It would be easy to dismiss Cannabis Corpse as just another parody act cut from the same regal cloth as “Weird Al” Yankovic or Spinal Tap. Both are formidable bands in their own right, but to make this comparison, however, would be a mistake. A more apt description would be “marijuana themed death metal band” since their members hail from metal giants Municipal Waste (Phil “Landphil” Hall) and Six Feet Under (Ray Suhy). Side note, it would be a mistake not to listen to Suhy’s jazz side project The Ray Suhy/Lewis Porter Quartet. Sounds a bit like a jazz outfit? It is. And it is amazing. Suhy is truly a musical and creative genius. But that is a review for another day. There is parody to be found in Cannabis Corpse. The name is an obvious parody of death metal monsters Cannibal Corpse and their album and song titles are a play on the titles of other death metal bands’ work.
The sixth and latest output from these titans is Nug So Vile, a towering album that is a magnum opus of a record that will leave the listener breathless and shaking. Many a death metal record is hard and fast with a booming bottom end, Nug So Vile is all that and technical at the same time. The vocals of Hall consist of growls and hoarse shouts that one comes to expect of this genre, as is the drumming of his brother Josh “Hallhammer” Hall who provides the non-stop banging on the skins. The real standout in this trio’s lineup may be the rhythm guitar of Ray Suhy. Suhy delivers a rhythm that is more technical than any guitarist of the genre. This virtuosity comes undoubtedly from being well versed in jazz, a genre where rhythm is king.
Some of the standout tracks on a record full of them include “Dawn of Weed Possession”, a groove filled number that is as technical as it is heavy with killer solos thrown in for good measure; the bass heavy and funkified “The Ultimate Indicantation”; and the closing number, “From Enslavement to Hydrobliteration”, which is more frenetic L.A. punk than death metal.
This record is a standout, pure and simple. Even with the tongue in cheek song titles and lyrics, this is an exceptional death metal album and a must listen to for any fan of the genre. The music is not in your face, but more finely tuned and crafted, perfect for background music when only death growls will do the trick. For these reasons and more Nug So Vile earns a hearty 9.3 out of 10.
The review is based on the red transparent vinyl release, a limited edition that was limited to only 500 pressings worldwide. The vinyl was kindly provided by Season of Mist Records. It’s not unusual for a death metal record to sound a bit muffled and flat on vinyl, due to the warming effect that vinyl provides to the low end of music. Nug So Vinyl is a bit muffled and soft on vinyl compared to the streaming version with one exception. The high, sharp riffing of the rhythm guitar is exceptional on the turntable. This alone makes the vinyl worth searching for and cranking up, way, way up.