Corrosion Of Conformity, the Sludge/Hardcore Punk band first formed in Raleigh/North Carolina back in 1982, may have never quite made it big but, throughout its long and turbulent career, has managed to gain the appreciation and support of a significant portion of metal fans around the globe.

With their come-back same-titled record, an album produced following a seven year hiatus, receiving a warm reaction back in 2012, pressure to follow with an equally impressive release must have made its unwelcome presence in the COC camp.

Well, it looks like the three musos have channelled all the pressure felt in a truly positive way as “IX”, the band’s latest offering is another worthy addition in the band’s catalogue.

The band’s history has always been informed by the clear division between the Hardcore Punk/Crossover era and that when Heavy/Sludge riffs dominated the proceedings.

Well, in many ways “IX” can really be described as a ‘celebration of all things COC’ as it, artfully and successfully, brings together elements from both those eras and, in the process, present the listener with eleven sonically intense compositions.

While Woody Weatherman’s distorted riffs provide the foundation stone to each and every song in the album, Reed Mullin’s warm intelligent drumming perfectly complements Mike Dean’s contributions, both as a the band’s bassist and vocalist.

In short, “IX”, is a simply-crafted album, but one whose energy levels and intensity are such that can bring the wall of your living room down if you choose to be too generous with your volume control.

Listening to the Sabbath-sounding groove laden riffs of the opening song “Brand New Sleep” one will be excused in thinking that Pepper Keenan (Down) is still a member of this band – an idea that will be reinforced by the equally groovy but slightly more melodic themes of the follow-up “Elphyn”.

Filled with explosive Punk energy, “Denmark Vesey” is a short ditto whose tunes will stay with you long after the last note has been performed while the follow-up “The Nektar” is the first real highlight of the album as it successfully combines elements from all stages of the band’s history.

A short and fairly unnecessary piece entitled “Interlude” is followed by the guitar-driven “On Your Way” which keeps a healthy momentum going.

The band’s love for all things Sabbath is clearly expressed in the back to back compositions “Trucker” and “The Hanged Man”, leaving the interestingly titled “Tarquinius Superbus” to successfully bridge the gap between the words on Metal and Punk.

In “Who You Need To Blame” you have a simple but enjoyable melody-driven piece while in “The Nektar Revised”, the closing composition of the album, one gets a very short piece of music based on the chorus theme of the album’s fourth track.

With so many reunions taking place as a means of relieving one’s old school fans of their hard-earned money these days, you would be justified in feeling sceptical as to whether Corrosion Of Conformity era 2014 is a band worthy your time and support.

Well, if you are already the proud owner of 2012’s “Corrosion Of Conformity” album then you already know what the answer to that question is but, just in case that this great album failed to reach your music collection two years ago, “IX is here to successfully fight the band’s corner.

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