Tommy Vetterli Ė Guitars
Ron Royce Ė Vocals, Bass
Marquis Marky Ė Drums, Percussion
Year - 1993
This particular Coroner opus was their last, and what a great way to go out. All through their career they had been progressing, and this was the result of four fabulous albums. They had refined everything by this stage Ė groove, speed, technicality, progression, leads, lyrics, you name it. The result, the mighty Grin.
In this album, the drummer, Marquis Marky, finally gets some pretention in him, and starts muddling around with technical beats, off-time signatures, speed, and he does it all perfectly. Take the drumming in the intro of Grin (Nails Hurt), it is one of the most constructive and inventive drum lines Iíve ever heard. His double kicks are splendid too. His best performance by far. Tommy Vetterli, while he doesnít solo as much as he did in his early days, when he does pull out the occasional lead (Internal Conflicts) he does it extremely well. But his real gems on this CD are his riffs. They have so much groove, itís unreal. His songwriting is top notch, possibly some of the best songwriting in metal. Ron Royce, what can I say? He stands out even moreso than he has done in previous albums, a lot of the time having his own riff, instead of following the guitar. Great stuff.
This is just a simple intro, short at only 1:12. Itís very Sepultura style, with all these tribal sounds, like the drums, and the didgeridoo, which is that long pipe Aboriginies use. Itís a great sound, I like it. This track is really too short to be considered a song, so Iíll move on.
The Lethargic Age
Starts with a short, then long chord by Vetterli, and a cool bassline by Royce, and a simple drum beat. Right away, it strays from its original 4/4 timing, into a 5/4 bar, simply by adding an extra beat in. Great stuff. The verse is cool, I love his voice on the whole album, it is so powerful. The verse is pretty simple; a slow galloping riff, and a rock beat. The chorus has the same instrumentation as the intro, with different drumming. At about 2:50, we get our first of not very many Vetterli solos. This one is a gem. He has a cool tone on his guitar, itís distorted, but itís not the normal crunchy sound you usually get from a guitar, itís much more smoother. The groove of the riff is memorable. A good way to open the CD. And the hyper outro is great.
This song is one of Coronerís finest. It has everything. Starts with a snare roll, and guitar and bass matching it. Then it does the riff, with tom rolls, then to a rock beat. The vocal delivery in this song is damn evil! ďI will cross my skull, when I feel like doing it! I will break my bones, when I feel like doing it!" He almost is giving orders, the way he is hurling his words out. Itís all over another odd time, where the music kind of follows the words, not vice versa. Thereís a slow bit in the middle, the ďSelf-destruct" bit (which has an awesome groove), but it remains pretty high paced until about 2:30, when it gets pretty slow. It speeds up at about 2:50, itís similar to the intro, then the lead break. 3 minutes in on the 3rd song. Cool, huh? This lead is the best on the album by a long, long way, maybe on of his best. Thereís a short break in the solo, and then he starts doing some crazy sweep picking. Incredible stuff. After the solo, itís all pretty samey stuff, it repeats ďbut Iíll never" bit a while, until the ending, where a cool effect concludes the song.
Caveat (To The Coming)
Starts with some nice, acoustic (or something) chords, and with the children laughing in the background, it gives a nice feel to it, it reminds me of the beach, for some reason. It gets heavier after a while, into another incredibly groovy riff. I like the vocals, again, he has this really wicked (in that I mean evil) feel to him, and itís great. Thereís a slower bit, then a sort of solo, and you can really hear the bassline clearly, which is great. Itís all the same for a while, it changes at about 3:10, thereís this ascending thing on the bass, over chords from the guitar, which sounds good. Thereís a solo at about 4:00, another excellent Vetterli tour de force. Again, pretty samey, still a decent song. Not one of my favourites, though.
