Coroner - The Unknown (Rare and Unreleased)

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013

You know, there is a reason why some tracks are “rare and unreleased,” and that reason is the same as why said tracks should remain rare and unreleased. The truth is that most of these songs were never put on an album because, to put it bluntly, they fucking suck Godzilla’s giant mutant reptile penis. The first nine cuts on this double-vinyl LP compilation (almost the entirety of the first disc) aren’t even Metal. They’re either weird Ambient shit or fucking Techno remixes (because Satan knows we need a few more of those…). A good chunk of these don’t even qualify as “rare and unreleased,” because they appeared on Coroner, a compilation album that had a mix of old and new material. All of these non-Metal tracks are either boring as all hell or absolute crap. When I buy an album like this, I want to hear music that is representative of the band, not an LP full of discarded intros. The two Metal songs, “Spectators of Sin” and “The Invincible,” are the best ones here, but if you’ve got the bootleg release of Death Cult or you’re an old fart like me and have a copy of the demo tape, this isn’t new material. If you don’t have Death Cult, you’re not a Coroner fan. For those too young to remember, Death Cult was the legendary Coroner demo tape that featured Tom Warrior/Gabriel/Fischer/whatever-the-fuck-he’s-calling-himself-these-days (Hellhammer/Celtic Frost/Triptykon for those who’ve been living under a rock for the last three decades) on vocals. If you even know who Coroner is, I shouldn’t have had to tell you that. The second LP of this collection is where the bulk of the good stuff is. The majority of disc two is devoted to live tracks, all of which were recorded in 1995. Even though the live songs are far and away better than all of the non-Death Cult stuff, the chosen tracks were all off of Mental Vortex, Grin and Coroner. All of my favorite songs by Coroner are from the first three albums (R.I.P., Punishment for Decadence and No More Colours), none of which were represented here. Still, the live tracks were at least heavy and Metal. If this release had just been the live recordings and the two demo cuts, I would have rated it at least an eight. I would’ve preferred a live album with music spanning the band’s entire career, though. They have enough good songs to make that something I would’ve gladly paid for. The non-Metal shit sinks this release and frankly, if it wasn’t for the two Death Cult tracks, the whole first LP would have been a glorified Coroner coaster. Only the most die-hard Coroner fans should even think about buying this and even then, this is a hard sell at best.

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