Cannabis Corpse – Nug So Vile Review

Cannabis Corpse have gained impressive mileage from their death metal gimmick, mainly through striking a keen balance between their old school Floridian worship, crafty weed and death metal puns, and a blasting sense of fun and technical expertise integrated into their chunky, groove-laced brand of death. The experienced band follow-up 2017’s reliably solid Left Hand Pass on the cheekily titled homage to Cryptopsy’s classic None So Vile album, here re-dubbed as Nug So Vile. Yes, the band’s trademark humor and love of puns remains in full force on their sixth LP, confirming their status as scene veterans with a longevity that few would have expected when they first burst onto the scene on their 2006 debut, Blunted at Birth. Cannabis Corpse would never have lived this long on weed and death metal gimmicks alone, so it’s a credit to the band, led by Philip “Landphil” Hall (Municipal Waste, Iron Reagan), that they remain an active force well over a decade since their hazy inception.

Although hardly essential, Cannabis Corpse is reliably consistent, and generally a blast to listen to in all their chunky, speedy, and hook-filled glory. Nug So Vile aims to scratch the same death metal itch previous outings have delivered and comes armed with a similar mode of trademark destruction. Hall’s gruff vocals sit snugly alongside the grimy, technically sound work of new guitarist Adam Guilliams, and tight, groovy drumming of Josh Hall. Landphil’s bass playing is also worthy of mention, holding down a beefy low end while making his presence felt with expressive basslines. Take away the quirky song titles and endlessly creative puns and the sound leftover is serious business.

Cannabis Corpse blast, groove and riff away in relentless fashion, yet with an accessibility and groovy streak to compliment the technical proficiency and well constructed tunes. Nug So Vile is packed to the hilt with burly rhythms, thick riffage, oodles of energetic aggression and tight chops. Predominantly groove-based and chunkified numbers like the heaving rumble of “Dawn of Weed Possession,” complete with slicing solo, sit alongside speedier doses of cutting aggression on the amped title track and adrenaline fueled death-punk edge of “From Enslavement to Hydrobliteration.” There are lesser tunes that whir by without delivering much lasting impact, and despite the lean run-time, culling a few of the less remarkable songs could have honed the album into a tighter beast. Thankfully the album finishes quite strongly, rather than going out on a generic whimper.

Nug So Vile comes equipped with an impressively dynamic master, allowing ample breathing space, though there’s something a little off about the production overall, coming across a little flat and muddy. Cannabis Corpse graft their meat and potatoes trademark on each signature tune, with mildly entertaining results. However, despite some killer songs and mosh-ready moments littered throughout the album, overall, the hooks seem less sticky and penetrating than usual. There’s a few by-the-numbers tunes and other solid cuts that leave you unfulfilled beyond the initial rush. As is typical, Cannabis Corpse is at the very least entertaining background death metal when the mood strikes, elevated to a higher plane on stellar songs such as, mid-album highlight “Cheeba Jigsore Quandary” and funky, bass-infected crunch of the hard hitting “The Ultimate Indicantation.”

Cannabis Corpse is an easy band to like, if a difficult one to truly endorse as essential to your death metal collection. Nevertheless the band rarely disappoints and always pack a ton of energy and fun into each blasting, groovy composition. Unfortunately Nug So Vile falls short of some of their stronger releases due to a slightly less addictive, consistent and compelling collection of trademark tunes. Nug So Vile is still worth a spin, but mileage may vary.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 12 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Season of Mist
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: November 1st, 2019

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