Whenever CORROSION OF CONFORMITY releases a new album, folks take notice. But their latest is a true event. It’s been a dozen years since CORROSION OF CONFORMITY recorded new material with vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan at the helm. In that time, there have been rumors, whispers, and outright allegations that the legendary Southern rock outfit would reunite to blow the doors off the whole damn scene again. In 2014, after nearly a straight decade traversing the globe as a guitarist with New Orleans supergroup Down, Keenan reconnected with the core CORROSION OF CONFORMITY trio of Woody Weatherman, Mike Dean, and Reed Mullin to hit the road hard. “Reed called me and mentioned maybe playing a couple shows,” Keenan recalls. “I said, ‘Let’s just go to Europe and see if it works.’ So we went to Europe and then ended up going back four times in one year… We toured for a year and then started tracking about ten or eleven months ago.”
And now, the long wait is over. CORROSION OF CONFORMITY returns with No Cross No Crown — an album that somehow sounds as though no time has passed between 2005’s In The Arms Of God and today.
Recording in North Carolina with longtime producer John Custer, CORROSION OF CONFORMITY cut No Cross No Crown in about forty days over the course of a year. “We took our time and didn’t put any pressure on ourselves,” Keenan says. “I’d go up from New Orleans and we’d do four or five days at a time, just hacking away at it. It was fun because we did it like a demo, but in a studio. We were writing and putting it on tape at the same time. We took what parts we thought were great from the old days and weren’t scared to go backwards. It kinda wrote itself that way.”
Some of these new jams sound like could’ve easily been on Wiseblood or Deliverance, two of CORROSION OF CONFORMITY‘s most revered records. On No Cross No Crown, beefy Southern stompers like “The Luddite,” “Little Man,” and “Forgive Me” are interspersed with melancholy guitar interludes like “No Cross,” “Matre’s Diem,” and “Sacred Isolation” — just like Sabbath used to do in the ’70s. “We started doing that on Deliverance,” Keenan points out. “My theory on that is that if you’re trying to make a record flow, you need to break it up a little. When you need a breather, write an interlude. I like writing those mellow pieces just to space things out and make the next thing come in heavier.”