We're always game for a new helping of horror metal from Oakland, CA “splatter thrash” unit Ghoul, who recently graced us with an awesome cover of GWAR's classic track “Americanized” on the compilation Intermediate Level Hard-Core. We're still hanging on for a full-length sequel to their awesome record Transmission Zero, but in the meantime they've thrown us another gore-drenched bone, joining forces with satirical stoner-metallers Cannabis Corpse for the tasty 12” split album Splatterhash. Thematically, it's exactly what the title implies: a short, controlled burst of gory horror thrash and weed-metal insanity. What better way to kick off the new year in music?
Oddly enough, the GWAR connection continues in Splatterhash, being the first Cannabis Corpse recording to feature lead guitarist Brent Purgason – whom you may already know as Pustulus Maximus, who assumed GWAR's lead axe role from the late, great Cory Smoot (a.k.a. Flattus Maximus) last year, and first recorded with them on Battle Maximus, one of our Top 13 albums of 2013. Corpse cut their Splatterhash tracks on their home turf of Richmond, VA (at frontman/bassist Landphil's own studio), while Ghoul returned to Earhammer Studio in Oakland (where Transmission Zero was recorded).
As we've mentioned before, Ghoul's M.O. is to basically throw thrash and death metal, hardcore and surf-rock genres into a blender and press “KILL.” What makes the whole concoction work is a combination of versatile instrumental skills, nearly psychotic delivery, and an undying devotion to monsters, mad scientists and serial killers. Over the past few years they've opened for everyone from GWAR to Danzig, all the while securing a strong, memorable rep with the crowds – partly, it seems, by scaring the living shit out of them. Their contributions to Splatterhash are the tracks “Inner Sanctum” and “Spill Your Guts.” I dig both, but I'm leaning toward “Guts” for its taste of early GWAR, whipping violently between punk and thrash, with the band's snarling, venomous vocals at their most deranged.
As you can probably deduce from their handle, Cannabis Corpse puts a decidedly weed-centric satirical spin on the output of gore/death metal icons Cannibal Corpse (with hilarious titles like Beneath Grow Lights Thou Shalt Rise), but they're growing a strong following that far exceeds that of a gimmick/parody band (they've recently signed to esteemed metal label Season of Mist) by serving up their own brand of brutal, straightforward and riff-centric death metal. Here they offer us “The Inhalation Plague” and “Shatter Their Bongs,” thematic parodies of Cannibal Corpse titles “Evisceration Plague” and “Shatter Their Bones.” The latter is definitely the strongest (and scariest) of the two, with some hair-raising vocal bursts and an ominous breakdown; the excellent production places strong emphasis on thick, fleshy bass lines and seismic blastbeats.
Though a light (but satisfying) snack between heartier helpings from both bands, Splatterhash is a completely insane romp through a smoke-shrouded graveyard that will bathe you in showers of blood and clouds of skunk-scented bliss... just don't be surprised if you find yourself hitting the fridge immediately after listening. You can order the 12” from Tankcrimes (available in blood-splattered, green or silver/black vinyl editions), and purchase the digital version via Bandcamp.