Four years after Corrosion of Conformity reunited as a power trio, the iconic guitarist and vocalist Pepper Keenan returned to the ranks. The band released a pair of albums without Keenan, which were the first since 1989's Technocracy not to feature him, but that's all about to change when CoC drop No Cross No Crown on Jan. 12 through Nuclear Blast. You don't have to wait that long to hear what the band cooked up as they've just released the riff-charged Southern burner "Cast the First Stone," which can be heard above.

It's the first new dose of Keenan-fronted Corrosion of Conformity material since 2005's In the Arms of God and it feels like the old days. The riffs are street-ready and cruise with bluesy overtones like a perfect cross-section between Black Sabbath and Clutch. Keenan's emphatic delivery propels the track further and it's sure to be a new live favorite when the band eventually hits the road to support their new disc.

The inspiration for the No Cross No Crown title came from a tour stop in England. Keenan recalled, "We were playing this old church from like the 1500s that had been turned into a performing arts center. The dressing room had stained glass windows and one of them showed this poor fella being persecuted. Underneath it said, 'no cross no crown.' So I just took that idea. We're not trying to be on a soapbox, but we used it as a catalyst to write songs around."

While the title seems to carry religious implications on the surface, Keenan asserts the band consciously strays from politics and religion on their new record. "I think everyone needs to get away from that mindset in general. It just seems to be a mess out there nowadays. We need to get back to being humans and taking care of each other and simple things like that. For us, the terminology 'no cross no crown' is a theme. It's mentioned in like three songs throughout the album. We just weaved it through as we went," he said.

Pre-orders for Corrosion of Conformity's new record can be placed at the Nuclear Blast webstore and you can check out the album art and track listing directly below.

Corrosion of Conformity, No Cross No Crown Artwork + Track Listing

Nuclear Blast

01. "Novus Deus"
02. "The Luddite"
03. "Cast the First Stone"
04. "No Cross"
05. "Wolf Named Crow"
06. "Little Man"
07. "Matre's Diem"
08. 'Forgive Me"
09. "Nothing Left to Say"
10. "Sacred Isolation"
11. "Old Disaster"
12. "E.L.M."
13. "No Cross No Crown"
14. "A Quest to Believe (A Call to the Void)"
15. "Son and Daughter"

Best Metal Albums of 2017 (So Far)