January for many can be a depressing month. It’s cold and dark, not to mention being skint after the festive season. However, the tough times are about to disappear beneath a haze of smoke and a cacophony of heavy riffs as death metal blazers Cannabis Corpse roll into Scotland’s capital. If there’s one thing in the world to help forget your troubles, its some killer metal. When coupled with some greenery, that’s an irresistible double dose of headbanging catharsis.
Opening the gig are local thrashers Tempered bringing their own strain of green to the party – namely tracks from their awesome debut EP Greenwashed. Kicking off with the band’s namesake number followed by “Monotonous”, Tempered are pulling no punches. Despite the absence of bass, the band still sounds undeniably heavy. Frontman Euan Campbell owns the stagefront, not afraid to get up in the crowd’s faces as he fries the mic with his throat-shredding screams.
The band power through some more relentless thrash with the likes of the raging “Material Illness”, a cover of the Sepultura classic “Arise” (featuring a vocal cameo by Euan Henderson of Ifreann and Shredinburgh Promotions, who’s watching at the front) and closing crusher “Greenwashed”. It’s a short sharp set but Tempered prove that the intense CST brand of thrash is something to keep eyes and ears peeled for.
Next up are Withered, bringing a different vibe. The lights are low moody red as the atmospherics ring out before the band launch into their melting pot of extreme sounds. The performance is intense as the band’s dual vocals of rumbling growls and shredding shrieks coupled with the blasting guitars and pounding drums make for a cacophonous wall of sound. Contrasting this with eerie feedback atmospherics on the bass and doom riff moments beneath the blackened textures makes for a unique sound. Withered are a cool band, that put on a hypnotic performance – definitely one to check out.
After a quick soundcheck, Cannabis Corpse blast into the set with “Conquerors of Chronageddon”. The bigger crowd is feeling the vibe and headbanging along through new numbers including “Blunt Force Domain” and “Cylinders of Madness”.
While stoners may be portrayed as lazy, Cannabis Corpse prove otherwise displaying their crushing technical riffs and shredding solos. Drummer Hallhammer also slams on the kit, blasting through pounding rhythms and rumbling fills. Frontman LandPhil works the crowd in between guttural growls, getting them buzzing for more addictive death metal. In between the songs from latest album Nug So Vile, is a selection of classic strains like “Disposal of the Baggy”, “Immortal Pipes” and the aptly titled “Staring Through My Eyes That Are Red”. There’s a small pit raging at the front throughout the set, high on the slamming riffs as heads keep banging both onstage and off.
Cannabis Corpse and co. turn those January blues green with their collective brands of awesome extreme metal. It was a fun intimate show and a great first gig of the year for me, despite having to leave before getting “A Skull Full of Bong Hits”. Cannabis Corpse deal in the good stuff, and you can be sure Scotland’s death heads will be eagerly awaiting their next fix.
Pics by Abi Rose Photography (from London show)