It's been five years since the group's last studio effort, and In the Arms of God is set to please fans of the group's past catalog, especially 1994's classic Deliverance. Known for changing their sound from album to album, CoC has returned to its most hailed sound--a combination of Southern metal, punk and stoner rock.
"Scorned by your petrified eyes / Reborn with unjustified lies," wails lead vocalist and guitarist Pepper Keenan during the album's opener, "Stone Breaker." Immediately, it's very apparent that CoC has relit the fire assumed lost during its hiatus. "Stone Breaker" is an aggressive and ugly leadoff track, full of heavy and hooking riffs.
"Paranoid Opioid" follows next, a true stoner rock song in the essence of such groups as Clutch and Fu Manchu. The track features the heavy hitting and technical skills of guest drummer Stanton Moore, a member of the jazz-funk band Galactic.
A song directed at society in general, "It Is That Way" slows down the tempo, yet has a heavy and distorted hook to it. "And there's nothing left, nowhere to hide / Nothing left in genocide," preaches Keenan as the song's ominous message.
Never afraid of going unplugged, "Rise River Rise" is a hollow, mainly acoustic "ballad." "River rise from teardrops without warning / Float away while flooding yesterday," Keenan cries.
Deliverance, Part 2? Maybe, but CoC has managed to reconnect with its roots while taking a huge leap forward on In the Arms of God.