SKULL37

CORONER, Death Cult (1986, demo)

The skull:
This artwork makes an exception to the Big Dumb Skulls “No Skulls” rule of “There shall be one and only one skull on the cover, or it shall not be considered for induction into the Skullection.” (Para. 1, Sec. 3, Vol. 1 of the Bylaws of the Council of the Elders of the Skull, 2010, rev. Dec. 2012) It was decided that Coroner’s extraordinary dedication to the skull, via their “tripartite” skull, which adorns all of their releases, would be taken into account. Also taken into account — and I quote from the meeting minutes of December 4th, 2011, upon the Council’s deadlocked, 17-hour-long discussion of the Death Cult artwork: “Lo, shall it also be considered with no small amount of gravity, that Friars Wagner and Johnsen are indeed great supporters of the Swiss trio. Do take this into account in reaching your verdict.” Ultimately it was decided on a 5-4 vote that Death Cult would take place as Skull37 in the Skullection. We love its traditional black-and-white, no-nonsense skulliness, and the little skulls lining the collar underneath the main skull’s neck look more like a necklace than other real skulls. Whatever, we’re happy to have this one in the Skullection. Ridiculous? No! This is important!

The music:
After all the fuss and bother above, this Friar always felt Death Cult inferior to the five official albums released by Coroner between 1987 and 1993. It’s interesting that none of its four songs made 1987’s R.I.P. debut, nor should they have:  it’s a different-sounding Coroner, slower and more in the traditional metal vein, something that can be likened to a mixture of Mercyful Fate meets Celtic Frost. It’s a fascinating look into the band’s foundational early days, but we all know it’s those successive albums that make this band the gods they are to many a demanding metal enthusiast.
— Friar Wagner

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