Left Hand Pass - Cannabis Corpse

Artist: Cannabis Corpse

Album: Left Hand Pass

Genre: Death Metal

Review by Steve Jenkins

It's kind of funny that a band like Cannabis Corpse continue to be one of the best death metal bands currently making heavy music. Despite their name, a complete rip off from Cannibal Corpse obviously, and their cheesy song titles, as well as their ability to take metal classics and twist it into a weed inspired reference. You've got to give it to Cannabis Corpse, they've done extremely well to last this long and continue to prove naysayers wrong.

Their fourth studio album, Left Hand Pass, is an obvious reference to the classic Entombed album, Left Hand Path. From the get-go the album is essentially an exercise in serious, aggressive albeit sometimes frenzied/technical musicianship, but never quite being taken seriously because of the subject matter. Being taken seriously isn't exactly at the top of Cannabis Corpse's priority list though.

For a band whose sole purpose stems (no pun intended) from a parody act, Cannabis Corpse display a lot of lateral thinking in regards to how they write modern death metal. It's fresh, unique and invigorating.. "The 420th Crusade" and "In Dank Purity" engage in mostly mid-paced delivery, but prevent the collective instrumental delivery from stagnating thanks to explosions in speed and precision, whereas the grittier likes of "Grass Obliteration" pulsate with vigorous menace, giving a well-rounded crunch to the guitar work. Left Hand Pass displays a fast and bludgeoning mix of a few revered acts but with a crisp and clean twist, without being too modern or technical. Dual vocal flourishes and bouts of practical technicality lend itself to similarities between Cattle Decapitation and Revocation as well. Therefore, references aside, Cannabis Corpse aim to please aesthetically, leading to a surprisingly cohesive and palatable blend of old and new.

Cannabis Corpse give yet another reason to like their way of using self-aware parody and extending the joke beyond human comprehension, but that's pretty much been the point of the band from day one. This band are, by all rights, better than they have any right to be. Even with eye-roll inducing titles like "In Battle There Is No Pot," once the guitars start to buzz it doesn't really matter. Left Hand Pass is really fun without being dumb. It's intriguing and impressive without being portentous. Like everything the band has created before, it's an album for metal fans by metal fans; a potent and enjoyable love letter to death metal. And weed too I guess. Blast this album and blaze up while you do, enjoy.

7 out of 10 stars.

Left Hand Pass is out now via Season Of Mist.

Check out the track "The 420th Crusade" below:

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