Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Underrated Albums: Coroner: R.I.P.

Coroner's debut album from 1987 is one of the earlier examples of technical thrash metal. It is also a criminally underrated and oft-forgotten classic from the early years of thrash metal. Part of this may be due to the same limitation that groups like Artillery and Sabbat faced, being from an area that was not really known for thrash metal. Coroner is from Switzerland, not exactly a metal hotbed, despite producing Hellhammer/Celtic Frost by that point.

The band's debut album features some amazing technical riffwork and is one of the earliest thrash albums, I am aware of, that featured neoclassical shredding riffs. The pace of the riffs is almost always fast. This is a pummeling thrash metal album from beginning to end. The only respite are the occasional melodic, acoustic interludes, and even those do not last long.

Ron Royce's vocals sound amazingly like Tom G. Warrior's on early Celtic Frost material. The vocals are often snarled and do even feature the nonverbal grunting that Warrior used so extensively and to great effect. Royce also provides impressive basswork throughout the album.

The only real issue that I have with the album is the production. It's a little bit muddy and is not real loud. I can look past it though, because the songs on the album are so impressive.

This is a great album from the mid 1980's. Nothing else from that time sounds quite like it. Coroner did put out some more good albums after this, but in my opinion, nothing was quite as good as the band's debut.

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