I have always been a fan of Corrosion of Conformity, but have never seen them live. I would finally get that opportunity at The Showbox Sodo on Monday night. Also on the bill was Eyehategod. I had never heard of them, but listened to a bit online and thought they would make a good opener. The headliner was Black Label Society, but I was not allowed to stay for their set.
As I entered the venue it amazed me how packed it was. I asked one of the security guards and he said the show was sold out. As I prepared my photography equipment, I was amazed at how many people were at the show early. No late arriving crowd tonight. There was also a noticeable buzz in the crowd as well. As the lights went down Eyehategod came on stage. They are from Louisiana and I have found them listed as sludge metal. I was told this is a combination of doom metal and hard-core punk. I would say that is a fair analogy. They were a very solid band. Mike Williams (vocals) and Jimmy Bower (guitar) have been in the band since the late 80s. Their last album was the self-titled “Eyehategod” released in 2014. Mike’s vocal style makes it hard to understand the lyrics, but man he was belting out the vocals. It fit the music perfectly and made for a good show. The guitar is quite heavy in places and Jimmy was killing it. Some of the lyrics I did pick up on were pretty harsh, but hey, it’s sludge metal so what would you expect? All in all, I enjoyed their set. I wish I could provide some more details, but I would definitely check them out again if they came to Seattle.
Next up was what I had been waiting for. Corrosion of Conformity hit the stage like a ton of bricks. Three of the four member are from the original start of the band and vocalist Pepper Keenan joined a couple of years after the band formed. All of these guys are in their 50s, but man you could not tell that when they were on stage. They were rocking with the best of them. They have a new album out called “No Cross No Crown”, which I highly recommend you pick up. The crowd roared as they hit the stage and you could tell they had not been forgotten over the years.
Their first full song was “The Luddite” off their new album. It was a solid opener as this song has a great groove to it and some really awesome guitar work in the middle. Woody Weatherman is a great lead guitarist and Pepper does a nice job on guitar as well. At this point, I was so impressed by how good they sounded and it was just so in your face metal. What followed is what would be a lot of their greatest hits. “Seven Days” and “Vote With a Bullet” followed and both were perfect. “Vote With a Bullet” is the first COC song I remember ever hearing. I was very excited to hear it live with its chunky riffs, another great guitar solo and it is just an all around great song.
The ten song set ended with two of their biggest hits, “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds“. This took me back twenty plus years in time. Both songs again sounded fantastic. I really like the vocals of Pepper in “Albatross“. The song is a bit cleaner, and you can hear the excellent groove and power he has in his voice. I believe this was their highest charting song and it’s easy to see why. “Clean My Wounds” came across a lot harder in concert, but that was a good thing. I would say the whole set really came across harder than the albums. The show felt like a boxer that just kept coming and coming. The whole show was so enjoyable in every way. I have to give it up to these guys for getting back together and doing such a great job live. I had read more than a few people who were very skeptical that COC would still be worth seeing. Well I can tell you there is no reason to be skeptical at all. They are awesome live, and if you get a chance to see them, make sure you do.
Review by Eric Pefley.