conformity In The Arms Of God 2005 Sanctuary Records Official Site|
Review by O.M.O.M.
I had pretty much relegated C.O.C. to the “out-to-pasture” status. A metal band that had been around for 20+ years, cut a string of killer releases (1991’s Blind, ‘94’s Deliverance and ‘96’s Wiseblood) followed by a hit and miss release, America’s Volume Dealer. Throw in guitarist Pepper Keenan’s stint with Down plus five years between studio releases from C.O.C.; I was under the assumption that Pepper and Co. had it’s time in the sun and would spend the later years of their career releasing albums that were merely excuses to mount a tour to bash out the oldies. Brother, was I ever wrong.
“Just a short drive to the video store, I’ll skip through a couple of tracks then give this a proper listen later” I said to myself as I fed the disc into my car stereo. “Stone Breaker” started off with a swampy groove that has classic C.O.C. stamped all over it. “Not bad…” I think as the song kicked in with a Sabbathy charge. Barely a pause in the action as “Paranoid Opioid” pounded its way into my brain with a bone crushing groove courtesy of Galactic/Garage A Trois drummer Stanton Moore and founding C.O.C. bassist Mike Dean. “Hell, I can beat that yellow light!” I exclaimed as Woody Weatherman and Pepper Keenan’s thick riffage pounded along “It Is That Way.” Suddenly, my short drive became a yesteryear metal cruise-in as my foot became heavier and heavier as the riffs and volume increased.
This release is not one of a band resting on their past glories. In The Arms Of God finds Pepper Keenan on top of his game lyrically and the band firing on all cylinders musically. Is it world events that spawned this release? Possibly Pepper’s auditioning for the bassist slot in Metallica? Whatever it is that has lit the creative fire in C.O.C.’s belly, it’s made this one of the early runners for metal release of 2005. Not a clunker to be found on this release, from the laid back “Rise River Rise” to the full speed ahead intensity of “Infinite War.” After other bands hear the pounding drum beats on this, Stanton Moore may be in hot demand for more than just jazz/funk outfits. Welcome back C.O.C., next time don’t stay away so long.
As the disc closed things out with the supercharged seven-minute title track, I noticed red lights flashing in my rear view mirror, which has lead us to your courtroom today. If we could just take a short recess to listen to In The Arms Of God I’m sure the court will condone my need for speed and erratic driving. The defense rests, your Honor.
Editors note: The judge, evidently a Top 40 country fan, took no pity on the Old Man Of Metal’s plight and fined our scribe $376.00 and sentenced him to 40 hours community service.