Australian Tour Diary
By Rahul Menon
13 June, 2014
Swiss technical thrash metal legends Coroner made their first ever visit to Australia and it promised to be one hell of a gig - and it was. There were four bands opening for them, and all of them put on a great performance. When Coroner got on to the stage at the Manning Bar, they instantly showed us why they are legends.
Starting off the night was The Devil Himself. I have to say that they were a pretty odd band to be on the line-up given their modern metal sound, with some djenty riffing and whatnot. But they were so friggin’ good. As a fan of that type of music as well, I thoroughly enjoyed their performance. The vocals were really good, and sometimes touching on the - oh my god this is beautiful - feeling. The riffs were lots of fun, catchy and melodic. They had a nice bass tone as well, and apparently it was the bassist’s dream to share the stage with Coroner some day. They band played some really good melodic technical music which was backed by keys and a fantastic drummer. These guys are definitely destined to do some cool things.
Following them were the very awesome Bastardizer. I’ve seen these guys a few times now and they just keep getting better and tighter with every performance. Black thrash & roll as they describe themselves and they have some great riffing and grooves. Right from the beginning until the end, they do not stop attacking you and you just want to give in a headbang to glory. They delivered an energetic performance and got the crowd moving, preparing us for an onslaught that was awaiting us for the rest of the night. If you like your thrash metal served with a side of blackened metal, definitely check these guys out.
Next on stage were Elm Street who are straight up heavy metal with no bullshit to waste your time. I saw them the first time supporting Iced Earth and they were great, and they continued to give me the same impression in this performance as well. The front-man knows how to get the crowd amped up, and the music is great as well - some really great grooves with great solos, backed by an awesome drummer and a nice bass tone, these guys delivered a really good set. The set seemed to drag a little at times and I think they went a little over time as well. However, they’re definitely a band worth checking out for all you heavy metal fanatics.
Then came Killrazer. It was my first experience of the band and these guys pack in a lot of rage. They had some technical difficulties so it took a while for them to get started but, once they were on, they didn’t stop attacking. A really thrashy and intense performance, with some really angry growls and riffs which just make you want to move, and perhaps create some damage in the pit. The solos were blinding - really, I felt like I was being shredded to bits with the intensity with which they were playing. It was also amusing to see the drummer giving everyone the finger in-between the hammering he was delivering on the kit. They definitely meant business and were out to crush you. Get behind this band, they’re great.
Finally on stage came the mighty Coroner. Starting off with the slow and almost doomy “Golden Cashmere Sleeper (Part 1)”, right from the start they made it clear that they were here to blow us away with the tightness of their performance. Really, I was just stunned at how amazingly coordinated this four piece was. Next song was “Internal Conflicts” and the madness officially began. People started to move around, mosh pits started, crowd surfing began - Coroner started to destroy us. They aren’t a fast and intense thrashy band - but their medium paced riffs mixed with thrash elements are pure magic. The crowd was absolutely loving it, and the venue was pretty packed by this time. A lot of us were immediately just lost in their music and it was amazing. These humble and friendly looking dudes from Switzerland created a massive frenzy at the Manning Bar.
There were so many highlights including “Son of Lilith” and “Divine Step” but my standout of the night was the performance of “Status: Still Thinking” and “Metamorphosis” - I was absolutely mind blown. The musicianship of the band was at its peak, and that beast of a drummer (the newest member by the way, and you wouldn’t have realised given how smooth he was) was absolutely insane! Seriously, I couldn’t pick a single flaw from their performance.
The softer segment of “The Lethargic Age” was beautiful, but all that changed when “Masked Jackal” and “Grin (Nails Hurt)” was performed - the energy levels just exploded. These guys just took control and made us lose our minds - their music was almost hypnotic to be honest. They also took a moment to remind us that they were Swiss, and not Swedish! They’re not the band who goes apeshit on stage, but they just stand there and stun you with their musical ability, and I cannot stress enough how incredibly tight they all were. They came back for an encore and the best word to describe the whole Coroner experience would be - flawless.
It was an awesome night with great performances from all the bands. I mean, I thought the opening bands were really cool and tight but after Coroner’s performance - I doubt bands these days can get to that level of professionalism, but for the sake of music and the sake of metal, I hope every single band out there tries their best to get as tight as Coroner. I also have to give special props to the sound guy and the lights guy for doing their best to make sure everything was smooth, audible, and visually exciting. If you missed out on Coroner, you’ve missed out on what would be the tightest gig you’ll ever see in your life.