Begins with a heavy riff, with a kind of floating feel, I think. Some random voices come in. The riff gets a bitt messier at about 1:06, and the lyrics ďIím moving, Iím changing". Back to a slower riff, with the same lyrics. The song really doesnít get going until about 1:45. After the verse, itís back to that riff, and then the lyrics ďIím movinÖí again. Bear in mind, this has reached the 3 minute mark, and there has been about 2 different parts to the song, and isnít boring. To me, anyway. I donít like the vocals as much as previous songs, he is pretty melodic in this one, and hasnít got his Ďarmy generalí vocals cranking. Another great Vetterli solo now, this goes on for about another minute or so. After that, thereís a quiet bit, with a long slide on the guitar. Thereís a cool instrumental part, that goes for about 4 minutes. Itís almost psychedelic, the way it is done. Itís pretty good. Thereís a cool effect on the drums towards the end, I dunno what they did, but it sounds like they did the cymbals in reverse. Itís great, just like the whole song.
Status: Still Thinking
Starts with guitar, then a nifty 15/8 riff! Woo. Cool. Itís the 1993 version of the Ocean. These vocals are better, however the Swiss attempts at writing English vocals obviously faltered in this song, with silly vocals like ĎDonít wanna know your brotherís nameí all the way through the song. This song is rather repetitive throughout, itís kind of droning. Thereís a cool Ďfloatingí riff again (what I mean by that is that the bass gets busy, but the guitar just plays one chord to a bar). I usually skip this track. A decent solo saves it from too much monotony. The ending leads on well to the next song, with bongos, and more tribal sounds.
Theme For Silence
This is similar to the opening track, more ambient sounds, pretty cool, actually. More didgeridooís. Thereís really nothing to explain here, except it has a didgeridoo in it. Onwards!
Again, it starts with a solitary guitar riff, and overdubbed guitar work!! Yeah. I like the intro to this, itís slow and groovy. The vocals are awesome. The general is back. Thereís a nice riff at about 2:00, a nice build-up, but it stays slow. Royce barks ĎParalized, mesmerizedí and then back to the verse. Thereís a cool solo in there, finished off with some madcore sweep picking. Thereís another one of those instrumental psychedelic interludes after the solo, which I like a lot. It gets a bit faster after the interlude, and then another solo! Two in one song! This is another madcore solo, probably better than the first. At around the 6:50 mark, it goes back to the verse/chorus. The song concludes the same way as the intro.
Grin (Nails Hurt)
This is the best song on the album. It is just breathtaking. It starts off with another guitar riff, soon to be joined by bass and drums. Instead of following the beat, the drums do this weird, awesome thing, that somehow keeps it all together. Vetterliís guitar tone is flawless. Itís typical, hammer the E-string thrash, slowed right down, and add 350% groove. Some great double kick, not fast, but solid as a mother****er. I love the vocals, especially the ĎGriní and ĎNails, in my brainí bits. The whole thingís great. Thereís a cool, even slower ĎUntil I loseí bit, which is great. Back to the verse, and the oh so excellent riff. Then the ĎUntil I lose bití then to the greatest bit on the whole album. At about 5:00 minutes, the band suddenly goes into speed metal mode. A very fast drum beat (made even faster because of the fact that itís a pretty slow album) and initially guitar hits on every snare hit (a nice syncopation thing) and the occasional long chord. Itís got such a great feel to it, I canít describe. Hear this song, now. It ends rather abruptly with some gun shots.
This is a weird song. It starts with a nice bass riff, itís got this really cool tone to it. Then it gets all weird on us. The bass riff continues, but there is a spoken word bit (?) and the occasional guitar fill. Then these shocking, almost hardcore vocals come in. Itís very spooky in the spoken bits, they add all these random sounds, creating a really eerie atmosphere. Soon, a synth comes in, and starts doing this riff. Thereís a little random guitar thing in the background now. I like the female backing vocals, they sound great. This song is pretty hard to describe actually, thereís really too much going on. Thereís a quiet bit at around the 5 minute mark, it goes all classical, with a sitar kind of sounding guitar, and really nice bass work, it sounds fretless. The female backing vox are nice. Some cool guitar delay effects now. This could be called another one of those psychedelic jams. This one is brilliant. It ends with a huge chord, and some fly sounds. Brilliant song.