(Austin Weber delivers this review of the new album by Cannabis Corpse, and we’ll also link you to a full-album stream that premiered today.)
While Cannabis Corpse have always reeked of a strong Cannibal Corpse odor through and through, the group deserve to be analyzed outside the bounds of mere gimmickry and the pothead puns to which their music is joined at the hip. From Wisdom To Baked carries on their death metal lyrical send-ups; the title itself a fine and funny nod to Gorguts, and another Gorguts reference appears within the title of “With Their Hash He Will Create”. But the music is outstanding.
If Cannabis Corpse do one thing well, it’s their ability to play Cannibal Corpse’s dope doppelganger perfectly without boring you for a second. This time around there’s a stronger focus on vocal hooks, with almost all the songs repeating their title several times. There is also a newfound variety in their music, courtesy of some obviously Morbid Angel-influenced sections along with a smattering of old school death metal non-Cannibal Corpse-sounding leads and solos on a few tracks, plus numerous slower-tempo moments, all of which combine to infuse the music with the band’s own identity.
These subtle additions to the Cannabis Corpse playbook help them to step out from the shadow of their undead forefathers. It also helps that this time around the bass has a much more prominent focus in the music and mix, and that nimble bass playing that engulfs From Wisdom To Baked would make Alex Webster proud.
Of course, the stench of Cannibal Corpse’s influence is still present in many of the ingredients from which From Wisdom To Baked is stewed — from the gruff, rumbling vocal delivery, to the sharp stabbing riffs, to the spastic bass spikes, to the pummelling drum style. The album is a fine ode to the older Cannibal Corpse brutality and riffing, with a helping of the more modern and at times complex style that Cannibal Corpse has delved into since Pat O’Brian (formerly of Nevermore) joined the group and turned things up a notch musically.
If you loathe marijuana, or think the band is nothing more than a stale rip-off of Cannibal Corpse, you’d be wrong to dismiss this album off-hand for those reasons. Likewise, even if you weren’t previously sold on Cannabis Corpse, this is a big step up for them and a high point for the group’s discography. I’d even go so far as to say that with From Wisdom to Baked they have outdone their obvious point of influence. Their bud-bathed tunes exude a potent force of red-eyed rage whose rankness is hard to match.
Even though it can’t be smoked, From Wisdom To Baked can get you mighty high — except unlike weed, its potency could very well stone you to death, much like a “Frantic Disembowelment” or “Five Nails Through The Neck” might do. Oh wait, that’s a different band — though when you hear this album you’d be hard-pressed to choose between them, and that’s not a bad thing at all.