What year is it again? A new Star Wars movie is about two months away, Iron Maiden has a brand new album out that rules, The Muppet Show has new episodes on TV each week and other amazingness is happening. Somebody pinch me! Or don’t, because I don’t want to wake up if this is a dream. And for the kicker, Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity, frequent touring partners for the last 25 years are out on the road together once again. Playing blistering sets each night for droves of fans, neither band competes with the other. Instead they live in their own bubbles of genre defining greatness. C.O.C., now rejoined by Pepper Keenan (Down), are rejuvenated by going down memory lane for a set consisting of songs from classic 90s albums such as Deliverance and Wiseblood (both Columbia). Although they occasionally toss in an 80s crossover classic, one hopes the band hasn’t abandoned its fruitful “COC trio” work they have been doing the last few years completely. Writing for a new COC album is ongoing and a release is expected sometime in 2016. In the meantime Clutch is just crushing on the strength of their bold new album Psychic Warfare (Weathermaker). Led by the indomitable Neil Fallon, the band has mined this new album heavily live, as well as the classics that have made Clutch one of the premier American heavy rock bands going. Captured tonight by Evil Robb Photography at Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in New Hampshire, you have one of the strongest bills of no compromise rock and metal heard anywhere this fall.
The reunion of the classic Deliverance line up is hotly anticipated with a sold out crowd ready to greet Pepper Keenan and the rest ofCorrosion Of Conformity.
Kicking the night off in fine style were London based bringers of sludgy despicable metal Hang The Bastard, and boy were they sludgy. Looking like the Born Too Late-era Saint Vitus (only with less convictions for holding onto Walter White’s stash) and sounding just as punishing, like a wave of grim descended upon the venue. Drawing mainly on their last album Sex In The Seventh Circle the five piece slam through their 45 minute repertoire of heavy lumbering riffs and ear piercing vocals against a constant wall of nothing but uninterrupted feedback. The simple stage set up of red lights throughout added to the hazy almost bleak red room from Twin Peaks feel to the evening, if only instead of weirdest the backwards talking dwarf was replaced by riffs that made your brain want to dribble out of your ears. The fact the PA in the venue was blisteringly loud didn’t half improve the bands’ set, making a hypnotic wall of sound that crumbled each time the bands rumbling bass sound kicked back in.
Playing a set comprised of In The Arms Of God and fan favourites Wiseblood and Deliverance this evening has a greatly celebratory feel from the off as ‘These Shrouded Temples’ and the stomping ‘Señor Limpio’ kick tonight into gear.
Keenan grins from ear to ear as fans raise their fists and voices for ‘King Of The Rotten’ and underground hit ‘Albatross’ which threatens to take the roof off. Woody Weatherman clearly enjoys having his fellow riffmeister back in the fold, trading off licks while Messrs Dean and Mullin hold down the groove with an almost telepathic ease. There are plenty of surprises too. ‘Goodbye Windows’ is given its live debut and ‘Broken Man’ is aired for the first time in nearly twenty years. A stellar performance which receives a rapturous reception, the North Carolinians reputation as a jewel in the crowd of underground metal was cemented tonight.