Corrosion of Conformity are back on Glasgow soil as part of a six-date UK tour with Down guitarist and circa 2004 frontman Pepper Keenan, thus compiling the classic Deliverance era line-up that was all the rage in the proverbial cage 14-years back (god, has it really been that long?!)
COC are certainly just as good as a three-piece unit as we have seen in recent times (Hammerfest et al.), maintaining their fundamental sludge-core Southern rock sensibilities; fuelled with uber low-tone-dronage and detuned heavy-gauged string abuse.
However, there is no doubt that the Keenan line-up reigns in the punters like Icarus to the sun, as is clearly evident tonight.
Keenan has those inherently distinctive qualities that place him against some of the cult/legendary frontmen of the epic late 80s early 90s metal movement.
The raw southern tinged riffage is a tour-de-force, no-holds-barred Chuck Norris assault to the ears, leaving many tympanic membranes in badly perforated conditions.
With a decabolic juggernaut of low-wavelength noise emanating from the stage, with nobody here to complain about potential future hearing issues or even, god-forbid: cholesteatoma.
The band opens with ‘These Shrouded Temples’ and ‘Senor Limpio’, which set the cogs in motion for the crowd, who are consequently already pre-buzzed presumably due to the classic line-up.
Highlights include ‘13 Angels’, ‘Wiseblood’ and the inevitable ‘Albatross’, and Pepper and his mates of 30+ years are clearly having a blast up on the stage.
As it is something of a reunion tour the lack of stage banter is slightly disappointing, but that could have been down to covering so many tracks (18 to be precise), in such little time – so that aspect can easily be forgiven.
Mike Dean’s low chugging bass sounds definitely destroy more than a few souls tonight, and that is why one attends a COC gig.
It’s all about the sludge’n’drone, and there’s certainly no lack of it tonight.
A pleasant return from one of the more understated, but classic metal outfits who have survived the trials and tribulations (including numerous line-up changes) spanning over under three-decades.
Words/Photos: Derek Robertson