The band went into writing No Cross No Crown with more or less a blank slate, says Keenan, adding that he had been sitting on several riffs that he used for the album. “We were going in with nothing, having not made a record [together] in 12 years,” he says. “It was an interesting challenge to step up to the plate. I consider In the Arms of God to be an extremely strong record, so the standards were high. We went in there with big expectations and knew we had to work to get there.” Producer John Custer, who has either produced or co-produced every COC album since 1991’s Blind, was behind the boards, which made things easier.