At long last, the missing Coroner CD in my collection. The sad thing is, this CD isn't even out of print. Thanks to Olaf, the Metal Giant from Germany for the hookup!
Coroner's debut "R.I.P." is pure, unadulterated, in-your-face, energetic, thrash metal. This may very well be their heaviest and was most certainly their least experimental. Many thrash fans list this album among their favorites, and for good reason. The songs are complex, heavy, and for the most part, pretty fast, yet they still retain memorable riffs and hooks. Guitarist Tommy T. Baron was a monster thrash guitarist. I've heard some complaints about the vocals on this CD, however, I find no fault in Ron Royce's raspy howl. As a matter of fact, I think his voice works well with Coroner's brand of technical thrash. Overall, I think this may very well be one of Coroner's best discs. While I would not label "R.I.P" death metal, it was definitely a precursor to death metal.
Coroner - Punishment for Decadence (Noise) 1987
An early leader in the late 80's death metal and thrash scenes. This album is listed by many metal and thrash fans among their favorites. Early Coroner is just straight forward thrash with growly vocals that are buried in the mix. However, the mosh ethic and the killer songwriting and the total guitar shred are what I like so much about this band. Actually, Coroner rarely "thrash-out", choosing instead to stick with the fast to mid-paced grooves and mosh rhythms. You know, those infectious rhythms that make you head band. Amusing cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" that was not included on the original cassette and vinyl releases.
Coroner - No More Color (Noise) 1989
1. "Die By My Hand"
Awesome thrash metal CD - "No More Color" is brutal, technical thrash at it's best. The riffs are vicious, the drumming is awesome, and the vocals are gritty but understandable. This is the perfect example of what bands like Believer and later-day Death were striving for. Without a doubt, the highlight of this disc is "DOA", a technical monster with some awe-inspiring riffs and lead work. "No More Color is a stunning CD. (thanks Olaf)
Coroner - Mental Vortex (Noise) 1991
1. "Divine Step (Conspectu
This disc is worth the price of admission for the cover of the Beatles' "I Want You" alone. However, there are seven other technical thrash gems that are all equally pounding and aggressive. "Mental Vortex" is very technical, with tons of riffage, tempo changes, melody, speed, etc. The vocals are typical of the German thrash scene at the time. Gritty, grindy, but still understandable. Personally I think this style is far better than most of the grind baritones in death metal.
Coroner - Grin (Noise) 1993
1. "Dream Path"
Coroner are known as a thrash band, but that tend to brings up thoughts of either the Slayer/Kreator school of thrash or the Metallica/Megadeth school of E-chord chunk. Neither of these descriptions fit "Grin". Rather Grin is much more ethereal, progressive and experimental. At times some of the material reminds me slightly of some of the more spacy music of Voivod. "Grin (Nails Hurt)" in particular has that odd Voivod quality to it. However, even that description doesn't really define this CD. It just has to be heard to be completely understood. Imagine if 1970's Pink Floyd was playing aggressive speed metal and you might get a mental picture of what is going on here. Vetreli's guitar work is stunning. I can certainly see his influence in Kreator after hearing this CD. Coroner's rhythm section is stunning as well and really blows down doors here.
Coroner (Noise) 1995
1. "Benways World"
I suppose this is a 'greatest hits' package or something like that. I don't know that this band ever had a hit. Perhaps it's one of those odds and sods disc that is made up of a bunch of b-sides, remixes and such. Either way some of the material on this disc is quite interesting. To be quite honest, however, it is nothing like what I was expecting. I always thought of Coroner as a thrash band, and the majority of this material is more like spacey, experimental heavy metal. Some of the material reminds me of mid-90's Kreator and at other points it reminds me of Voivod. Listening to this disc for the first time I was anxious to hear the Jimi Hendrix cover, but was disappointed to hear that it was a bizarre reggae interpretation, rather than a raging, head banging metal cover, like it is on "Punishment of Decadence". Guess I will have to check out some of their earlier material.