If ever there were a band that wore their influences on their sleeves, it would be Cannabis Corpse. Both the band name and song titles give away the bands they worship (Cannibal Corpse, Death, Morbid Angel, Gorguts, etc.), and that’s a good thing because these ones have always been the best death metal bands. With their fourth album, “From Wisdom To Baked”, Cannabis Corpse largely follows the path they’ve set with their prior records, although bassist Land Phil has taken over on vocals. His style of growls is pretty similar to the bands of the early 90’s. He doesn’t do the extremely guttural gurgling, nor does he have any hint of thrash in his voice. It’s pure death metal, and nothing more.
By this point in their career, Cannabis Corpse has pretty much nailed how to write memorable songs. In fact, what is so surprising about this release is the fact that many of these songs have obvious choruses. “Pull The Carb”, for example, apes its namesake with a crushing mid-paced riff in the chorus. It has the same driving rhythms that makes Death’s original so catchy. This is the only track where Cannabis Corpse gets dangerously close to borrowing from the original, but even this similarity only occurs in the chorus, as the rest of the song is quite different from Death’s classic. Other highlights include “Zero Weed Tolerance” and “Individual Pot Patterns”, which manage to be pretty catchy amongst all of the brutality. The main riff in “From Wisdom To Baked” is probably the best moment of the album, showing the band’s more technical side (no doubt influenced by “The Bleeding”). “Considered Dank” is another technical track, mainly because of the sheer speed at which it is played. This is definitely the most Cannibal Corpse influenced song. The opening of "THC Crystal Mountain" features an incredible melodic solo, but it isn't long before it returns to more typical death metal. Surprisingly, the track I’d single out as the weakest is the opener, “Baptized In Bud”, but only because it seems a bit stranger and less straightforward than the other songs.
Perhaps the best aspect of this band is Land Phil’s bass playing. It’s almost always at the front of the mix and switches between following guitar lines and doing its own interesting thing (particularly on “Weedless Ones”). A very specific but accurate comparison would be to the UK band Gomorrah, who also had incredible bass playing alongside standard sounding death metal. The drumming is also spectacular, mainly because of the variation. There is of course, plenty of double bass, but it doesn’t consume the entire release. Likewise, blast beats are mostly non-existent (I can’t recall a single one off the top of my head). The guitar playing is much more typical of death metal, but it gets the job done. The riffs are always brutal, and the solos manage to be both melodic and spastic all at the same time. These riffs might not rival the ones written by Jack Owen, Rob Barrett, or Bob Rusay, but they’re certainly quite potent.
It is amazing how Cannabis Corpse has managed to accurately emulate their idols without sounding identical to them. Likewise, they show that songwriting should be at the forefront of death metal, and do it without sacrificing aggression or technicality. Though I’m not a fan of their lyrical content, it is no doubt quite humorous. People might get into this band because of their lyrical parodies, but they’ll stay because of the incredible attention to detail in echoing the sound of the glory years of death metal.
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"Pull The Carb"
"From Wisdom To Baked"
4.3/5 or 86%.
Written by Scott