Astral Disaster (1999...b) [This Version Was Reissued, Touched Up & Revisited In 2.000, With Bonus Track] [Coil...CD]

01 The Avatars
02 I Don't Want To Be The One
03 2nd Sun Syndrome
04 The Sea Priestess
05 The Mothership And The Fatherland
06 MÜ-ÜR [Bonus Track]


The songs "The Sea Priestess," "I Don't Want to be the One," and "2nd. Sun Syndrome" have been remixed or extended.
"MU-UR" is a remix of "The Mothership and the Fatherland."


Some tones, some drones, beautiful soundscapes and even a guitar bit on here. Most unmistakably Coil, however, this is the CD release of an LP originally recorded back around Halloween 1998. The recordings took place outside Coil's studio however, and were produced in part by Gary Ramon of the Prescription label. The LPs were made in a quantity of 99 and only given to those who had subscribed to this series released on Prescription. The original recordings seemed rather different from Coil's work, almost without the absolute quality control work that Coil put into everything. Coil have rearranged the running order, reworked most of the songs, added one song, and left a couple untouched on this release - stretching the 45 minute-long LP into a 72 minute-long CD. The electro-glitchy looped bits "The Avatars" and "2nd Sun Syndrome" along with the haunting epic, "The Mothership and the Fatherland" remain almost completely untouched, while in "I Don't Want to Be The One," the song gets extended about 3 minutes, Peter's voice gets added subtly and an unrecognizable voice (could it be Thighpaulsandra?) appears in a brand new part tagged on at the end. The new track "MU-UR" sounds like altered takes from "The Mothership & the Fatherland" with the pulsing tympani, mesmerising scapes and Maggot Brain-era Funkadelic organ. Also added is a vocal whose effects echo those of "Amethyst Deceiver." Perhaps the most drastically changed tune is "The Sea Priestess," where a droney sitar has been completely removed. Beautiful choral voices are added along with brilliant droning Tibetan vocal samples. Pretty chimes paint an aural picture of the water glistening in the moonlight and the vocals are mixed much better and prominent sounding. - Jon Whitney

"Astral Disaster" was originally released in 1999 as part of a subscription only series in a ridiculously limited edition of 99 vinyl copies (I was not one of the chosen few). Now it has been re-released on CD via Threshold House with a few tracks re-done/extended/re-mixed, 1 extra track and fantastic digipack artwork by Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound) and photos by Coil. Unfortunately, this album still sounds unfinished to me and is no where near as enthralling as the album recorded after this one, "Music to Play in the Dark Vol. 1". "Astral.." is composed of 3 lengthy minimal pieces, 2 short synth pieces and 1 short song which further explore lunar magick. "The Avatars" and "2nd Sun Syndrome" are little more than aimless synth noodlings that aren't all that interesting in comparison to similar work from the recent past. "The Mothership & the Fatherland" is tediously long with a plodding beat, minimal synth pads, effected sounds here and there, some drifting female backing vocals and Balance quietly speaking in tongues near the end. "The Sea Priestess" features Balance's forthright spoken words over and through synths and effects with the most intriguing lyric: "if it goes any faster there will be an astral disaster." "I Don't Want to be the One" is a poorly recorded 'song' with Balance's vocals, guitar pluckings and swirling synth atmospheres ... not bad until Balance begins wailing in the final few minutes. "MU-UR" is similar to "The Mothership & the Fatherland" with the same sort of synth pads, drones and effected sounds floating about for 20+ minutes and a brief passage of Balance's vocals transformed into a female tone. All in all, this is the first time I can honestly say that I've been disappointed by a new Coil (or related) release. "The Sea Priestess" and "MU-UR" are my favorites and are really the only two that bear repeated listening. The rest of the album contains fragments of great ideas and sounds but fails to expand upon them properly to capture the 'magick' ... it simply doesn't meet Coil's usually high quality control standard. I'm surprised they bothered to re-release it on CD, especially after the release of Music to Play in the Dark Vol. 1. - Mark Weddle

1 comment:

Cialis Online said...

Interesting album and band, never heard of them before, they are original, I like their music.

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