Eightball Club, Thessaloniki, Greece

The Coroner gig in Thessaloniki was held on the beloved place of Eightball Club. When the band members coroner-s-010_8644saw the club during their soundcheck, their first reaction was very warm, as they liked the fact it was a small club and as we discussed with them, we all came to agree that it would be better, as it would create a warmer atmosphere between fans and band members. It proved one more time that the fans in the city of Thessaloniki can be really enthusiastic when they want to. There were no support acts in the show at Eightball and Coroner appeared on stage a little before eleven o’clock. Again things are clear from the beginning and the reactions were pretty the same with Athens. The only differences were that the fans in Thessaloniki would shout a little less, but they would also mosh, stage dive and headbang much more. Some fans came on stage to sing with Ron three or four times and twice his microphone almost left it’s initial position, but without further problems.

The reactions would vary from surprise to panic. Such a surprise was for the fans the beginning with ”Golden Cashmere Sleeper, Part 1”. Or on the part where the band played ”Gliding Above While Being Below” in the middle of the set, adding a mellow note to the prog/thrash holocaust that had just occured. ”Grin” was again the album that dominated the set, with five songs and ”Mental Vortex” adding three more. Two songs from the ”Coroner” compilation and ”No More Color”, and one from the first two albums, ”R.I.P.” and ”Punishment For Decadence”, plus a cover of coroner-s-010_8829Jimi Hendrix’s ”Purple Haze”, which closed the set on the encore, with ”Reborn Through Hate” played last of course and the place getting ready to explode by more than three hundred fans of good music full of quality.Coroner’s sound was once again clear, and this time I chose to stay as near as I could to watch how and what they were playing.

So, once again Marky showed people why he is a marquis, Tommy proved to be a certain guitar baron and Ron is a royce without breaks, running down a hill uncontrolled. The games of Tommy with his guitar on ”Metamorphosis” drive people nuts as well as in Athens and the fans receive multiple relentless beatings with the row of the songs. Especially slow songs like ”The Lethargic Age” are greeted with headbanging, while on the older ones from the first three albums there was a lot of moshing and some crowdsurfing attempts. I think that Coroner knew they were doing the best they could, and they seemed a little more cool and relieved compared to Athens, where in the first songs they were more focused on their playing. This didn’t prevent them from having the same fun and thanking the fans during and after the show. The fact that the t-shirts were over from the Athens show was the only negative point fans could find, because the band’s performance was more than flawless.

It seems than no matter how you miss from the stage, some things can’t just be forgotten. The ease which Coroner would play their demanding material was nominal. One of the biggest achievements for a bands is to be able to drive its fans (or non-fans that are about to become fans) crazy with slow or mid tempo material. The Swiss band is surely one of them, as it chose from the very beginning to be different. So, even with a thrash basis, they built their career focusing on simplicity and heaviness, rather than speed and complexity, especially in their ’90s era. If we think in cold blood, what Coroner achieved in eight years of releasing albums and a compilation, other bands would simply beg for. It is very important to know when to stop, while still being on the top, and not become just like the others who tend to lose inspiration. All of these were clearly understood by their performance and mentalitycoroner-s-010_8836 throughout these two days in the two big cities of Greece.

We should mention that a lot of fans from Bulgaria and the towns near Thessaloniki’s region honoured the band with their presence. The band members greeted their fans and they all came after the show to talk with their fans, sharing opinions, thanking all people who attended the show, with the same smile on their faces. What is nicest than loving a band, is the fact that the members are people who respect both fans and the group’s history. To sum up, though it might sound odd to some, Coroner easily humiliated four decades of heavy music with their presence, proving that sometimes less is more and that when you know your sound, you simply don’t give a damn about trends, music industry and stuff like that. For as long as this reunion lasts, we hope we’ll see them at least once more, for the last time (though it will never be enough) and we leave all the others to them. They know better than us what to do and they need no instructions. Status: still grinning!

Report: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras.
Photos: Louis Konstantinou.