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The main thing about power trios is that everybody's got a job to do, and if someone's not pulling their weight, it shows because there's no one else to hide behind. Venom and Celtic Frost (for a while) dominated as three-pieces in the 1980s. Coroner took over the reins with R.I.P. (1987) and held them with an iron grip until disbanding seven years later. Tommy Baron, Ron Royce and "Marquis Marky" played Metal music for Metal musicians, leaving behind five seminal albums of brutal, highly technical Thrash that retained a strong melodic sense. Mental Vortex, their fourth, tells a parable about the state of heavy metal in the early '90s. Recorded in Berlin and mixed in Tampa, Fla., it contains equal proportions of Sodom and Kreator-inspired Teutonic Thrash and Morrisound Studio influences such as Death and Obituary. They were also fond of throwing in the occasional Candlemass dirge to change up the relentless velocity of their songs. Never going to the extremes of Grind bands like Napalm Death, Coroner cruised at an ideal tempo for displaying how tight they were as a unit. Essential listening for Metal fans, especially if you're thinking about starting a band of your own.
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