Fans who may have found 2004's AMERICA'S VOLUME DEALER a bit sterile will find IN THE ARMS OF GOD to be murkier than a bayou full of alligators. Corrosion of Conformity produced an album charged with more anger and aggression than anything the North Carolina band had done in the last 15 years. While not a total return to their 1980s political hardcore days, here C.O.C. brings back everything but the breakneck tempos.
From the overture-like quality of "Stone Breaker" to the cataclysmic conclusion of the title track, IN THE ARMS OF GOD plays like a movie score. Songs ebb and flow, yet remain connected by Stanton Moore's roiling drumming, propelling the group through a swampy landscape of Southern metal. "Rise River Rise" takes its sweet time; guitars and drums tinker, while the bass rumbles along, and once everything is in place, there's a brief pause before the band roars to life. This tension and release is used again with even more success on the eerily calm "Crown of Thorns" transition into the self-titled tour de force album closer. Throughout the record, frontman Pepper Keenan's voice reveals a singer who just gets better with age, and his primal screams bring added urgency to this fiercely potent outing.