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1996 – Part 2.6: Corrosion Of Conformity – Wiseblood

“Wiseblood” came out in 1996. The band for the album was Pepper Keenan on lead vocals/rhythm guitar, Woody Weatherman on lead guitar, Mike Dean on bass guitar and Reed Mullin on drums.

It kicks off with the excellent titled “King Of The Rotten”.

The riffs are down-tuned, groovy and bluesy. The vocals on this one are very James Hetfield influenced with a Layne Staley/Jerry Cantrell style Chorus.

“Long Whip / Big America” reminds of ZZ Top “La Grange” era. It’s got that spirit.

Saw the news today, some D.C. suit trying to break away,
said he lost another million
just another old man trying to pass the buck with a dirty hand
good thing he knows his bible

Man, does anything change when it comes to politics, corruption and money. The same shit happening in 1996 happened before and after.

And when it all goes to hell, they turn to God. How many criminals have said “I’m sorry your honor for stealing millions, but I have found God and I’m a good Christian now.”

“Wiseblood” and “Goodbye Windows” bring the Southern Rock vibe. It also sounds like Zakk Wylde was listening because I feel that Black Label Society took this sound.

I’ve seen them devils pound our bible
You saints and sinners are both my rival

Can a person live a life without the influence of religion and pressure from society to conform?

How good is that harmony solo section in “Goodbye Windows” from the 3.46 minute mark, with the vocals over it?

Past regrets and future fears
Turns a boy to a man sooner than planned
All the same, the boy remains
Even though he’s free, he can’t fly with these heavy chains

There is a lot of self-assessment happening on this album.

What does it mean to be free in democracy?

Its basic meaning is “not under the control or in the power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes”.

Do you live a life that meets the criteria in the definition?

And the bluesy Sabbath like tunes continue, along with the excellent song titles, like “Born Again For The Last Time”, “Drowning In A Daydream” and “The Snake Has No Head”.

When the bones that you own have long been dusted
You realize who you’re not supposed to be

The above lyric is from “Born Again For The Last Time”. Its only when we get older, we realise how much time we wasted being someone else.

But the body fills with greed and we spill when in need
And all the slaves are on probation growing fat in a comfortable nation

The above lyric of from “The Snake Has No Head”. They are referencing the same snake that’s on the cover of the Metallica self-titled “Black” album.

“The Door” and “Man Or Ash” are cuts that would not be out of place on a Metallica “Load” or “Reload” album. And if the vocalist sounds familiar on “Man Or Ash”, it should, it’s none other than James Hetfield.

Then there is the excellent titled “Redemption City”.

Simple words remind me
Cluttered room haunts me

It’s never easy being alone, with your thoughts and your vices.

“Fuel” is a thrash-a-thon and I had to keep telling my friends at the time that it’s not a cover of the other “Fuel” that appeared on “Reload” even though this one came out before.

And after “Wiseblood”, the band got dropped from Columbia Records because it didn’t meet the commercial expectations. And it was strange to read that, because the band was still at a creative high.

Lucky for them, Sanctuary Records picked em up otherwise they couldn’t participate in the recording business unless they went the “self-release” route, which no artist did in 1996.

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