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Video footage of ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante laying down a cover version of the BLACK SABBATH classic “Neon Knights” for inclusion on the upcoming Ronnie James Dio tribute album can be seen below. The collection, which is being assembled by the singer’s widow and longtime manager Wendy Dio, will also tentatively include contributions from METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST‘s Rob Halford, MOTÖRHEAD‘s Lemmy Kilmister, DEEP PURPLE‘s Ian Gillan, Alice Cooper, Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH), Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW), Chris Jericho (FOZZY) and Dave Grohl (NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS).

“I’m letting them pick what songs they wanna do in the way they wanna do it,” Wendy told Artisan News at last December’s Dimebash event in Hollywood, California.

Tentatively due next year, the Dio tribute album will see Grohl covering BLACK SABBATH‘s “The Mob Rules” and Halford contributing a version of RAINBOW‘s “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll”.

In a recent interview with Guitar International, ANTHRAX guitarist Rob Caggiano stated that his band’s cover version of “Neon Nights” “came out pretty smoking.”

Ronnie James Dio, best known for his work with BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW and his own band DIO, died of stomach cancer on May 16, 2010 at the age of 67.

Video footage of ANTHRAX performing “Neon Knights” on June 15 at the Copenhell festival in Copenhagen, Denmark can be seen below.

Last month, it was reported that ANTHRAX was recording several cover songs, to be issued in September to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the release of the band’s latest album, “Worship Music”. While the band does have plans to release an EP of covers that they’ve done, ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian made it clear to VH1 Radio Network‘s Dave Basner that they are “not working on a covers album.” He said, “It’s not at all what we’re doing. [laughs] We just always record cover songs. They just happen when we’re in the studio or when we’re touring, we get bored of jamming on our own songs at soundcheck, so you end up jamming on cover songs and eventually we’ll end up recording them and eventually, somehow, they end up getting released in some way, shape or form as B-sides, but we’re definitely not working on a covers album.”

Regarding ANTHRAX‘s plans to write and record new music, Ian told VH1 Radio Network, “We do already have two or three things kind of in the works as far as new music goes, so it’s just a case of if you can get into that mode to start working on them. I can’t even explain why or how it happens, but sometimes you’ll just get into a mode and you’re able to create and you’re able to work on stuff and move stuff forward, new stuff, but sometimes you just can’t. Sometimes you’re on tour and there’s just no spark, it’s just not there, it’s just all about what you’re doing in the moment, playing those shows.”

ANTHRAX has reportedly started recording the following cover songs for possible release:

* AC/DC – “T.N.T.” * BOSTON – “Smokin'” * JOURNEY – “Keep On Runnin'” * RUSH – “Anthem”

Laying down drum tracks to “Neon Knights”:

Article first published as Music Review: Corrosion of Conformity – Corrosion of Conformity on Blogcritics.

For a good chunk of their career, Corrosion of Conformity had a healthy dose of Black Sabbath in their sound. The first three tracks of this new disc are no exception. “Psychic Vampire,” “River of Stone,” and “Leeches” form a strong triumvirate for kicking off C.O.C.’s first album without guitarist Pepper Keenan since joining in 1989 and first as a trio since 1985′s Animosity. It’s also the first new studio release from C.O.C. since 2005′s In the Arms of God.

The sound on this self-titled disc harkens back to their glory days. Founding members Mike Dean on bass and lead vocals, Woody Weatherman, once again the sole guitarist, and Reed Mullin on the skins after a nine-year absence (having returned in 2010 after leaving in 2001), surprised me with this album. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from them but they’ve managed to take the best of their hardcore punk trio days and some of their best Pepper Keenan-led metal days and meld them nicely.


Track four, “El Lamento de las Cabras,” is an instrumental that transitions nicely to the rest of the album where things really get supercharged, beginning with “Your Tomorrow,” a jack-hammering piece of sludge that bears replaying several times. The experience continues through to other standout tracks. They include “What We Become,” a heavy rolling tank of a song that has a great anti-conformity theme, and album closer “Time of Trials,” a prime piece of work by guitarist Woody Weatherman.


With this collection of tracks, the original members of Corrosion of Conformity have made an album they can be proud of. Pick it up beginning Tuesday, February 28.


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