I was first attracted to these guys in a completely superficial way: their tongue-in-cheek album and song titles. I’ve always been a fan of comedy/parody metal, so naturally when I stumbled across Cannabis Corpse and their weed inspired Cannibal Corpse worship I was all over it. To their detriment, however, I never really took them too seriously. Musically I didn’t feel they were doing anything groundbreaking, and
witty weedy(?) song titles can only go so far.
Boy was I wrong.
With their newest offering, Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise, Cannabis Corpse have seriously stepped up their game. Honestly, without the ridiculous song titles and awesome album art I would have thought this was a completely different band. It’s old school death metal at its finest, chock full of groovy riffs, lightning fast double bass, and unstoppable headbanging power. And damned if it’s not refreshing.
Amidst all the stellar death metal albums being released this year, BGLTSR is definitely a contender for death metal album of the year. It invokes so much of what makes death metal so awesome, and accomplishes what fellow death metal revival band Bloodbath haven’t been able to do since their first release: make a straight up meat and potatoes death metal album.
Unlike their past releases, the parody stops with the song titles as over time they have evolved into an entity all their own. The album kicks off with the obvious Deicide parody “Lunatic Of Pot’s Creation”. It’s a killer tune filled with slamming grooves and in your face rhythmic mutations. The record continues at full speed, pummeling out riff after riff of death metal hysteria, until it reaches “Sworn To The Bag”, a down tempo monster reminiscent of early Morbid Angel. The pace picks up quickly though, leaving you barely enough room to breathe before launching into the unbelievably heavy “Where The Kind Lives”, which has some of the best riffs on the album.
The musicianship on this record is also something to be admired. Drummer Josh “HallHammer” Hall has really stepped up his game, keeping the band grounded at a breakneck pace throughout the album. Bassist Philip “LandPhil” Hall (most known for his work in Municipal Waste) keeps things interesting with frequent bass breaks that at times drive the songs forward all on their own. The guitar work is fairly straight forward but very effective. Guitarist Nick “Nikropolis” Poulos does a great job of carving out his path in the music without overtaking the rest of the band. These guys have developed some really good chemistry over the years.
BGLTSR is definitely the surprise record of the year. It’s always awesome to hear old school death metal worship done right, especially with the overwhelming number of bands that are trying their hand at it. Any fan of the genre’s pioneers will surely find something to love about this record, whether they smoke weed or not. It’s raw and in-your-face and exactly what a death metal album should be. Bravo, Cannabis Corpse.
Beneath Grow Lights Though Shalt Rise – 8.7/10
1. Visions From The Dankside
2. Lunatic Of Pot’s Creation
3. Blame It On Bud
4. Chapel Of Bowls
5. Dead By Bong
6. Immortal Pipes
7. Blaze Of Torment
8. Sworn To The Bag
9. Where The Kind Lives
10. Gateways To Inhalation
11. Slave To The Chron
12. Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise
Favorite Song: Where The Kind Lives
Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise is out now on Tankcrimes Records.