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Coroner is easily one of the most underappreciated thrash bands of the 80’s. With R.I.P. Coroner began their career with an excellent album. The band members using their virtuosic capabilities made one of the first technical thrash metal albums and certainly one of the few thrash albums also combining neo-classical shred metal. R.I.P. is a defining debut and also a criminally underrated thrash classic that should be mentioned with the greats of thrash.
R.I.P. sounds like no other thrash album I have heard besides Coroner’s follow up Punishment For Decadence. On R.I.P. Coroner play high speed neo-classical tinged thrash riffs with virtuosic leads and solos. The tempo is almost entirely fast paced throughout except on the interludes. An intro a few interludes and an outro give R.I.P. some variety and a nice melodic atmosphere. R.I.P. uses a guitar picking style I have only heard on a few other thrash albums mainly Destructions Eternal Devastation and Coroners next album Punishment For Decadence. The sole instrumental Nosferatu is a clinic in neo-classical shredding and definitely would not sound out of place on an Yngwie J.Malmsteen album albeit the much higher rhythm speeds.
The band’s performance is excellent throughout R.I.P. Ron Royce’s vocals is the low point for R.I.P. and all of Coroner’s future releases he sounds like an early incarnation of death metal growls with a more shouting thrash metal style. Fortunately his bass playing is excellent I have to agree with “marktheviktor” that his playing style has a similar sound to Steve Harris of Iron Maiden instead of following the guitars he sounds like another lead guitar except lower. Tommy T. Baron’s guitar playing is easily the highlight of the album he is extremely underrated and has a very unique style that’s all his own. The drummer Marquis Marky is quite good changing rhythm frequently with the guitars and provides many fills and fast double kick bass for the time.
The downsides to this album are few but they are definitely noticeable. The production is the typical raw European thrash style with a murky sound and a very quiet volume. While the interludes are entertaining and useful for atmosphere purposes they could have been combined into the actual songs themselves instead adding more tracks to the album. Finally the second half is definitely weaker it sounds like Coroner ran out of ideas and decided to just repeat the formula from the first half albeit less solid.
Overall R.I.P. is a classic technical thrash assault that is almost always overlooked. Best songs are Reborn Through Hate, When Angels Die, Nosferatu, Suicide Command, and Coma. I highly recommend R.I.P. to any person who wants an excellent piece of technical thrash from Europe.
-2 points Ron Royce’s vocal performance
-2 points weaker second half of album
-2 points bad production
-2 points interludes not used properly