Corrosion of Conformity Live Volume

And the band plays on, despite a severe critical backlash afforded last year's America's Volume Dealer album, a record that brilliantly blended Thin Lizzy-style hard rock and smart modern metal sensibility. However, after a listen to Live Volume, recorded earlier this year live in Detroit, some of those critics may well be now eating their words. Dropping the shoddy production values from Dealer, these energetic renditions of "better be" classics "Who's Got The Fire" and "Congratulations Song" can be denied by no one. North Carolina's finest also dive deep into Deliverance and Wiseblood and even go back to Blind (but no further) for a couple tracks, most obvious being the cult classic "Vote With A Bullet." What makes this album special is that a simple rock'n'roll band like COC comes across better on stage than in a studio, that and the fact that they like to spice up their songs live. Temporary drummer Jimmy Bower (Eyehategod, Down, Clearlight) handles the departed Reed Mullin's position just fine, adding a touch of his own style to the mix. The band is comfortable diving into the extended jams, which work fairly well, especially with the reworking of the ultra-classic "Clean My Wounds," which ends off this 77-minute disc of pure heavy rock enjoyment. The track listing reads like a rundown of some of my favourite metal songs of all time, the production sound is killer and the audience sound doesn't sound (too) tampered with. I've got no complaints. (Sanctuary)