» Blog Archive Corrosion of Conformity, Mutoid Man Join Danzig In NJ -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Tours

DSC09379 (2)_wmHaving a legacy is important to an artist’s longevity. More importantly, though, creating that legacy requires classic music and for it to have a live show to back it up, as well. A band can be great in the studio, but once it comes to a live show they can’t mean all that much if they’re just standing there in place for 30 minutes. Obviously stage presence is just the basic of the basics, but it’s a good place to start, and be it wild or stylish ultimately depends on factors being interwoven into it.

Danzig himself, along with has band, is currently in the midst of bringing Corrosion of Conformity and Mutoid Man along the east coast, and with it are some high expectations. Everyone knows to expect a big show from Danzig, but with a seasoned veteran band like Corrosion of Conformity and a newer band like Mutoid Man along for the ride, this made for an interesting line-up. With Danzig playing his brand of heavy metal, it added a nice amount of diversity to bring Corrosion’s sludgy southern metal and the satirical and fun heavy progressive-isms of Mutoid Man, a choice that made this line-up make sense sound wise but at the same time being entirely different as opposed to what other tour bills are playing it safe with.

stephenWhile a local opener was present, the massive line to get into the building resulted in me not being able to catch their entire set for a fair judgement. Fortunately, however, I had more than enough time to get situated for Mutoid Man, who set the tone during soundcheck with a, uh… unique take of “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones. Only briefly before drummer Ben Koller of Converge started doing blast beats and vocalist/guitarist Stephen Bronsky ar started screaming the lyrics appropriately. Paving the way for a proper opening, Mutoid Man started things off at a high-level of energy with “Melt Your Mind” from their latest album.

Equally parts funny and exciting, the first half of Mutoid Man’s set went off without a hitch. As the band, started to goof around, though, it became apparently that a lot of time was being spent on jokes. Nothing wrong with that, as they were funny and performed at a high level, but at a point in “Bridgeburner,” the drum mics were turned off and it became apparent that they had gone on too long. It’s a shame, really, as the band was intensely precise with their performance and took complete advantage of the stage space allotted to them. Mutoid Man commanded the stage like they were headlining, and that attitude undoubtedly won them over in many of the attendees.

DSC09359 (2)_wmAs Mutoid Man left the stage, the Corrosion of Conformity team started to make their way on and usher in the heavy equipment the band was employing. As the lights finally died down and bassist Mike Dean started playing an incredibly impactful intro into “Paranoid Opiod,” the rest of the band took to the stage and brought a thunderous assault of heaviness onto the venue. Utilizing both stylish playing and precise musicianship, Corrosion of Conformity came out swinging, showing what years of experience can do for a band of their caliber.

Perhaps most entertaining was the pacing of the set. Sitting in the 40-minute range, vocalist Pepper Keenan wasted little time in prolonging the music, but when he spoke he took the time to be humble with the crowd and share some kind words before bulldozing into another heavy song. Corrosion of Conformity know what they’re about, and with a tightly-knit 8 song set, the band left a sizeable impression on the crowd that just solidifies that, despite being around since the 90’s, the band are still in their prime.

DSC09386 (2)_wmWith the openers wrapped up, the covers on Danzig’s stage props came down and the band finally emerged onto stage. What can be said that hasn’t been said about Danzig yet honestly? The band is tightly knit in their live performance and their eponymous frontman, despite being 62, the man’s still up there on stage and going strong. Perhaps the best aspect of the band that you can even hear on the album is that it feels like there’s only four guys in the band and they’re not trying to size themselves up. It helps add a steady balance of rock and roll anthems and heavy metal riffing for 15 songs, and it’s apparent how well this works for the band when the opening 1-2 punch of “SkinCarver” and “Twist of Cain” work so well. Danzig still has it, and there’s nothing holding this band back now that they’re at the top.

With enough diversity and professionalism to be found, an injection of fun into this line-up helped separate it from the rest of the ongoing tour packages. With Mutoid Man changing the rhythm up with their brand of metal, to Corrosion of Conformity being as tight and utterly heavy as they were, things were set up for Danzig and co. as they took the stage to finish the night off.

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