Corrosion of Conformity have a rich history in the annals of American metal.  While they’ve morphed genres over the years, they’ve maintained a high level of respect.  Yes, Pepper Keenan is no longer in the band.  Yes, he contributed to some of their best work in the ’90s. But don’t forget about their roots in the pre-Keenan era and get right to the point with IX.

C.O.C. are a force to be reckoned with on IX.  They bring to light their entire history, from the sludge/doom sound from the last few albums to the punk/crossover sound that made them famous in the ’80s.

“Brand New Sleep” opens with a sludgy, doom-laden, Sabbath-esque wall of riffs; the band sounds tight and Mike Dean‘s vocals are spot on. “Elphyn” continues with the Southern doom feel, and “Denmark Vesey” picks up the tempo and hearkens to their punk roots. “Tarquinius Superbus” follows suit and keeps the album true to form. “The Nectar” epitomizes the band;, fast and furious, but rich with heavy riffs.  Woody Weatherman’s guitar work is nothing short of bluesy and ballsy, and “On Your Way” is upbeat and showcases Dean’s vocal abilities.

Corrosion of Conformity show their increasing comfort as a trio, and IX  is a much better album than their self-titled full-length.  The Scion EP release, Megaladon, hinted at a direction the band was aiming at, but never quite got there. The good news? Ladies and gentlemen, the legendary Corrosion of Conformity are back!

IX is out now on Candlelight Records.

Rating: 4/5 Stars