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Wisecracking Rock n' Roll - 94%

psychoticnicholai, January 14th, 2014

The sound of COC is shown to have continued to change and evolve with this album. Wiseblood furthers the encroaching groove metal and rock n' roll influences that make themselves apparent on this release. Wiseblood is a natural advancement from the grimy, dirty sound of Deliverance along the lines of COC's signature southern/stoner/groove style. It has the unique charisma and sharp, wisecracking attitude that carried Corrosion Of Conformity throughout the 1990's and gained them a respectable amount of popularity and praise. Wiseblood shows that Corrosion Of Conformity can find a sound, stick to it, and evolve within it. This shows stability and maturity with this band as their early years were rather rough as far as genres were concerned. They went from punk rock, to crossover thrash, to thrash/groove, to finally stoner metal and they've decided to stick with this. This is the sound that would define Corrosion Of Conformity in their prime.

The instruments are all played wonderfully and the record itself is produced with almost a layer of thick sludge on top of it with a low bottom and a heavy bass in the production. The guitars are given a thick, chunky, low tuning with a heaping helping of distortion to only further add the slime to the pile. The bass complements the guitar well and still continues to add to the lowdown impact of the overall sound with a nice thump to keep the rhythm going during the heavily distorted and very skillful solos. Pepper Keenan continues to give excellent vocals that let you know that this is COC's signature sound.

Blues influence is all over this album and that gives it a very rock n' roll sound, especially on such tracks as Long Whip/Big America and Goodbye Windows. Classic rock sound is also very prevalent in Wiseblood on not only the title track, but also other rousing headbangers such as The Door and Born Again For The Last Time. The ballads on this album are also pulled of smoothly and with a southern-fried rocking charisma that only Corrosion Of Conformity can deliver. Redemption City is beautifully mournful and has this dusty texture to the song that just feels right, like walking through a desert with a decaying city ruin in the middle would be the most appropriate place for it. Drowning In A Daydream, the other ballad, is also very uplifting; and like all the songs on Wiseblood has a rocking rhythm that pushes the song along and makes it all the more memorable to your ear. You angry? Man Or Ash, with it's sacriligious lyrics and chilling vocal techniques (helped along by guest James Hetfield) make this song super heavy and a real scarer. Or do you just want to thrash out? Then Fuel's your song; crushing, fast, and driving, it's just perfect for that.

Wiseblood, while not quite as heavy as Blind or as groundbreaking as Deliverance is still an excellent album and I could easily recommend it to anyone who enjoys metal in general. I'd still recommend this most to sludge, groove, and traditional metal fans. Southern and classic rock fans will also find plenty to love on this release. If you ever see this album and it strikes your interest, listen to it. You won't be disappointed.