without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Animosity shows Corrosion Of Conformity starting to take themselves seriously as it is much better played and much better put together than Eye For An Eye. They start adding more thrash metal influence to their sound a-la Suicidal Tendencies and learn how to play their instruments better. This album shows metal influence growing within their music as solos and more metallic riffs plant themselves in the music. It's still hardcore punk through and through, it just has a few metallic trimmings to spruce it up. And spruce it up those trimmings did. The mix of instruments sounds overall more refined and talented than Eye For An Eye. Corrosion Of Conformity are no longer just dicking around and playing their instruments just to play, but have now put on the big boy pants and are playing at a much more professional level. The rhythms flow much better and the instruments actually harmonize to create sinister anthems for the punk crypt. Animosity feels very complete, energetic, insidious in this more tightly-knit and concentrated package.
Animosity gives off a feeling of invasive evil that attacks you at all angles and leaves you battered and bruised with thrashing punk anthems such as Mad World and Hungry Child. Sludgier songs such as the almighty Holier and Intervention with their static and distortion effects only cake on more layers of sinister insidiousness. It ends on the creeping instrumental Animosity, which could easily fit itself onto a Black Sabbath album. Animosity has extremely thick bass to it and has a muddy feel to it that makes the songs have more density to them and actually jive somewhat due to thumping drive it adds to the sound. The whole momentum on the album is a nonstop ass-kicking that holds no bars and hates to stop.
Animosity is a swift, slicing, thrash-stained hardcore album with oodles of punchy riffs, static-y fuzz, insidious atmosphere, and pure undiluted evil fueling these dark anthems of the murky punk underground. It's aggressiveness and punch cement it's reputation as a classic among punk fans and a tasty little listen for metal fans. If you're into Corrosion Of Conformity as a punk band, this is some of their best material from their punk days and I would definitely recommend to them. Even if you just know Corrosion as a metal band, give it a few listens.
Having shared stages with Slayer and other metal and hardcore underground stalwarts, Corrosion Of Conformity saw their star ascending a touch within their world. Thus it made sense to move to the more stable label of Death records (the hardcore/speedcore Metal Blade subsidiary as opposed to Toxic Shock, the micro-label that had issued their debut). And in turn, as the hardcore punks probably predicted, the band’s sound did indeed become a bit less hardcore and a bit more metal. But on Animosity it’s a grimy, doomy, and only occasionally speedy sort of metal, kind of like if Saint Vitus decided to record a punk album. Bassist Mike Dean has taken over the vocal spot, and his generally tortured wails and growls marry well with the unpolished riffs and songs on hand.
Less immediate than current work by their scene fellows, Animosity is a warped and somewhat hard to decode affair, pulling from all current heavy music styles without ever really pledging allegiance to one specific notion. Thus “Loss For Words,” “Intervention” and the immortal “Kiss Of Death” are a seamless blend of metal heft and raw, spontaneous hardcore energy. But there’s a generally downcast, evil vibe on hand here evident in the sinister riffing of “Mad World” and the determined manner in which the band deliver these sermons that summon up an ugly and corrupt eighties.
Weird point: the band would move away from the grit and grime of this sound in years to come, only to gain it back in somewhat different form with far more rosy commercial results. Which goes to prove that somewhere in the anatomy of their gurgling guts, metal and punk have more shared organs than perhaps pundits of either style would feel comfortable admitting.
And once again I disagree with Ultraboris! Yes, this may be a little sloppy at times, with raw production, but the spirit of old school hardcore punk is very much alive and well on this album. And the slow, sludgy, Sabbath-like parts on this album were revolutionary in that virtually no hardcore punk bands were doing anything like this (with the exception of maybe Flipper) at the time. This is not the boring trudging along of modern metalcore bands, these slow bits ooze power and anger.
Raging from start to finish, every song on this album blasts at you with pitbull-like intensity. And Mike's vocals are everything but polished and polite--his rabid screaming and yelling has lots of character that adds to the overall mood and feeling of this album. "Phoned-in performance", my foot in your ass, Boris! =) And he's no slouch on the bass front, either, as the rapid fire intro for "Holier" shows. Woody Weatherman's guitar lays down equal parts dark crunch and moaning, wailing solos worthy of Iommi in his prime, and Reed Mullin thrashes up a storm behind his drums. This kind of music is not always about tightness and musical ability (though COC had those), it's about passion and feeling, and this album has that to spare.
Look to album opener "Loss For Words" for a good example of prime hardcore punk thrashing seguing into doomy metallic breakdown near the end, with powerful intent. "Holier" starts out fast and blazing on the verses and goes into a slower, more controlled chorus with creepy effected vocals. "Hungry Child" has a Third World theme to it lyrically--did I mention that COC used to be heavily political in their lyrical matter?-- and "Mad World" expresses frustration and anger at the state of affairs intimeless fashion with more of a mid tempo feel to it.
Before the initials COC became a meaningless acronym, before they went full-on Southern rock crap, this was the REAL Corrosion of Conformity for most fans. Check this out and see what I mean when I say that this blows away most anything they did after 1991's "Blind", their last good album.
Ya know, originally I thought this album was complete shit... but when I listen to it more, and combined with my increasing appreciation for old-school punk, the more I like it. Don't expect a real thrash masterpiece here, but in general there are some pretty decent riffs to be found here... and if you like stuff like the Exploited, or DRI, you'll like this. Even fans of the first Nuclear Assault should check it out if they like their music sloppier.
Highlights... "Loss for Words" is almost epic, as it's 6 minutes and has a fast section, a slow section, etc etc. "Holier" is also pretty cool because the verses are kinda midpaced and thrashy as fvck. "Consumed" is pretty damn cool too, and "Positive Outlook" has a nifty thrash break. Yeah, it's pretty much straight-up crossover - half punk, half thrash.
Oh yes, the vocalist blows ass. But ya know what, that just kinda adds to the charm. He makes Sean Killian sound like Rob Halford, and in general sounds like he sorta phoned in his performance... not angry enough, dude. No matter how distorted you get, the spirit must be there or otherwise it fails. It's punk, not opera. Show me some rage!!
Oh well. And the production isn't great either... but the guitar work is pretty inspired, and when all is said and done, the album does have some serious balls to it.
Yeah, I originally had a review that said "man, this is pretty bad" with a 59 (above average, but not by much) rating. Things grow on me. It's above average, by a reasonable margin.