Preamble: this is my first Pick of the Week that isn’t a band. Instead, it’s a disc that I can’t stop playing. A disc I’m digging on so much that I’m permanently breaking my six-year-old convention and allowing the Pick of the Week to now be a concert, album, piece of gear or anything music-related that impressed me that week.
Corrosion of Conformity‘s 2005 release “Into the Arms of God” is an angry, yet melodic and very mature album from the seminal stoner rock band out of North Carolina, when it was still regularly fronted by Pepper Keenan. The grit, doom and fuzz is tempered with some surprisingly hooky grooves as found in “Rise River Rise” and “Backslider”.
We begin with the track that got play on MTV2’s Headbanger’s Ball, the killer “Stone Breaker”, and lead through the trippy “Paranoid Opioid” into another hook-filled fuzzfest, “It Is That Way”. Nearly very song on this album is good or even great, and as a whole it hangs together like few other albums I’ve heard lately. From the Slayer-like pounding of “Infinite War” to the bluesy, psychedelic jam of “So Much Left Behind”, this album is very much a progression from its previous milestone album, the gritty Wiseblood. The weakest track is oddly the title track, which is an acoustic song that sounds like it was lifted from the quiet moment of a movie about ritual self-flagellation. Skip that, take the rest and you have an album well worth putting into your heavy rotation!
Here’s the official video for the opening track, Stone Breaker