Corrosion Of Conformity - In The Arms Of God
Doom/Stoner/Groove Metal
12 songs (64'29)
Release year: 2005
Corrosion Of Conformity, Sanctuary
Reviewed by Marty
In The Arms Of God is the latest offering from Corrosion Of Conformity and is the band's first studio album in 5 years. America's Volume Dealer, released in 2000 was the band's first album for their new label, Sanctuary Records. A live concert DVD, Live Volume was released in 2001 that was recorded at Harpo's in Detroit and since then, band members have been involved with other side projects including lead vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan who appeared on Down II's Bustle In Your Hedgerow. The line-up for In The Arms Of God includes Keenan as well as original members Woody Weatherman (guitar) and Mike Dean (drums). Gone is original drummer Reed Mullin who has since been replaced by Stanton Moore, a long time friend of Pepper Keenan's and drummer for the New Orleans based jazz/funk band Galactic.

This album has been out a while now and there was quite a buzz on the net when it came out. I'm familiar with C.O.C.'s past as a hardcore act in the mid 80's and I was never really much of a fan. America's Volume Dealer was somewhat of a disappointment according to die-hard fans of the band and the buzz about this album was that they were going back to their heavier roots but the final product would also have a modern heavy sound. For inspiration, the band went back to revisit some of the old albums that they grew up listening and head-banging to and the result is something that is a cross between doom metal and stoner metal but with a great heavy groove. Pepper Keenan's passionate, screaming vocal style reminds me a bit of Tom Araya (Slayer) and many tracks feature killer doomy guitar riffs that sound very much like the huge fat down-tuned riffs that spewed out of Tony Iommi's guitar on Black Sabbath's Master Of Reality album. It's hard to keep your head still with all the solid head-banging riffs that are found all over this album

The album kicks off in a great way with two very solid tracks. Stone Breaker features a huge up front bass mix and after a dreamy psychedelic intro, jumps right into some galloping Sabbath style riffs. Pepper's voice is a great blend of passion and anger and this track is a prime example of that. Paranoid Opioid is much faster in tempo but the Sabbath feel is still ever present. With a charging and more aggressive tone, synthesized vocal effects are used for the chorus adding to the "stoner" feel and a sudden tempo change reminds me of the one in Sabbath's Snowblind. It Is That Way again uses doom-laden riffs but this track actually has a melodic edge especially with the chorus. Dirty Hands, Empty Pockets (Already Gone) is a hybrid track that smashes two songs together with Dirty Hands, Empty Pockets having a mix of jazzy segments and crushing heavy Sabbath riffs. After a sudden tempo change they launch into Already Gone, a change very reminiscent of the bridge part in Sabbath's Into The Void. Rise, River Rise is a psychedelic-flavored acoustic number that has the sort of hypnotic feel of some of Led Zeppelin's material (Battle Of Evermore comes to mind). Certainly not in the same vein as the rest of the album, it comes at just the right time to give your neck a rest. Other highlights include the brutal and politically charged Infinite War and the title track In The Arms Of God, a track that has more of a thrash metal style with chugging riffs and a much more aggressive and heavier tone than most of the album.

This sort of doom/stoner/groove metal is starting to take off especially with bands like Black Label Society and Corrosion Of Conformity. It's starting to be called "Biker Metal". There's a hint of a Southern rock style to some of the tracks but it's very subtle and is more reflective of the attitude more so than the sound. There really aren't any filler tracks on this album and listening to this album is a great and enjoyable ride. These guys have a killer groove to their metal and combined with the big boomy Sabbath riffs, have created something that definitely pays homage to the past but still has a very modern feel. I like this album a lot and have become a fan of the band because of this album and it is definitely some of the best work I have ever heard from them. If your head ain't banging by half way through Stone Breaker, there must be something wrong with you...........

Killing Songs :
Stone Breaker, Paranoid Opioid, Rise River Rise, Infinite War and In The Arms Of God
Marty quoted 80 / 100
Other albums by Corrosion Of Conformity that we have reviewed:
Corrosion Of Conformity - IX reviewed by Andy and quoted 90 / 100
Corrosion Of Conformity - Corrosion Of Conformity reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
Corrosion Of Conformity - Animosity reviewed by Cody and quoted 97 / 100
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