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Coroner - R.I.P.

1987 Noise Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

And here, with the ironically named R.I.P., the stage is set for one of the greatest technical thrash units in history to debut their talent. Like its successor, R.I.P. is a tad thrashier than the last three albums, but quite possibly also more experimental. Three intros on the album, each wokring well to build into a classic track, true opener Reborn Through Hate being the most memorable, with instrumental Nosferatu right behind it. A guitar shredding 45 minutes, Coroner were known both for their technical proficiency and the almost apparent lack of self-restraint on these first two albums. The songs don't have the hooks or staying power that later works would have, but for a young band... it's amazing. Based thickly in classical guitar, Tommy T. Baron (boen Vetterli) is an axe demon. The focus of the band, but that's no slight on Ron Royce's excellent bass abilities, or Marquis Marky's tend to syncopate everything. Coroner earned their place in the metal hall of fame with five amazing albums, and R.I.P. is the perfect place to start.

Coroner - Punishment for Decadence

1988 Noise Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

For the longest time I felt that this was Coroner's pentultimate moment, highlighted by some of the most memorable tracks in my mental catalog. Listening to it now, I can see how Absorbed and Arc-Lite motivated me to get my ass to school all Junior year of High School, but I can also see the minute flaws in the Coroner armor here. The band did as well, soon abandoning the thrashier aspects of their style, tightening things up considerably in the future, but here, it's still Tommy T. Baron's show. Baron is one of my favorite guitarists, a master at the riff AND the solo, very rare it seems. So, while the record starts to lose impact on side two for me now, I can still confidently say that it is one of my favorite albums of all time, representative of a time and a place when both the band and I had a certain degree of recklessness, the two being a perfect compliment to each other in the turbulent late 80s. Seriously, the complete first side must be heard to be believed, all three musicians threatening to overstep their boundaries, yet somehow focusing it all together. Maybe too much reverb on the vocals, or a bit too loose in the production, but for all the tiny complaints one may bring up, this album is unarguably one of the true thrash classics, a must have in any archival collection.

Coroner - No More Color

1989 Noise Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

And the band played on... A little history, I got this album when it came out, but after digging PFD for so long, I felt that No More Color was a tad too slow, a bit boring, and it didn't get played much. Hearing it today, I don't know what the hell was wrong with me! This Album rules, it being the first Coroner album to scale down (no pun intended) the guitar heroics in favor of more riff oriented (granted, very technically oriented) song structures. The solos are still intact, as crazy and outstanding as ever, and here the always capable rhythm section have caught up, matching and pushing forward Baron on his musical journeys. Stand out tracks would have to be Read my Scars and Tunnel of Pain (such cool lyrics), but all the tracks are killer, the first perfect Coroner record for the world to enjoy, for start to finish, not a second is wasted here. A transition album of sorts, No More Color also clears the path for the incredibly industrial Mental Vortex and the even more off kilter Grin.

Coroner - Mental Vortex

1991 Noise Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

Now a finely honed machine, Mental Vortex is definitely Coroner at the top of their game. The major difference here is that MV contains 8 songs, while previous releases seem to be a combination of riffs strung together. Now, whether or not this is a positive thing is all up to personal opinion, but for me, Mental Vortex is the easiest, and yet most difficult Coroner release to listen to. The surface layer shows the band trimming the fat so to speak, most tracks are mid-tempo with less noodling on all fronts. Yet this material is easily the band's most complicated to date, many odd-time signatures and 3 against 3 rhythms utilized. Add in the best production so far and you've got a complete winner. A certain coldness also permeates this release as well, odd, since the last disc was the one entitles No More Color, but this reminds me of Nothingface or Manic Impressions in it's digital isolation. Perfect though for the scientific/futuristic skin that covers this release though, the lyrical content reflecting this lack of emotion. Their finest moment? Maybe, but I'd chalk up No More Color as being a tie, both albums depicting Coroner's ideas to a "T". Even the choice of covering The Beatles works here, as the band can almost do no wrong at this point.

Coroner - Grin

1993 Noise Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

And now my age and maturity begin to show, Grin being the lost Coroner album for me until a couple of months ago. When this came out, I wouldn't even give this a change, feeling that along with Kreator and Renewal, that my favorite thrash bands of old had closed shop and gone industrial. In what must only be proof that this a album was years ahead of it's time (at least for me), it's my favorite Coroner record in my recent "rediscovery" of the band. Part of this must be due to the newness and unfamiliarity since I hadn't heard this or the Eponymous "greatest hits" album, but I attribute most of my feeling to the overall mood of the album, dark, midpaced and completely sinister. Coroner here have either forgotten, forsaken or built on their early roots here, depending on who you ask. Most songs are based here on the band's new desire to slow things down and work with atmosphere, Marquis Marky only playing the essentials here, which really allows Baron's fluid guitar work to shine. Yeah, there's experimental moments, like, an hour of them, but it fits, and the album works as something completely different than what they had done before, yet a logical progression from Mental Vortex. At any rate, Grin stands for now as a very worthy final long player for a band that should and hopefully will live in infamy as one of the great metal bands.

Coroner - Coroner

1995 Noise Records :: Reviewed by rofreason on 2005-07-01

Always thinking that this was a best of collection, I didn't pick this up until recently. Actually, after realizing how great Grin was and that there were indeed new songs to be found here. This is actually a post R.I.P. (double, get it?) album which the band released to fulfill their contractual obligations to Noise Records. Of the new tracks, there are guest musicians on both drums and bass, making me wonder what the heck was going on with the band at the time. As for the older tracks, I really don't need to explain more, for they kill. As for the new material... The first two songs presented are very similar to what was on Grin, yet maybe even more jazzy and progressive (thanks to ex-Clockwork/Mekong Delta drummer Peter Haas), but still appearing simple, if that can make any sense. As an album, things don't blend well together because Coroner went through such a huge change during their existence, and also because when songs like Divine Step end, I really, really want Son of Lilith to kick in, not one of the slower new tracks. Definitely worth having for what was previously unreleased though, for these newer songs are exactly what I crave most days now, heavy, progressive tracks which fit my mood perfectly at times. A travesty of sorts that this band was allowed to dissolve, but most people didn't understand or accept (myself one of them) the band's evolution of sound at the time.