Rating:
10
Coroner - Grin
1993


01. Dream Path
02. The Lethargic Age
03. Internal Conflicts
04. Caveat (To The Coming)
05. Serpent Moves
06. Status: Still Thinking
07. Theme For Silence
08. Paralized, Mesmerized
09. Grin (Nails Hurt)
10. Host


In the mid 80's I was 15 years old moshing with bands like Voivod, Kreator and Exodus. I listened to Coroner's Punishment For Decadence and I remember thinking this is the "fastest" thrash I've ever heard. What a sound! I was instantly hooked and couldn't wait for their following releases. Next out were two terrific albums: No More Color and Mental Vortex. By the end of Mental Vortex I could tell Coroner was taking an alternate route other than the foundation laid by their first release, R.I.P. I was nervous because I had the feeling the next album would be notably different from their predecessors. I was correct, it was different, in an exemplary way.

Grin is a perfect combination of thrash, prog, and atmosphere. Longer songs, complex lyrics, dynamic sound structures and time changes make the album a terrific listen for any metal fan that likes the thrash and progressive genres. Each song has its own individuality. Original and remarkable, they allow the listener to discover something new with every subsequent and attentive listen. Coroner is a three-piece band but have always used dual and triple layered guitars for their recordings. On Grin this enhances the sound so much I can't even imagine what the album would sound like with one guitar, especially during the solos. The singing is a perfect counterpart to the music. Dark and violent but not in a harsh way. It's not forceful but doesn't take a back seat to the music either. Percussion and drumming is still fast in some areas but overall it is very fluid and precise. Not many heavy metal drummers stand out above the rest but every fan has used the word "underrated" and I think this applies here. Ambient noises and samples litter the background to give the album an atmospheric feel more so than any of their other releases. Splice all these ingredients together and what results is a secure sound as tight as dental floss.

Thrash and Coroner fans will say they went too experimental with this one. Prog/crossover fans who listened to Grin first will argue their earlier stuff is too fast, too raw. Grin is a technical marvel unlike any of the 700+ albums I own. It was risky and very ahead of its time. It pieces together the parts of metal I really enjoy and meld it together into a cohesive record. I strongly urge anyone who wants to see how Coroner evolved to this apex of work to start listening at the beginning of their discography first. If you can't wait that long and want to see what all the hub-bub is about, remember you will be treated to something that was never attempted before. Something so impressive and so important that I feel it is one of the greatest albums ever made.

Performance: 10
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Production: 9


Band profile: Coroner
Album: Grin


 


written by tea[m]ster | 25.01.2012


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



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K†ulu - 25.01.2012 at 15:21  
Indeed, an amazing and unique album. I do not know whether it is "ahead of its time" but I have not heard anything like Grin: the combination of brutality, immaculate, clinical riffage, and psychedelic/atmospheric passages. B R I L L I A N T !!!
tea[m]ster - 26.01.2012 at 03:42  
Written by K†ulu on 25.01.2012 at 15:21

Indeed, an amazing and unique album. I do not know whether it is "ahead of its time" but I have not heard anything like Grin: the combination of brutality, immaculate, clinical riffage, and psychedelic/atmospheric passages. B R I L L I A N T !!!


How was the review Ktulu? This is my FIRST review EVER! I was trying to think back 20 years ago if anything resembled the mixture of thrash and prog like Grin. Maybe Nothingface by Voivod or Persistance Of Time by Anthrax?
K†ulu - 26.01.2012 at 14:27  
Written by tea[m]ster on 26.01.2012 at 03:42

Written by K†ulu on 25.01.2012 at 15:21

Indeed, an amazing and unique album. I do not know whether it is "ahead of its time" but I have not heard anything like Grin: the combination of brutality, immaculate, clinical riffage, and psychedelic/atmospheric passages. B R I L L I A N T !!!


How was the review Ktulu? This is my FIRST review EVER! I was trying to think back 20 years ago if anything resembled the mixture of thrash and prog like Grin. Maybe Nothingface by Voivod or Persistance Of Time by Anthrax?

The review is good: describes the little pieces the album consists of quite precisely. You only missed the vocals; I was thinking about reviewing this one too and thought to describe Ron Royce's with the following sentence: "Ron Royce's venomous and corrosive delivery might as well be his best vocal performance."

And yeah, do both Persistence of Time and Nothingface; I have problems getting into both of those.
AndMetalForAll - 02.12.2012 at 15:06  
Grin is definitely a very good album, combines perfectly progressive and thrash metal elements. They are one of the few bands, or the only band, that is able to mix these two types of styles. Mental Vortex was almost perfect, this one is not in the same level, but it a classic and one of the top albums of 90's. Definitely Coroner is an underrated band as well as most of their albums...
Cynic Metalhead - 04.05.2014 at 21:16  
Great review.

Covered up every aspect clearly and indeed this album is freakin' amazing. I spun this disc today and suffice to say I had the best time of it. Brilliant.

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