Coroner
Grin


4.0
excellent

Review

by Geadom USER (9 Reviews)
December 18th, 2012 | 44 replies | 3,551 views


Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Closing the career of a truly progressive band, Grin never ceases to amaze, either by its somehow unexpected change to groove/industrial metal, or the fact that it manages to hit its objective, even with its flaws.

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

Coroner is one of the most amazing bands, that almost no one seemed to know about (until a couple years ago, when they reunited again), but those few that heard them, were nothing but amazed by their unorthodox mix of thrash and classical influences (as seen on their first and second albums, R.I.P and Punishment for decadence), and tremendous musicianship of the band members.

Following with two more records, the critically acclaimed No more color and Mental Vortex, the band progressed even further, by lessening the classical influences and gaining the elusive and mostly forgotten art of good songwriting, even perhaps perfecting it (on Mental Vortex) on the way. It seemed impossible for a band of this caliber to not achieve the top of the metal crown, at the pace they were truly, advancing and progressing.

But by 1993, the whole musical scene had changed: Grunge and alt. rock were taking over the world, death metal replaced thrash as the true underground scene, and most of the thrash and heavy metal bands were adapting their sounds to more commercial ears, being by combining their style with hard rock, or other influences, or just down tuning their sounds to a lesser form of themselves.

And while this was exactly what happened here, Coroner fusing its core sound with a more "groovy" approach and mixing it with industrial influences, the final result is not as bad as one might think. Following the opener , the tribal-instrumental Dream Path, The Lethargic Age kicks in giving us the first and mostly correct impression of the album. Far more groove and repetition is found on the track than in previous albums openers, the bass is clearly more audible and present, and Ron Broder vocals, while still having that harsh sound, are more laidback than before.

So, if this is a dumbed down version of their better records, what makes the album good in the first place? Well, for starters, the production is extremely good, retaining that thrash vibe while letting the new industrial infused parts breathe. As always Coroner inserts some samples on their music (like the beginning of the second track Internal Conflicts, a spoken quote from Alien), this time paired with their new industrial sound, making the record sound a tad more mechanical, but never lifeless thanks to the vocals and instruments. Broder vocals, still retain that thrashy punch, and the lyrics, while being a mixed bag this time (more on that later), are for the most part pretty good, coming from Marky Edelmann genius mind, like in Caveat: To the Coming, the opening and title track, and Paralyzed Mesmerized.

Speaking of Edelmann, his drum patterns are still really good and fitting. While being a former shadow of what he did on previous album, being more simple all around, he still shows tact on where to hit each snare, bass and cymbal. It's a shame that the general direction of this album restricts his playing, but you´ll leave with the impression that everything meant to be accomplished on the drums front , is finely done . Tommy Vetterli guitar playing is still playful and pretty original, being without a doubt one of the best features of the album. You just have to listen to the intro or solo of Paralyzed Mesmerized, the combative riff of Grin or the super groovy Serpent Moves, to know that even being a far more limited display of his skill, Tommy knows how to RIFF. Combined with Broder bass, that has a lot more of presence on this record, you´ll never feel that even with this being a groove album, it's a boring one. Well.... maybe.

And that "maybe" comes from two unquestionable flaws with the album. The first (a minor) one, is the fact that this is, for the most part, a mid-tempo groove album, so you´re going to hear a lot of riffs and melodies being, well, repeated a lot. This is mainly a curse that comes with the genre, but if you can pass that part, as said before, you won't find a lazy riff or musical flaw. Even there being two instrumental filler songs (Dream Path, and Theme for Silence, a prelude or intro to Paralyzed Mesmerized), Coroner knows how to grab your attention and keep it, something learned in their previous output, without a doubt.

The second , major and unforgivable flaw within the album are the lyrics. They aren't bad at all, but they suffer on some tracks of being REPETITIVE as hell. On some tracks this repetition is somehow well done, like the chorus on Grin and for the most part of Serpent Moves (as it's a sludgy groovy song, after all). But on tracks like Internal Conflicts, Status: Still Thinking, and the never-ending chant on Serpent Moves of "I'm moving.. I'm changing", you might as well bang your head out of anger against a wall, especially if you have listened to Coroner previous albums. It has to be noted that the closing track, Host, is as always being with this band, an experimental song, that has some spoken vocals. It suffers from the same repetitive nature of the album on the chorus, but it's worth to check out just for the weird rhythms and instrumentation that only Coroner pulls off.

Overall, Grin is a pretty good album, not as expected for the same masterminds that made the gems called Mental Vortex and No More Color, but its without a doubt a worthy album for its timeframe, and to close the career (until recently) of this wonderful band. If you can get past its flaws, are fan of groove or industrial tingled metal or are just a follower of the band and haven´t heard this, this is worthy of your time. But if you are new to this group, start with the perfect Mental Vortex or more thrashy No More Color, before getting this.

Recommended Tracks:
The Lethargic Age
Caveat (To the coming)
Grin
Paralyzed, Mesmerized.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Geadom
December 18th 2012



2810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As always, english not being my native language, any error, or critic is REALLY appreciated. Had this
review halfway done since a month ago, but family business kept me from finish it, so im going to clean
it later.

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2012



19437 Comments


damn massive review. I'll read it when i have the chance great band

Digging: Musk Ox - Woodfall

RiffOClock
December 18th 2012



984 Comments


industrial metal well thats a new one


album fuckin blows obv

RiffOClock
December 18th 2012



984 Comments


classical influences hmm


interesting choice of dicks in ur ears

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2012



19970 Comments


Haven't heard this one.

Geadom
December 18th 2012



2810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bwahahahaha, thanks Fade.
Watcha think of the review, btw?

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
December 18th 2012



19970 Comments


Review is well written.

A few minor errors I noticed:

but those few that heard them, where none than amazed

Should be 'were' not 'where' and it would read better if you said 'nothing but amazed'

with a more "groovier" aproach

Should either be 'with a more groovy approach' or with a groovier approach'

Good review overall, pos'd.

bloc
December 18th 2012



34669 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I never thought this was anywhere near as good as the band's first four albums.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Geadom
December 18th 2012



2810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It´s a love / hate thing, it seems. Personally, i cant stand R.I.P, its really unfocused. Watcha think of the review?
Jamie: Thanks, fixed what you pointed out.

Sapient.
December 18th 2012



1109 Comments


this for some reason reminds me of Chaos A.D. era Sepultura (at least some of it)... I quite like it

Geadom
December 18th 2012



2810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of course it should, its Groove metal after all. If you like this, i suggest checking Mental Vortex, its their best.

Sapient.
December 18th 2012



1109 Comments


I think i will, although chasing down a physical copy is looking like it's gonna be a pain in the ass...

WeepingBanana
December 18th 2012



10043 Comments


just listened to no more color for the first time last night. shit was pretty cool

KILL
December 19th 2012



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review bro

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

Geadom
December 19th 2012



2810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks guys. Those who havent: Listen to Mental Vortex, is IMO a perfect album.

As always dont forget to POS, is my incentive to keep writing more stuff (i guess?)

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 19th 2012



19437 Comments


finally got around to reading this good review man pos

KILL
December 19th 2012



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i will pos this review

when i feel like doin it

KILL
December 19th 2012



70573 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not as many as the 3 albums before but it groovez hard

Geadom
December 20th 2012



2810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

But i never will touch you!

Geadom
December 21st 2012



2810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The reviews of No More Color are a tad bit weak too, so i"ll maybe write something for it too.



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