Review Summary: Stoner metal.
It's an idea that sounds absurd on paper. A death metal band in the vein of Morbid Angel
or (obviously) Cannibal Corpse
playing songs about marijuana? For one thing, the novelty value must be paper thin at best, and even the least skeptical person in the universe would raise an eyebrow at the prospect of a bunch of dope smoking metal-heads having any song-writing capability whatsoever. Even the kind of idiots who think "stoner" movies are funny would find this sort of thing below their dignity, right?
debuted in 2006 with their first full length Blunted at Birth
, which I listened to out of morbid curiosity. Needless to say, I was surprised. Blunted at Birth
offered impressive drumming, intimidating gutturals and above all some seriously good riffs. After listening to Tube of the Resinated
with much higher expectations, I was really impressed. Instrumentally, Cannabis Corpse are definitely able. They're not bringing anything that any death metal fan hasn't heard before, plenty of double bass and blast beats, chugging bass, sweet distorted riffs and tremolo picking with some great solos. If they can be faulted, some listeners might find Weedgrinder's vocals to be a bit average and not really very varied. While his gutturals work, and their are plenty of moments where he'll make you want to headbang ("Everyyyyy bud smoken! Everyyyyy bud smoken!") he has to rely on another member of the band for the occasional high shriek.
Where Cannabis Corpse
really excel is their capacity for parody. Always treading the line between funny and ridiculous while remaining admirably self-aware and never forfeiting musical integrity, they've achieved something that not many other bands have. Beyond the stupid but amusing song titles there is lyrical content that is clearly mocking that of it's inspirator's; "I'm sure you've made worse mistakes in your life // try and tell that to this rusty axe and butcher's knife", knowingly childish phrases here and there; the word "gajillions" is used at one point, all the while still retaining seriously crushing moments; "smoke billows forth from the Chronolith // calling for the end of your universe", Cannabis Corpse
have perfected parody. As well as the lyrics, the music often reflects Cannabis Corpse
's humour, the little melodic lead in Mummified in Bong Water
Despite all this, Tube of the Resinated
is obviously not perfect. The song structures are a pretty standard affair, some of the songs don't really stand out (Addicted to Hash in a Tin
comes to mind) and the aforementioned vocals of Weedgrinder can get a bit boring. There are definitely death metal albums with superior riffs, superior vocals and superior drumming, but there aren't many albums in any genre that can live up the standards of intelligent parody that Cannabis Corpse