Sunday, 10 June 2012

CANNABIS CORPSE - Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise (2011)

01  Visions From the Dank Side
02  Lunatic of Pot's Creation
03  Blame It on Bud
04  Chapel of Bowls
05  Dead by Bong
06  Immortal Pipes
07  Where the Kind Lives
08  Sworn to the Bag
09  Blaze of Torment
10  Gateways to Inhalation
11  Slave to the Chron
12  Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise

Cannabis Corpse formed in Richmond, Virginia in 2006 under the Forcefield label. Since then, Cannabis Corpse has released three LPs and one EP. The band features members of Municipal Waste and Antietam 1862. Their name originates from a parody of the name for veteran death metal band Cannibal Corpse. While the Cannabis Corpse songs are fully original, their album and song titles are parodies of many other death metal bands' album and song titles.

You may think that Cannabis Corpse are a bit of a joke, but this is serious business, and their first full length release since 2008’s 'Tube Of The Resinated' is an absolute beast of a record. Cannabis Corpse do what they do best. Slay. Then get high. After the obligatory atmospheric intro track, "Lunatic Of Pot’s Creation" gets on with that task in fine style – despite having little to do with its namesake Deicide track, it lays out Cannabis Corpse‘s intent in a defiantly old-school style. Eschewing modern trickery in favour of hummable riffs and discernible choruses, the band just crack on and slay without pretension here and throughout. No mere one-trick pony either – there’s are some fine rhythmic switches pulled in the likes of "Chapel Of Bowls" and "Dead By Bong" (yes, the puns do get tedious), and every track contains some standout guitar-work. From here on, Cannabis Corpse rips out a rapid succession of dominant grooves and too-smart twists that defy their self-styled screwball status. “Immortal Pipes” slows things down to a swing, closes with some classic soloing, and opens the gates to the album’s shining second half.

Great songwriting and skill means nothing unless you've got the right tools and the right Audio Engineer for the job. Enter Erik Rutan. Known for his achievements with Cannibal Corpse's two most recent albums, as well as his own successful band (Hate Eternal), Erik Rutan has brought his uncanny mixing ability to Cannabis Corpse, as if they needed more help sounding like "you know who". The production is solid - perfect. In fact, I think they couldn't have achieved a better sound.

'Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise' is a short, punchy album. Packing in as many fat riffs as humanly possible and as much insane drum work as your ears can handle in a twelve track, thirty six minute run time. This is an accomplished band and whilst their song titles might be giggle inducing, the lyrics a little bit silly, there’s some real meaning behind them if you scratch beneath the surface. Tales of weed induced paranoia, living for the high, swearing some kind of heady allegiance to cannabis and it’s paraphernalia. It may be a little more incisive than you realise.

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