If there ever was a band that deserved to make it big but never did, it has to be CORONER. I first heard of this Swiss trio around 1990 on Much Music’s Power Hour show, where I saw the “Masked Jackal” video (from 1988’s “Punishment For Decadence”). I remember the VJ referring to CORONER as being the Thrash Metal equivalent of power trio RUSH. Now THAT, more than anything else, got my attention going. So I watched the video. And instantly liked it. And then planned a trip to downtown Rock en Stock (the Metal fans from Montreal will remember this famous but now closed store) to get my hands on a CORONER album, not knowing how many they had put out. Turns out they only had the “No More Color” album and since it was a quite expensive imported copy of an album I knew nothing about (I was still hooked on “Masked Jackal” and was hoping to find the album it was pulled from), I hesitated a bit before forking out some of my hard earned money to acquire this sucker. Which I ultimately did. And boy oh boy! was I in for a great ride!
“No More Color” turned out to be the last conventional Thrash Metal album by CORONER. Not as fast as the 2 previous offerings, yet still very much on the technical side of things, with most of the songs relying on very heavy and twisted, complex structures. I honestly can not understand why guitarist Tommy T. Baron never got the recognition he deserved for his playing on this record: believe me when I say he is all over the fretboard, yet he never sounds like showing off or on a mission to scare/bore us with his great technical abilities, like so many other well known guitarists. He is simply amazing… Pete Hinton, of SAXON fame, is producer here and even though I think he could have given the band a heavier overall resonance, his production truly shines in allowing the band’s sound to breathe and expand a bit beyond the conventional thrash style, thus offering a taste of things to come for the next albums. I have heard some people complain about Ron Royce’s vocals (I do not agree with them) and here they are a bit buried in the mix, which I think is sad. Anyway, if you like thrash metal, I can only urge you to buy this album; this is very heavy, quite complex yet instantly memorable music. Thrash Metal doesn’t come any better than this. (Online April 13, 2004)
Guest reviewer Jean-Yves Fournier