"No Cross No Crown" is the tenth studio album by the American metal band Corrosion of Conformity, which was released on January 12, 2018 on the Nuclear Blast label.
At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 81, based on 4 reviews, indicating "Universal acclaim ".
‘No Cross No Crown’ is the first Corrosion Of Conformity album in twelve years to feature guitarist and vocalist Pepper Keenan. The album sounds like no time has passed since they last played together and it’s clear that the group’s musical direction was motivated by recapturing the sound of their earlier work, particularly ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Wiseblood’, rather than reinventing the wheel. I’m happy to say they’ve mostly succeeded and that ‘No Cross No Crown’ can stand side by side with their most loved albums.
So far, I’ve heaped a ton of praise on ‘No Cross No Crown’ and while I do love the album it’s not perfect. The second half of the album is notably weaker, particularly the title track ‘No Cross No Crown’ which is just under four minutes of ambient guitar, background noise with some chant like spoken word and it feels completely out of place and overly long. There’s also less of a focus on catchy vocal hooks and the album spends more time with the speed dialled down – not necessarily a bad thing but it’s worth noting that this album might not grab you right away. After multiple playthroughs, however, details you may have missed begin to stand out and it’s clear a good deal of thought has gone into making each song unique.
‘No Cross No Crown’ sounds like a natural evolution from where they left off twelve years ago. While it lacks some of the immediacy of the ‘Deliverance’ to ‘In The Arms Of God’ era it makes up for it with its sludgier pace, killer riffs and memorable songwriting. If you’re a fan of any of Corrosion Of Conformity’s album with Pepper Keenan this is an essential listen.
Reviewed by Oliver Picken for metalwani.com.