Coroner (Brisbane, QLD)

6 June 2014 at The HiFi
Gorefield are opening the night and are fresh back from the Stormrider Festival. They explode into their set, and are working hard to warm up the crowd. They have attracted a head banging Viking up the front and are having a good time despite a fairly unresponsive crowd. Perhaps 8pm is just too early for Queenslanders who are unaccustomed to the cold? As a 3 piece, they are tearing it up and there is never any shortage of first class musicianship with these guys. Live Like Wolves is an energetic new song and they are definitely evolving as a band. I missed the name of the last song but it was great and got the heads banging.

Kill Razer After a keyboard intro this 4 piece Sydney band came out and created some action with a ton of riffing intensity. The high aggression shredding began and they are working hard. Someone up the front asked for some thrash which they willingly obliged. It appears they had some fans already and also converted a few along the way. Allegiance was a fast number with the bass player singing and showed the diversity of this band. This was a definite crowd pleaser as the audience started to wake up. Things have definitely warmed up now and after he checks if we are ready, the guitarist launches into a head banging thrash fest.

Coroner open with the rather epic Golden Cashmere Slipper. This song is slow, moody and incredibly heavy. The pit has now filled up from nowhere and this is very much a Coroner crowd who love every moment of this song. I am surprised that I never really noticed the keyboard sound before with these Swiss thrashers but then again they don't advertise the fact either. The keyboard adds a slightly industrial feel. Internal Conflicts is next and picks things up, being fast and aggressive. The crowd are yelling along to "when I feel like doing it" with no prompting, and this song sounds twice as good as the recording live. The scary thing is this is probably one of their easier songs to play. Serpent Moves has more of a groove and these songs are all known well to the audience. Divine step has a very progressive feel to it, and it's hardly surprising they are known as the "Rush of Thrash Metal". The unnerving thing about the singer/bassist Ron is he looks like a guy you could pass unnoticed on the street, not come up with technical thrash monsters like this. As an interesting aside, it's also a higher than usual female to male mix. So evidently there's still some appreciation for people who can really play their instruments.
Semtex Revolution demonstrates more incredible precision with crazy timing with a gigantic keyboard bass sound that is shaking the walls at times. Sometimes you hear musicians attempting crazy meter use to be clever and it can put people off using this as a tool in their musical arsenal so to speak. When you hear how devastating these technical tools can be in the hands of an experienced practitioner like Coroner is when you realize just how good they are. A lot of people copy this sound but to get it to get an audience reaction like this is quite difficult to do unless you are outstanding. It is hard to believe they used to be roadies for Celtic Frost. More ridiculously talented guitar work and amazing drumming follow and I wonder how does Ron play bass AND sing this stuff at the same time? The bass parts are not simple.

Masked Jackal is the song most of us know Coroner for, and receives a huge response. There is an encore as Ron says we don't look tired enough so he finishes us off with Reborn through hate and Die by my hand. A brilliant night's entertainment with a band that even twenty years later, are still formidable.

Photos by Craig Myers

Line-up: Coroner, Killrazer, Gorefield

Reviewer: Matt