1985’s Animosity was the last time Corrosion Of Conformity recorded as a three-piece. After 27 of its subsequent years spent with various line-ups and musical distinctions, C.O.C.’s new self-titled album could be considered a return to roots or a reintroduction to basics; the band stripped down to its essentials and expected to deliver (or, Deliverance, I guess). The crew of Mike Dean, Woody Weatherman and Reed Mullin reconvene as a sturdy marriage of St. Vitus, Black Sabbath and Motörhead retrofitting the tried-and-true rock wisdom they’ve always applied to their sound. Once “Psychic Vampire” transitions from hard rock sludge into riff-borne chug, the essence of C.O.C.’s current relationship reveals the full-breadth of its intensity which goes on to encompass a varied range of metal and rock styles. Simpler, but effective.

“River of Stone” offers a lot for being the album’s second track, a direct dose of straightahead that pulls itself back into a slow and grimy crawl, “Rivers turn to stone, again/And the seas are black and dead.” The low end comes in and introduces a momentary soloing bridge, adding some dimension before the song’s initial attack starts again. “The Doom” also wallows heavily in Sabbath-ian sonic mud before launching into Bad Brains-sized speed for a rapid hook. Blues-rock jamming ensues for the song’s final minute.

Other songs like “Leeches” and “Rat City” rev Motör-like or enjoy thrash-bred heft like “The Moneychangers” or “What We Become.” “Your Tomorrow” invokes Megadeth-conspiratorial thrash, (“While rats get fat, good soldiers die…”), fast and melodic verses give way to sections of rhythmic, crash-cymbal stomp that offer jamming and soloing opportunities before basically getting back to the business end of the music.

“Come Not Here” could be best associated with the 90s post-grunge blues metal waters C.O.C. seemed to navigate with Deliverance. They make the effort to add texture and thicken the construct with multi-tracked electric and acoustic guitars, making it their most dense and obviously produced song on the album. It’s not a bad song, but it’s inconsistent with the rest of the album, which seems to revel in being scaled down and self-reliant.

The multi-tracked guitars also feature heavily in “El Lamento de las Cabras,” a drifting, Hendrix-tinged instrumental with dueling six-strings. It’s the album’s quietest moment, providing the only real air or space between the band’s preoccupation with fast and loud. Consider it C.O.C.’s “Laguna Sunrise.”

“Time Of Trials” provides the album its outro, melodic and strong, prone to timing shifts, progressive-laden changes and thrash riffs. Corrosion Of Conformity’s final track could quite possibly be its best moment, not only because it carries a successful rock album to fruition, but because it confirms the band’s continuing worth.