Corrosion of Conformity – self-titled

By Gruesome Greg

Without Pepper Keenan in the picture, you kinda got the feeling that this wouldn’t be the southern sludge of COC’s later work, but since the throwback lineup never played Toronto (or anywhere on this side of the border, for that matter), I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.

Actually, this one starts off slow with the doomy riffs of “Psychic Vampire,” which wallows in the mire until kicking it up a coupla notches, crossover-style, for the chorus. Hmm, not too shabby. “River of Stone” takes almost the opposite approach, more of a Mastodon/Black Tusk chug in the verses, but a solid, slowed-down chorus, bridging the gap between the two eras.

I gotta say, while I’ve got nothing against Pepper’s singing, Mike Dean’s voice suits this material real well. It’s still sorta gruff, but with more of a clean high register than Pepper. This dude can actually sing doom, not just that southern shit!

This record chugs along with songs like the Motorpunk bitchslap of “Leeches,” the melodic doom/sludge attack of “Your Tomorrow,” and “The Moneychangers,” which kinda recalls The Cult on punk-rock bathtub crank—with mellow, desert-style instrumental “El Lamento de las Cabras” thrown in for good measure. “The Doom” is pretty much what the song title suggests, a downtuned, slow-grooving stomper, though it moves into some fast, moshable moments from time to time. Animosity, this is not—and I ain’t complainin’!

First the new Orange Goblin, now this. I gotta say, I’m enjoying Candlelight’s foray away from black metal at the start of this year. They’ve certainly set the bar high for whatever comes next…

(Candlelight USA)

Corrosion of Conformity will be released on February 28, 2012.

Sean is the founder/publisher of; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.