Corrosion of Conformity – Deliverance

One of the signs of a great album is being able to remember exactly where you were the first time you heard it. In the fall/winter of 1994 I was working at Best Buy, and had wandered out of the computer department (where I worked) over to the music department. Someone had put Corrosion of Conformity’s Deliverance into one of the listening stations, so I slipped on the headphones and pressed play. I stood right there for the next sixty or so minutes and listened to the entire album from start to finish, an act that I’m pretty sure got me written up.

Corrosion of Conformity’s fourth album Deliverance picks up where Blind left off. A departure from the band’s early hardcore/thrash sound, Blind and Deliverance are straight up heavy metal. Originally hailing from North carolina, the band’s southern roots really begin to show through on Deliverance. This is in part due to the addition of Pepper Keenan, who joined the band prior to 1991’s Blind and took over as lead vocalist for 1994’s Deliverance.

One of the things I have always loved about this album is the wide range of songs it contains. Right up front, Corrosion of Conformity hit you with three classics in a row. Starting with the hard hitting “Heaven’t Not Overflowing,” the band moves into “Albatross,” a laid back grooving riff that contains a definite NOLA vibe, and moves from that into “Clean My Wounds,” a punchy, mosher’s dream. The rock continues with “My Grain” and “Senor Limpio,” a song that contains the classic lyrics “So hard to be a fighter when your hands are always tied” (followed by, “I wish I had myself a dime for everytime I cursed your god damn name.”) The album controls the pace by interspersing these tracks with slowed and tuned down jams. Later in the disc we get the album’s title track, a song that brings things full circle with another distorted groovefest complete with a sing-a-long chorus.

Deliverance isn’t perfect. “Shake Like You” lacks a hook and it’s over-digitized vocals are annoying, and “Shelter,” by all counts a country song, feels out of place and all but kills the disc’s momemtum. The CD ends with “Pearls Before Swine,” another track that hits but isn’t as memorable as many of the previous tracks.

Many bands mistake “heavy” with “fast,” a mistake that COC does not make. While many of the riffs on Deliverance are slow and brooding, they are all powerful; in fact, the band here sounds a hundred times heavier than they did on “Animosity,” shedding The Sex Pistols for Sabbath.

Deliverance is a must-own album for any fan of Corrosion of Conformity, Down, southern rock or heavy metal in general.

01. Heaven’s Not Overflowing
02. Albatross
03. Clean My Wounds
04. Without Wings
05. Broken Man
06. Señor Limpio
07. Mano de Mono
08. Seven Days
09. #2121313
10. My Grain
11. Deliverance
12. Shake Like You
13. Shelter
14. Pearls Before Swine

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