Rating 6 out of 10
No Cross No Crown, the latest release by Corrosion of Conformity, features the return of Pepper Keenan. Reed Mullin who rejoined the band in 2010 on drums completes the classic Deliverance lineup for the first time since 2000.
The album is filled with the short lead-in tracks that were present on the Deliverance album including the 3 minute plus title track which is mostly forgettable. Unfortunately, these short interludes do not lead into uniquely the brilliant songs that the classic 1994 album had. “The Luddite” is a solid opener and is part of the set list on the current tour opening for Black Label Society. “Cast the First Stone” is a faster pace song which is very good , while “Wolf Named Crow” kicks a little more ass. “Forgive Me” is the album’s highlight, delivering a sound that is reminiscent of Black Sabbath’s Sabotage infused with a little Thin Lizzy. “Nothing Left To Say” has a sound that easily could have been on a Down record. In fact, I think Phil’s vocals would make the song better. “E.L.M.” is a solid heavy tune as well.
While it is a good listen, No Cross No Crown lacks something. The albums C.O.C. released from 1991 to 2005 have heavy songs that are, dare I say, catchy. I find myself humming songs from Deliverance and Wiseblood regularly. I don’t see this happening with No Cross No Crown because it misses the catchy riffs. It sounds like they are trying too hard to sound like classic C.O.C. instead of organically creating something profound.
Deliverance is one of my favorite albums of all time. Easily 9 or 9.5. out of a 10. Wiseblood is an 8.5 or 9. In comparison, No Cross No Crown gets a 6 out of 10. It’s good but pales in comparison to what the band is capable of delivering.
Written by Joe Becht. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBecht