Corrosion of Conformity

Corrosion of Conformity
Corrosion of Conformity

Corrosion of Conformity live at Reds, Edmonton, 2005
Background information
Origin Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Genres Heavy metal, stoner metal
Sludge metal
Crossover thrash (early)
Years active 1982–present
Labels Sanctuary, Columbia, Metal Blade, Relativity, Caroline, Southern Lord
Associated acts Down, Snake Nation
Reed Mullin
Woody Weatherman
Mike Dean
Pepper Keenan[1]
Past members
Karl Agell
Phil Swisher
Simon Bob Sinister
Eric Eycke
Robert Stewart
Benji Shelton
Jimmy Bower
Jason Patterson

Corrosion of Conformity (also known as C.O.C.) is an American heavy metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina formed in 1982. For almost the majority of its existence, the band has consisted of guitarist Woody Weatherman, bassist Mike Dean, drummer Reed Mullin and vocalist and rhythm guitarist Pepper Keenan (who joined the band in 1989). After a hiatus in 2006, Corrosion of Conformity returned in 2010, without Keenan who is currently in Down (although it has been disputed whether or not Keenan has left the band).

To date, Corrosion of Conformity has released seven studio albums, two EPs, one compilation, and one live album. The band had three independent releases, Eye for an Eye (1984), Animosity (1985) and Blind (1991). The albums attracted the attention of Columbia Records, who signed the band in 1993, and released Deliverance, their most successful album to date, one year later. Their next three albums, Wiseblood (1996), America's Volume Dealer (2000) and In the Arms of God (2005) were also critically acclaimed. Corrosion of Conformity is currently working on an eighth studio album, which is due for release in 2011.



Early years (1982–1987)

Corrosion of Conformity (C.O.C.) was formed in Raleigh, North Carolina by bassist and vocalist Mike Dean, guitarist Woody Weatherman and drummer Reed Mullin in the early '80s.[2] Their hardcore punk-oriented 20-track debut Eye for an Eye—the only album featuring the vocalist Eric Eycke—was released in 1984 (later re-released by Caroline Records during 1989).[3] Soon after, Eycke left the band and C.O.C. continued as a three-piece with Dean and Mullin sharing the vocal duties on the 1985's follow-up Animosity.[2] In 1987, COC recruited Simon Bob Sinister away from their fellow Carolina band and Death Records labelmates Ugly Americans. The band's 1987 release, Technocracy, featured the hectic thrash musicianship of COC with a cleaner vocal style than they had in the past.

Departure of Mike Dean, hiatus and Blind (1987-1992)

Mike Dean departed in 1987 and Simon Bob soon followed, leaving COC in a state of flux for a couple of years. The remaining members re-tuned the line up and searched for a new vocalist, even posting a classified in Flipside Fanzine for a singer similar in sound to "James Hetfield or Ozzy Osbourne" to go with their new metal sound. Caroline Records released some old tracks with Mike singing during this time with the aptly named Six Songs with Mike Singing EP.

Mike Dean also participated in Snake Nation.

After much searching, Karl Agell was recruited on vocals, Phil Swisher on bass and Pepper Keenan as a second guitarist. COC gravitated towards a more straightforward heavy metal sound. By 1991's Blind they had become a heavy metal band. Blind was the first COC album to receive mainstream attention. The video for "Vote with a Bullet" received airplay on MTV and the album cracked the Billboard Heatseekers chart in early 1992. The album has sold around 250,000 copies in the US to date.

Deliverance and Wiseblood (1993-1998)

In 1993, Agell and Swisher left the band and formed the band Leadfoot, Dean returned and Keenan took over lead vocals. The following year COC signed to Columbia Records, and the release of Deliverance saw the band move toward Southern metal, a sound that they also carried onto the Wiseblood and America's Volume Dealer albums. In 1994, their song Big Problems was featured on the Clerks soundtrack. The song Clean My Wounds was also featured in the anime movie Tekken: The Motion Picture.

Deliverance was the band's biggest selling album. This was mainly due to the singles "Albatross" and "Clean My Wounds" becoming Top 20 hits on rock radio and the album managed to spend almost four months on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 155.[4] On the Heatseekers chart, it peaked at No. 5 and lasted almost a year on that particular chart. US sales for the album were just over 440,000 by the end of 2005 and this album should be eligible for Gold status within the next few years.

Wiseblood was released in October 1996. Despite producing a Top 30 radio hit with "Drowning in a Daydream" and a worldwide tour with Metallica, the album failed to match the sales set by the previous album. Total US sales to date are just over 150,000. "Drowning in a Daydream" was nominated at the Grammy Awards in 1998 for "Best Metal Performance".[5]

America's Volume Dealer and In the Arms of God (1999-2006)

Pepper Keenan live on stage

Soon after the release of Wiseblood, Columbia dropped COC, who then moved to Sanctuary Records. The band released its first album for its new label, America's Volume Dealer, in November 2000. The album was even more of a commercial failure than Wiseblood not even managing to make the Billboard 200. However, the single, "Congratulations Song", did give the band another Top 30 hit. No videos were made from the album. Mullin left the band in 2001. Over the next few years, the band worked with a series of drummers: Jimmy Bower of Eyehategod, local Raleigh percussion professor Merritt Partridge, Stanton Moore of Galactic and Reed's former drum technician Jason Patterson, who previously played drums in the Raleigh-based rock band Cry of Love.

In April 2005, COC released In the Arms of God to much critical acclaim. The album performed much better than their previous effort, debuting at No. 108 on the Billboard 200 and even topping the Heatseekers chart.[4][6]This was achieved without even one radio hit from the album. A video was made for the song "Stonebreaker" which saw airplay on MTV2's recently revived Headbanger's Ball. The band spent the rest of the year touring the US and Canada. They were the opening acts for Motörhead and Disturbed and also went on headlining tours with Crowbar, Fu Manchu, Alabama Thunderpussy and Danko Jones all providing support. A European tour was scheduled for September/October 2005 but was later cancelled, after Hurricane Katrina ravaged Keenan's hometown of New Orleans. A co-headlining UK tour with Clutch commenced in January 2006.

Second hiatus (2006-2010)

Corrosion of Conformity was on hiatus from 2006 to June 2010, while Pepper recorded and toured with Down. From March 2009 to June 2010, Karl Agell and Reed Mullin occasionally performed with Jerry Barrett, Scott Little, and Jason Browning (Browning eventually replaced by TR Gwynne) as "COC-Blind", playing the Blind album. Reed Mullin and Mike Dean along with Jason Browning are also touring in a new band called "Righteous Fool", and have released a self-titled EP on Southern Lord Records.

Animosity lineup reunion (2010-present)

On May 12, 2010, reported that the Animosity lineup of Corrosion of Conformity was reuniting and working on a new album. They are planning some early-August shows lined up for the West Coast, although they have not yet been officially announced.[7] The band is still open to recording again as a four piece with Pepper when the time is right, according to a message on the official C.O.C. website on May 15 2010.[8] Pepper currently, has not left the band.[9]

Pepper joined his band mates on stage on June 19 and played songs from "his" era of the band. Pepper stated that he looks forward to working on some Deliverance type material in the near future with the band.

Collaborations/side projects

They have also collaborated with a number of other artists: James Hetfield of Metallica contributed vocals to the song "Man or Ash" on Wiseblood; Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers' Band and Gov't Mule played slide guitar on "Stare Too Long" on America's Volume Dealer; and Stanton Moore of Galactic played drums on In the Arms of God.

Members of COC have also participated in collaborations: Keenan plays guitar with the metal supergroup Down, and Dean contributed vocals to a track titled "Access Babylon" on Dave Grohl's Probot project. Also Pepper is on Metallica's Garage Inc CD playing guitar and singing the second verse of the Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Tuesday's Gone", he is also in the documentary "Some Kind of Monster" auditioning to be Metallica's replacement for Jason Newsted.

Band members

Former members

  • Benji Shelton – lead vocals (1982–1983)
  • Eric Eycke – lead vocals (1983–1984)
  • Simon Bob Sinister – lead vocals (1986–1989)
  • Phil Swisher – bass (1987–1993)
  • Karl Agell – lead vocals (1989–1993)
  • Jimmy Bower – drums, percussion (2001–2002)
  • Merrit Partridge – drums, percussion (2002–2003)
  • Stanton Moore – drums, percussion (2003–2005)
  • Jason Patterson – drums, percussion (2005–2006)


  • Warren Haynes – slide guitar ("Stare Too Long," America's Volume Dealer)
  • James Hetfield – vocals ("Man or Ash," Wiseblood)
  • Robert Stewart – vocals (performed live, never recorded)
  • John Custer – producer of Blind, Deliverance, Wiseblood, Nativity in Black, America's Volume Dealer and In the Arms of God


  • Note: Corrosion of Conformity was on indefinite hiatus during the 2006–2010 period.


