Saturday, September 9, 2017
Cannabis Corpse ; " The Left Hand Pass"
This band might have started off as a joke, but they have evolved into a punchline into something pretty bad ass. They have a great guitar and command you to bang your head on groove the verse of the opening song hits. They can revert into death metal cliches at times , but that is still more than I expected from this band going into this album. This a side project of Land Phil from Municipal Waste and Iron Reagan. He is joined by other high ranking metal pedigree such a members of Six Feet Under, Gatecreeper and Arsis. So when they lock into a chug is pretty devastating. There are some interesting effects applied to the guitar at times which provide some ambiance, as death metal themed around smoking pot needs plenty of that. The guitars are almost too angry to really go with that theme , but the end result from a metal perspective makes these guys who are just a joke better death metal that the bulk of what is normally sitting in my in-box. Another thing these songs have going for them is they are very concise in their construction.
"Final Exhalation" keeps the momentum it just doesn't feel as vital as the first two songs. "Chronic Breed" finds them locking into some riffs that defy my rule "cool riffs alone doesn't make a good song". With death metal running on aggression more than dynamics this is often a wall that has to be overcome. They are no an exception to this rule they are just so good at doing what they do is more forgivable in certain moments. One of these being the riffage leading into "In Battle There is No Pot". But they couple this with smart arrangements and catchy guitar work. Vocally it switches between a lower growl and a higher more black metal like rasp. They almost thrash inspired catchiness of the riffs reflects back upon the other bands these guys play for . On "Grass Orbit" it's the first time I hear anything that really reminds me of their name sake. The title track is a little darker, it doesn't really wow me , but is still entertaining in the way I need this brand of death metal to be. The bee swarm guitar of "Effigy of the Forgetful" finds them morphing the riffs pretty seamlessly at high velocity. It also become a blur that sounds like hundred of other death metal bands. The chorus gets lost in this rapid fire mush of riffs.A few head banging moments emerge, but this feel more like filler.
The last two songs are an improvement, though not really redefining death metal either.By this point in the album they have really settled on a high speed formula, the last song throws a few samples in ,but focuses more on hammering you with speed. The bass playing throughout the album is impressive ,but proves to be more nimble than your average death metal bassist on this song. The drumming is solid and the double bass rivals anything else out at present. I'll give this album an 8.5, I doubt this is going to make the top ten death metal albums of the year , but might come close.