VIO-LENCE / CORONER Live Concert Review (2022)
- Venue: Reggies Rock Club – Chicago, Illinois
- Date: May 22, 2022
- Special guests: GIGAN
- Reviewed by Michael Juvinall – Horror Patch
- All photos © Michael L. Juvinall / Monu-Metal Photography – All Rights Reserved
I’ve seen a lot of concerts and heavy metal bands over my years on this rock. I’ve started going to concerts as a fan to see metal shows when I was a young teenager in 1984. That information should date me to whoever cares. I began covering shows as a journalist and photographer in 2010. As I said, I’ve seen a lot of great bands over the years but there are also many bands I’ve never seen perform live and have on a “bucket list” that I want to see before I die. I had the great opportunity to see two of my “bucket list” bands on the same bill – Vio-lence and Coroner this past weekend. I’ve been listening to both of these bands since their inception and it’s a great honor to now be able to cover them in a live performance.
Vio-lence, Coroner, and Exciter are triple headlining a small U.S. tour this Spring. Exciter was not on the bill for the first two shows of the tour in Chicago where I saw them as they were not able to start the tour until May 24th in Boston. The ironic part of the story is that Exciter is another of my “bucket list” bands that I would kill to see live but with my luck, I didn’t get that chance.
Both bands have entirely different backgrounds and sound styles but are equally important bands to the history of thrash metal in their own rights.
Gigan is a Chicago-based progressive-technical death metal band. From what I understand, the band takes its name from the Toho Studios kaiju cyborg space monster who battles Godzilla in three films. I was not familiar with the band before this show but I was very familiar with the band’s namesake monster. Gigan has been together since 2006 according to their Bio.
They have one EP and four full-length albums to their name as of now. There is no denying these guys have talent and are a good band, but I was not a fan of their sound, judging by the crowd response to their set, many people are. I’m not really into the proggy/experimental side of death metal. The guitar sounds are too “out there” for my tastes. Enough said.
NOTE TO BAND:
I not only review the concert and all acts that perform, but I also shoot pics and videos that are posted on my site and socials. I love covering all aspects of a show with not only a review but pictures and video as well. I do have a gripe about Gigan’s set that has absolutely nothing to do with their music. First of all, their fog machine was turned up waaaayy too high. It was blowing out thick fog for their entire set and it seemingly didn’t stop. I was in the front row less than five feet away from the band and I couldn’t even see my hand in front of my face, let alone the band up on stage. And to make matters even worse, the band had absolutely NO front lighting at all. They were only lit from behind. All the people in the crowd could see were dim silhouettes of the band members enshrouded by fog.
But as a journalist who is reviewing the show, trying to take pictures and videos was next to impossible. I was not able to take a single picture or video of Gigan. It was too dark and too foggy to get any kind of worthwhile shots or videos. Now, if this was by choice, it’s an odd one but who am I to say anything about a band’s attempt at art.
2 out of 5 Pentagrams!
- Footsteps of GIGAN
- Still Image Symphony
- Plume of Ink Within a Vacuum
- Influence Through Ritualistic Projection
- Space Coffin Hallucinations
- Mountains Perched Like Beasts Awaiting the Attack
Coroner is a technical thrash metal trio from Zürich, Switzerland. They are a veteran band that formed in 1983. The trio actually disbanded in 1996 but reformed a second time in 2010 and are continuing to this day. They have released five albums, a number of demos, and a few compilations.
One of the interesting aspects of the band is their music combines elements of thrash, classical music, avant-garde music, progressive rock, jazz, and industrial metal with harsh vocals. I’ve always enjoyed their sound and music, especially their early material.
Their live show, even after all these years still packed a powerful punch. Vocalist and bassist Ron Broder sounds remarkably similar to his early work. Over the years, a person’s voice changes and sometimes will sound different as they age, but Broder seemed to me to still have a great, gruff voice for their material. The guitarist Tommy Vetterli played one hell of a set that night. His guitar was a great mix of technicality and heaviness that was a pleasure to see and hear. Also, drummer Diego Rapacchietti killed it on the kit and brought the thunder down.
I thoroughly loved seeing them perform some of their classic tracks like, “Masked Jackal”, “Reborn Through Hate”, and “Die By My Hand”. Every one of these guys has been at it for nearly 40 years and has brought much musical ability to their music. It was a pleasure and in no way a letdown to see Coroner play live music. They exceeded my expectations I had going into the show.
4 out of 5 Pentagrams!
- Golden Cashmere Sleeper, Part 1
- Internal Conflicts
- Divine Step (Conspectu Mortis)
- Son of Lilith
- Status: Still Thinking
- Masked Jackal
- Grin (Nails Hurt)
- Reborn Through Hate
- Die by My Hand
Vio-lence is part of the famed San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal scene. The band was formed in the heyday of the Bay Area thrash craze in 1985. They came up alongside fellow Bay bashers as Testament, Exodus, Death Angel, Heathen, Forbidden, Laaz Rockit, Dark Angel, and of course Metallica.
As a band, they had three different stints together. After having formed in 1985, they disbanded for the first time in 1994 after their first three and only full-length albums. The band reunited in 2001 for a brief stint until breaking up for the second time in 2003. They stayed silent until recently in 2019 getting back together to play old material and work on new music as well.
Even though the band had a relatively short amount of time together as a band, they made an important mark on the world of thrash metal. Their debut album especially is widely considered their best material and helped to add a huge shot in the arm to heavy metal and thrash metal of the time. The band to me has such a unique sound and is so heavy with killer riffs and brutal breakdowns that will leave your neck broken but begging for more.
The cast of characters in Vio-lence is beyond reproach. Led by lead guitarist Phil Demmel, who has the most tenure in the band and serves as the main songwriter, he also played lead guitar in Machine Head for 16 years, as well as serving as guitarist and fill in player in such small bands like Slayer, Overkill, and Lamb Of God. Perry Strickland serves as the drummer and has the second-longest tour in the band by only months to Demmel. Sean Killian is the amazing man behind the mic and has been with the band on every album, just not part of the band at the very beginning. Fans might also know the name Bobby Gustafson who plays rhythm guitar and before coming to Vio-lence, played for many years in Overkill. Finally, the most recent addition to the band for only a couple of years is bassist Christian Olde Wolbers, who also played in Fear Factory, Powerflo, and Beowülf. Every one of these guys plays it to the hilt and once you get them all together in one place playing brutal thrash metal, they will melt your face off!
Their live show, while maybe not as polished or professional looking as other bands, punches a major wallop that many bands can’t equal. As I said, they are so heavy and their set is full of songs that are everyone’s favorites from their older albums. The band just released a five-track EP of brand new material that offers hope they still have a little magic left in their tanks. Only one song was played from their new EP, Let The World Burn. In my opinion, almost every track from their debut album, Eternal Nightmare is worth its weight in gold. Luckily, most of their set included songs from this album, fine by me.
If you want to see something really special, hit up Vio-lence on the rest of their tour if they make it to your city. You won’t regret it, I surely didn’t.
4 ½ out of 5 Pentagrams!
- I Profit
- Calling in the Coroner
- Kill on Command
- Officer Nice
- Eternal Nightmare
- Upon Their Cross
- T.D.S. (Take It as You Will)
- Mentally Afflicted
- World in a World