"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Drugs of Faith - "Corroded" (CD)

Drugs of Faith - "Corroded" CD cover image

"Corroded" track listing:

1. Grayed Out (3:12)
2. Foreign Climates (2:23)
3. Race To The End (1:07)
4. Hidden Costs (2:17)
5. Giveaway (2:30)
6. Anemic (1:16)
7. Vignette (2:27)
8. No We Can't (2:30)
9. Untitled (1:33)
10. Checkers (2:02)
11. Sight Unseen (:22)
12. Farewell Kiss (1:28)
13. Hinges (:56)
14. Age Of Reason (2:41)

Reviewed by on February 22, 2011

"Drugs of Faith is another side of Johnson that many may have not yet seen, and he comes across as a competent songwriter capable of blasting off one-minute grinders and mid-paced hardcore rants."

Agoraphobic Nosebleed vocalist Richard Johnson has spent the past few years performing with Drugs of Faith on the side. The project is a coherent version of the grind-frenzy of Agoraphobic Nosebleed, with a liberal dose of hardcore punk. “Corroded” is the band’s first full-length album, with 26 minutes of angry music to mosh out to. The abandonment for life and limb that Agoraphobic Nosebleed has become known for is only in short spurts. A majority of the songs are kept under rein, giving a window for Johnson to spout and rave and the thumping rhythm section to be the ultimate driving force behind the success of “Corroded.”

This upbeat rhythm style is a prime mover for “Giveaway,” “Vignette,” and the instrumental “Untitled.” Johnson’s guitar playing is nothing too technical, leaving the bass and drums to provide some flavor with the off-tempo fills and booming presence in the mix. “Untitled” is the best representation of this method, making what would be a rudimentary interlude for many bands a spark of passion for the band. At times though, the bass can be a tad too loud, drowning out the guitar when it has the occasional melodic moment.

“Corroded” hits the right chords with the frantic opener “Grayed Out,” followed by the sneering attitude of “Foreign Climates.” These two numbers start the album out on a strong note that continues its momentum throughout the next 12 tracks. The band hovers with a hardcore sound for much of the album, especially with tracks “Checkers” and “No We Can’t.” The grind influences are scaled back and Johnson sticks to a spoken word format instead of his usual sharp screams.

Those looking for a throwback to Agoraphobic Nosebleed will be content with the series of quick-fire cuts of noise interspersed on the album. “Race To The End” unwinds from the very beginning, though it takes a brief step at the end to calm down. That isn’t the case for the pointless ambience of “Sight Unseen” and the unfettered joyful mess contained in “Hinges.” The faster tempos do peer out in some of the other tracks, usually as a placeholder or a welcomed break, but it’s with these few tracks above where the spirit of grind takes over.

It took almost a decade for Drugs of Faith to put an LP out, but “Corroded” is worth the wait for fans of Johnson’s work. The bass playing is fantastic, and the songs are interesting enough to not seem too drawn-out. The one big fault with “Corroded” is all the songs sound the same, especially in the middle of the album. However, the album is kept short enough so that it doesn’t become too overbearing to get through. Drugs of Faith is another side of Johnson that many may have not yet seen, and he comes across as a competent songwriter capable of blasting off one-minute grinders and mid-paced hardcore rants.

Highs: Puts Richard Johnson's skills as a songwriter on display, some choice grind cuts, awesome rhythm work

Lows: Middle section can get repetitive, a few more grind track would have balanced the album out

Bottom line: A great grind-meets-hardcore punk project from Agoraphobic Nosebleed vocalist Richard Johnson.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)