Corrosion of Conformity discography
Studio albums 7
Live albums 1
Compilation albums 1
EPs 3
Singles 10
Music videos 6

Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Sales
US Heat.
1984 Eye for an Eye
  • Label: No Core/Toxic Shock/Caroline
  • Released: 1984
1985 Animosity
1991 Blind US: 250,000
1994 Deliverance
  • Label: Columbia
  • Released: November 27, 1994
155 US: 440,000
1996 Wiseblood
  • Label: Columbia
  • Released: October 12, 1996
104 39 43 US: 150,000
2000 America's Volume Dealer
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • Released: October 10, 2000
2005 In the Arms of God
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • Released: April 5, 2005
108 1 196 41 147 US: 8,967[14]
  • Label: Unknown
  • Released: TBA
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Live albums

Year Album details
2001 Live Volume
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • Released: August 7, 2001
  • Format: CD, DVD, DVDA

Extended plays

Year Album details
1987 Technocracy
  • Label: Metal Blade
  • Released: 1987
1989 Six Songs with Mike Singing
  • Label: Metal Blade
  • Released: 1989
2010 Your Tomorrow Parts 1 & 2

Compilation albums

Year Album details
2010 Playlist: The Very Best of Corrosion of Conformity
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: Columbia


Year Song Peak chart positions Album
US Main.
1992 "Vote with a Bullet" Blind
"Dance of the Dead"
1994 "Albatross" 19 Deliverence
"Broken Man"
1995 "Clean My Wounds 19
"Seven Days"
1996 "Drowning in a Daydream" 27 Wiseblood
"King of the Rotten"
2000 "Congratulations Song" 24 America's Volume Dealer
2005 "Stonebreaker" In the Arms of God
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Music videos

  • "Vote with a Bullet" (1992)
  • "Dance of the Dead" (1992)
  • "Albatross" (1994)
  • "Clean My Wounds" (1994)
  • "Drowning in a Daydream" (1996)
  • "Stonebreaker" (2005)

Compilation appearances

  • No Core tape (1982, No Core)
  • Why Are We Here? 7" (1983, No Core Records, "Poison Planet", "Indifferent", "Too Cool")
  • Empty Skulls tape (1984, Fartblossom Enterpises, "Poison Planet", "Eye for an Eye")
  • Cleanse the Bacteria LP (1985, Pusmort Records, "Kiss of Death")
  • Thrasher Skate Rock Vol. 3 LP (1986, Thrasher/High Speed Records, "What", "Not for Me", "Citizen")
  • Empty Skulls Vol. 2 LP (1986, Fartblossom Records, "Center of the World", "Eye for an Eye", "Negative Outlook")
  • Complete Death LP (1986, Death Records, "Loss for Words")
  • Life is a Joke Vol. 2 LP (1986, Weird System Records, "Eye for an Eye")
  • Flipside Vinyl Fanzine Vol. 3 LP (1987, Gasatanka Records, "Intervention")
  • Rat Music for Rat People 3 LP (1987, CD Presents Records, "Bound")
  • Clerks soundtrack LP (1994, Columbia Records, "Big Problems")
  • Nativity In Black: A Tribute to Black Sabbath LP (1994, Columbia Records, "Lord of This World")
  • UMPF LP (1995, ???, "Clean My Wounds")
  • Duke Nukem: Music to Score By LP (1999, RED Interactive, "Land of the Free Disease")
  • Xtreme Rock: Music That Changed Our Lives LP (1999, RED Distribution, "Land of the Free Disease")
  • Motorcycle Mania 3 CD (2004, Artist Direct BMG, "Thirteen Angels")


  1. ^ a b "Corrosion of Conformity's Mike Dean Talks About Forthcoming Album". 2010-08-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Corrosion of Conformity". Allmusic. 
  3. ^ "MusicMight – Artists – Corrosion of Conformity". MusicMight.{A2DA38A5-A7DF-43E5-9F9B-ADD2C3C. Retrieved 2008-11-07. 
  4. ^ a b c "Corrosion of Conformity Billboard 200 Chart History". Billboard. 
  5. ^ Carlozo, Lou (1998-01-07). "Chicago Artists Are Well-represented In Grammy Nominations". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Company): p. 3. 
  6. ^ a b "Corrosion of Conformity Heatseekers Chart History". Billboard. 
  7. ^ a b "Confirmed: CorrosIon of Conformity's 'Animosity' Lineup Reunited". 2010-05-12. 
  8. ^ "Official COC site". 
  9. ^ "Corrosion of Conformity Guitarist Talks 'Animosity' Lineup Reunion, Future Plans". 2010-08-06. 
  10. ^ "Discography Corrosion of Conformity". 
  11. ^ "Discographie Corrosion of Conformity" (in French). 
  12. ^ "Discography Corrosion of Conformity". 
  13. ^ "Chart Log UK: Chris C. - CZR". Zobbel. 
  14. ^ "Soundscan Report: C.O.C., Adema, Fantomas and Hammerfall". 2005-04-13. 
  15. ^ "Corrosion of Conformity". Allmusic. 

External links

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