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As technical thrash metal pioneers, Coroner's Death Cult is a very great release with intense vocals and unique music. This demo is great, but not as outstanding as Coroner on the classic R.I.P or any of their other later Full-lengths.
Let me start by saying I love Celtic Frost and Coroner. With that being said, I think it can be agreed Tom Gabriel Warrior's vocals are an intense addition to Coroner's musical abilities and Coroner demonstrates their musical abilities on Death Cult time and time again, especially their guitarist Tommy T. Baron. The riffs and leads on here played by Tommy Baron are very creative and enjoyable to listen to. For example, the harmonies and riffs in the song Spectators of Sin demonstrate what the true sound of technical metal is all about. Tommy shows an incredible amount of creativity in each song with his speed and overall composition. While this may seem all well and good, at times it seems as if he juggles his riffs in songs a bit too often and the timing is a bit off as well. There are too many timing signatures and an overwhelming overload of riffs that at times can seem irritating.
The bass is inaudible at points, but when it's heard you can see that all Ron does is follow the key and is limited to few fills, but the bass fills that stand out are the ones on Spiral Dream at about mid-point through the song. This is nothing compared to his later works which is a disappointment, but it's still okay on Death Cult. His fills on Spiral Dream are unique, but aren't displayed enough throughout the entire demo like they should be.
The drumming is very good. The cymbal work is creative and constantly changing and the drum fills are very heavy and fast. The only problem is that at times the bass drum is inaudible at moments throughout the demo due to the production. The point where drumming is at i's finest on Death Cult is on track 4, The Invincible.
Coroner's musical abilities are great. There is no doubt about it. But what wraps the demo together into a great work of old-school metal is Tom G. Warrior. The fact that his intense vocals are combined with Coroner's talent on Death Cult is one of many things that makes this demo so great. He displays his talent throughout the demo with a constant kick-ass vocal attack that gives the demo an all around raw and heavy tone.
With all of the above being stated, the demo is a solid one. The only things that really make it only good and not a step ahead is the production and an inaudible and borderline lazy bass.
Coroner progresses musically from this demo on the later releases in many ways as well. I really would recommend this to fans of Celtic Frost, Toxik, Artillery, etc.
Some of the most fun you'll ever have listening to metal, Death Cult delivers the goods but stops just short of being amazing.
Any seasoned metal listener will immediately notice the vocalist- Tom G. Warrior gives exactly what one would expect and hope to hear from him. That being out of the way, the (other) first thing one notices in this demo is the ridiculous energy it possesses. Much darker sounding than their later output, one would be hard-pressed to think of anything resembling the word "shred" when listening to this - it is straight-out, balls-to-the-wall thrashing metal fury. The dynamics are excellent; riffs change far too abruptly for inattention to set in, much less boredom.
This however also shows the album's primary weakness; a lot of those same changes are too abrupt. When played as simple background music to get your head banging, almost nothing beats this release. But on a more attentive listen, it becomes apparent that there is a definite overeagerness here. Many of the changes from one riffing pattern to another simply feel tacked on to each other; this makes for a rollicking and energetic listen but for those who want their metal to mean something more than AAARRRRGH it might be disappointing.
Fortunately, the purity of that same energy far outshines the lack of subtlety in the way these songs develop. Both "Spiral Dream" and, in particular, the instrumental "Aerial Combat" are adrenalin in musical form, and the other two tracks provide a perfect lead-in and -out to the demo's overall experience. This could easily have stood in as the band's first studio release, and with some more compositional patience may have even come to outshine everything else in the same style.
Definitely a worthwhile listen for anyone into speed or thrash metal. Don't be surprised if it becomes a little less powerful after a year or two - but don't be surprised that it never loses the majority of its appeal either.
This is some decent thrash, however the production of the demo is pure shit. The thing I liked most about this album were the riffs and solo's The guitar work is pure thrash style fast then slow riffs that kick your ass. Solo's are unbelievably fast and well produced. This riffs are probably the only thing that save this demo though. You can definetly tell that the guitars were recorded with crappy production. It's static at sometimes and muffled at other times. Another good thing about this album is the vocals; decent thrash style straight out vocals. However, even the vocals can be muffled at times, once again thanks to shitty production. The only thing that isn't muffled is the drums. They come in pretty clear. In the middle of Spiral Dream there is a part where the guitar plays and then the bass. The bass guitar sounds like it is being picked with a piece of shit. Just an awful sound and awful production. The songs are pretty jamming with great riffs and beats! Surely not the greatest, but it was a good step for Coroner to become the thrash band that they were!
You know that Testament album where they start off with all the numbers and finally converge on "6"? It goes "666". Well, so does this album. So Testament being all creative and shit, fuck them. Then, we start with some vicious fucking thrash riffs. The guitar tone on this album - holy fucking feces fuckstick!! This thing would slice your grandmother in three and feed them to each other, only to eat the last remaining survivor!!! Combine with Tom G. Warrior's vocals, this is truly a masterpiece.
The first three songs are all-out thrash - the riffs are very crisp, very well defined, very nicely done. The fourth song, "The Invincible", is total Celtic Frost. Kinda slow and then gets really fucking fast. Slow again, then fucking fast. "The invincible!!!!" This song owns. It's no Triumph of Death, but it is a fitting tribute.
Then, "Arrogance in Uniform" is from 1987, and has Ron Royce on vocals. A pretty decent song, something that would not sound out of place on RIP. Pretty nice. The last track, "Hate Fire Blood" is about a minute long and its purpose escapes me. That's okay - it's a demo, and one of the best ever!