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Class 6(66)

Coroner: R.I.P.

11/06/10  ||  InquisitorGeneralis

Introduction

There has never been a more underrated, unappreciated band in the history of extreme metal than the mighty Swiss trio Coroner. They were light-years ahead of their time in terms of style and technicality and should be mentioned as one of the most influential and important bands to come out of the 80’s and shape the world of metal as we know it. But, sadly, the masses blindly cry out SSSSLLLLLLAAAAYYYYYYYEEEEEERRRRRR and beat off to “…and Justice for All” while remaining ignorant to the skill and quality of less heralded bands like Coroner, Exhorder, and Massacra.

“R.I.P.” is one of the best debuts in the history of metal period and a thrash metal classic in every sense of the word. But, it goes beyond the standard fast fast breakdown fast style of thrash that ruled the day. Coroner tossed in progressive and technical elements that were years ahead of the curve and still hold up in today’s overly techdeathed world of time-signature clusterfuckery. “RIP” is badass like Sweet Sweetback’s muthafucken song… fool.

Songwriting

8. The songwriting on “R.I.P.” is more straightforward than on later Coroner albums but there is still a lot of variety and differences between the tracks. Coroner were the ultimate metal power-trio and it is amazing the quality and depth the three of them were able to infuse into the music. This is definitely the most aggressive and speediest Coroner record. As evident by the first real song “Reborn though hate”, which displays all the awesome elements Coroner bring to the table on “R.I.P.”: from
Tommy’s incredible riffs to Marky Edelman’s impressive (especially for 1987) drumming. Coroner definitely did not follow the standard thrash pattern of…

fast part, chorus, fast part, chorus, breakdown, solo, chorus, end

…as much as other bands at the time. Variation and diversity are definitely present throughout the album, although you do not get as drastic a difference between speed and heaviness as on later releases like No More Color and Mental Vortex , both previously covered by ex-staffer and goat-rape-receiver deluxe Baalzamon666.

Production

7. For its time, the production on “R.I.P.” is not bad, but I want better! A heavier, clearer guitar and drum sound would be nice, but I am not complaining too loudly. The only real problem is how low the vocals are in the mix. “R.I.P.” sounds like you would expect a non-major label progressive thrash album too: raw and murky with a low volume. Just crank it up ok?

Guitars

10. Immense riffs, finger flying shreds and solos, and technical changes abound courtesy of Tommy Baron, a criminally underrated and underappreciated player. Ten seconds “Reborn though hate” you know you are in for total guitar domination. The tempo changing riff that ends the solo section and kicks back into the intro section is ten seconds of pure awesomeness. The opening line from “When angels die” is close to fucken perfect and my only complaint is that you only really hear it twice in the song! While most thrash bands needed two guitarists two drive the music, Baron was a one-man wrecking machine. On “R.I.P.” he gives a truly fucken outstanding performance. Just listen to the instrumental “Nosferatu” and you will see (hear?) that Tommy Baron was one of the very best thrash guitarists.

Bass

9. It is remarkable that Royce could sing and play bass while keeping up with the hectic pace and structure of “R.I.P.”. Combined with Marquis on the drums, they formed one of the tightest rhythm sections in the history of metal. Often times Royce sounds like a second guitarist and tosses in his own leads and riffs that are clearly distinct from Tommy’s. I know these are big names to drop here but I liken his performance and style to Lemmy of Motörhead and Steve Harris from Maiden: two players who brought the bass right up with the other instruments as an integral part of the music.

Drums

10. Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch was way ahead of his time on “R.I.P.”. His double-bass work alone is awesome and on par, if not better than, any of the other thrash or early death metal drummers of the time. His performances on “Reborn through hate”, “Coma”, and “Fried alive” are all spectacular. On “R.I.P.” Edelman thrashes at speeds equal to, or even more than, his contemporaries like Igor Cavalera, Dave Lombardo, or Charlie Benante. In terms of foot work, I would put him above almost everyone except for maybe Lombardo: his double bass on “RIP” is killer and sounds like something you would hear from the more intense 90’s death metal bands. While I would say “No More Color” is Edelman’s best performance, he is also 100% on point on “R.I.P.”.

Vocals

7. Ron Royce’s growl/snarl vocals do get a bit lost in the mix on “R.I.P.” but they fit the music perfectly. Death growls would just not find the melody and feel of Coroner’s songs. But, I also could never see a falsetto or high pitch delivery a la Joey Belladonna working either. While not a classically skilled or mind-blowing vocalist, Royce is perfect for Coroner and his performance on “RIP” is consistent and commendable. As mentioned early, the vocals are very low and hard to make at some points, but that is not the end of the fucken world.

Lyrics

7. The lyrics on “R.I.P.” are a bit silly at times but certainly effective. You get all the classic themes of war, death, violence, execution, and insanity. No specific lyrics really stand out as being insanely incredible, but nothing is severely stupid either. Drummer “Marquis” Edelman wrote most of them and there is some broken English and a few lines that just seem a bit off. Still, I really don’t give a fuck and I chant Reborn through hate!!! along with the band every time I hear it.

Cover

5. Pretty nondescript I must admit. I am sure the band could have done much better. Looks like you are in the grave, looking out through a fish-eye lense. Obviously, they were focusing on the awesomeness of the tunes so lackluster cover forgiven.

Booklet

N/A. This puppy was purchased via the Internet so I never had the opportunity to check out the booklet… or be a douche and throw it away.

Overall and ending rant

“R.I.P.” set the standard for extreme thrash and bands are still RIPping it off today. The bands whose sound can be heard here are too numerous to list. Do Death, Pantera, At the Gates, Dream Theater, Necrophagist, or Gojira sound familiar? Sure they do, and even while that might be a widely diverse array of bands, you can hear elements of Coroners technical and progressive yet still heavy and aggressive style in all of them. Some production and vocal issues keep “R.I.P.” from getting the big one-oh score, but it is a true classic regardless featuring one of the tightest three-piece metal bands ever and should be in any serious thrash or extreme metal fans collection.

9

  • Information
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: Noise Records
  • Website: Coroner Myspace
  • Band
  • Ron “Royce” Broder: vocals, bass
  • Tommy “T.Baron” Vetterli: guitar
  • Marky “Marquis” Edelmann: drums
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Intro
  • 02. Reborn Through Hate
  • 03. When Angels Die
  • 04. Intro (Nosferatu)
  • 05. Nosferatu
  • 06. Suicide Command
  • 07. R.I.P.
  • 08. Coma
  • 09. Fried Alive
  • 10. Intro (Totentanz)
  • 11. Totentanz
  • 12. Outro