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Released: Jun 20, 2014
Genre: Death Metal
Label: Season of Mist
Number Of Tracks: 11
Having paid tribute to metal legends with a stoner niche for years, Cannabis Corpse gets support from a number of those legends in "From Wisdom to Baked."
From Wisdom To BakedFeatured review by: UG Team, on july 03, 2014 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: At face value, the concept of Cannabis Corpse may seem like a cheap gimmick created by a group of high-schoolers who spend their weekends smoking pot and listening to Death and Obituary records on repeat, but the fact that the band is the side-project of Municipal Waste's bassist Phil Hall makes it a much more credible metal endeavor - though to be fair, Hall first came up with the idea when he was a high-schooler who spent his weekends smoking pot and listening to Death and Obituary records on repeat. After coining the concept with his brother and drummer, Josh Hall, Cannabis Corpse would take a few years before finally releasing their debut EP, "Blunted by Birth," and then their debut album, "Tube of the Resinated." Not only were both of those releases pot-related puns that pay homage to the Cannibal Corpse albums, "Butchered at Birth" and "Tomb of the Mutilated," they also paid homage to Cannibal Corpse and other highly-esteemed 20th-century extreme metal bands with their vintage death metal style, and while the song titles and lyrics may be relatively goofy, the music certainly hits hard. This proved to be a perfect balance for metalheads to get on board, and as the band proceeded to release more dank-driven material and grow a large following, Cannabis Corpse quickly became much more than just a "highdea."
As expected, Cannabis Corpse still delivers the death metal goodness in "From Wisdom to Baked," but their compositions show more elaboration than the tremolo-heavy predecessor, "Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise." Amongst the thrashy riffs and juicy guitar solo in the opening song, "Baptized in Bud," Phil Hall's bass-playing is winding and impressive, giving the song even more to love - Hall's basslines continue their sophistication in "Weedless Ones," "Individual Pot Patterns," "Considered Dank," "With Their Hash He Will Create" and "From Wisdom to Baked." While many of the basslines are worthy of appreciation, the guitars still reign supreme overall. The band shows off a great amount of guitar acrobatics throughout the album: technical riffage is shown off in "Zero Weed Tolerance," "Pull the Carb" and "Considered Dank"; "Considered Dank" also touts some nice tremolo lines, as well as "With Their Hash He Will Create," though the ending tremolo picking in "Voice of the Bowl" takes the cake, pairing up perfectly with the chaotic blastbeat drumming; and the guitar solo that bursts into "THC Crystal Mountain" after 25 seconds does a fine job leaving you awe-stricken, with the dueling guitar solo in "Considered Dank" coming in a close second.
"From Wisdom to Baked" ends up being about more than just the music; it's a show of Cannabis Corpse being accepted into the echelon of metal legends they pay tribute to and how their peers are fond of their "pun-packed stoner's delight" metal. The album features a number of remarkable guest appearances: such as Trevor Strnad, vocalist of The Black Dahlia Murder; Ralph Santolla, former guitarist for Obituary, Death, and Deicide; and Kevin Quirion, current guitarist of Deicide. However, what may be the most serendipitous feature of the album - and in Cannabis Corpse's lifespan, really - is that the song "Individual Pot Patterns" features lyrics and vocals provided by none other than the original vocalist of Cannibal Corpse, Chris Barnes - this collaboration alone may have put the Hill brothers on a high greater than all of their smoke sessions combined. // 8
Lyrics: The lyrical aspect of Cannabis Corpse will of course always stay the same as it has since its inception. For those that enjoy songs about pot but think the typical weed-oriented songs aren't strong enough, Cannabis Corpse is just what the dispensary ordered. With songs like "Baptized in Bud," "Pull the Carb," "Voice of the Bowl" and "THC Crystal Mountain," the band once again shows their penchant for taking occult and macabre themes and imagery typically found in death metal and applying them to one subject: weed. This ends up being partly satirical with its contrast of dark themes mixed with the carefree disposition of pot, but it doesn't render itself as shallow lampoonery, which helps keep the music strong just like death metal should be (though it must have been fun for Chris Barnes, who had made a career off of writing some of the most brutal music around, to be able to kick back and write about smoking weed in "Individual Pot Patterns"). Hill also decides to get a bit political in the album with the final track, "Medicinal Healing," where Hill growls about the myths of marijuana being harmful to one's health, and at a time where marijuana is on a roll with legalization, the message strikes poignantly. // 8
Overall Impression: Even with the basis of Cannabis Corpse's niche still intact and not radically altered, "From Wisdom to Baked" takes the band a healthy step higher. Along with showing off more nuanced dimensions in the sound aspect, "From Wisdom To Baked" must also be remembered as the landmark where the death metal veteran Chris Barnes of Cannibal Corpse tangibly intertwined with the cannabis-caricatured counterparts his band inspired to fruition. That achievement alone makes "From Wisdom to Baked" pretty damn noteworthy, but in general, it busts any and all suppositions that Cannabis Corpse is a gimmicky fluke. With those that aren't enthused- and perhaps even turned off - by the weed-obsessed demeanor of Cannabis Corpse, they may have been able to write them off at the start by forecasting the band's concept as a shallow gimmick with a short shelf life; but with Cannabis Corpse now on their third album, let alone an album of this caliber, they reduce those cynical outlooks to ash. Cannabis Corpse may just be a side-project, but it's a potent one, and at this point, it's worthy of respect. // 8