CORROSION OF CONFORMITY, the Grammy-nominated heavy rockers from North Carolina, will release an aggressive new studio album through Sanctuary Records in early 2005, to be followed by a worldwide tour.
Tentatively titled "En los Brazos del Dios" (In the Arms of God), the upcoming album is among the band's heaviest in years. "We all have a certain affinity for real music, including truly heavy stuff," says founding guitarist Woody Weatherman.
The band's current direction reflects their long tradition of evolution. "We started writing songs, and they somewhat had the vibe of 'Blind', 'Deliverance' and our earlier material," says vocalist/guitarist Pepper Keenan. "We started thinking from that perspective, and it evolved into a heavy, classic sound but with a modern wisdom to it. We really got back to our roots with this one, listening to old records that we all grew up on and headbanging at Woody's farmhouse. It was a good time putting it together."
The result, Keenan says, is a "bombastic, epic record, staying clear of the 3-minute formula. It's not a nostalgic record by any means; it's big and ugly and heavy. Thematically, there's a lot of disgust on the record, directed inwardly and towards society in general, reflecting these times we all live in. A lot of people will be able to relate."
Tentative songtitles include "En los Brazos del Dios", "Never Turns to More", "Stone Breaker" and "World on Fire". Producing the album is C.O.C.'s longtime collaborator and knob-twisting, speaker-blowing genius, John Custer. Besides working on four of the band's previous albums, Custer also produced C.O.C. bassist Mike Dean's track on Dave Grohl's PROBOT project and C.O.C.'s contribution to "Nativity In Black", the BLACK SABBATH tribute compilation.
Playing drums is New Orleans' Stanton Moore, skinsman for the renowned jazz-funk combo GALACTIC. Over the past year, C.O.C. found themselves writing intense material and needed a drummer who could not only handle it but take it to another level. Keenan, who had since moved back to his hometown of New Orleans, called his old friend Moore to ask him if he knew any drummers up for the task. Moore laughed. "Yeah, me," he said.
Within four days, C.O.C. was in New Orleans undertaking a musical adventure without a map. This is the type of creative situation in which the band thrives and distinguishes itself as an original force in heavy music. Though C.O.C.'s onslaught represented a departure for Stanton, he was more than up for the challenge. "His performance was totally original and category-crushing," Weatherman says. "He stepped right into it full-throttle."
"He's one of the most progressive drummers I know," Keenan says of Moore. "In the heavy metal world nobody really knows who he is, but after they hear this they will. He's an accomplished jazz drummer playing manic heavy music — I've never heard anything like it."