Transparent (1984...a) [Zos Kia/Coil...CD]

01 Sicktone [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
02 Baptism Of Fire [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
03 Rape [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
04 Poisons [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
05 Truth [Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983]
06 Sewn Open [Coil/Zos Kia][Rehersal 5.X.1983]
07 Silence & Secrecy (Section)[Coil/Zos Kia][Live At Magenta Club, London 5.VIII.1983]
08 Here To Here (Double Headed Secret)[Coil/Zos Kia]
09 Stealing The Words [Coil/Zos Kia][3.VIII.82]
10 On Balance [Coil/Zos Kia][5.V.82]


The first five tracks ("Sicktone" to "Truth") form Side 1 of the cassette version, which is labelled "Zos Kia. Berlin Atonal. 3.XII.1983". The remainder of the tracks form Side 2, which is credited to "Coil/Zos Kia", and were recorded in 1982/83. The line-up of Coil and Zos Kia were basically identical at this time:

John Balance
Joan D'Arc [John Gosling]
Peter Christopherson

CD version: "Rape" is the same as "Violation" from the cassette release. "Silence & Secrecy" is shorter than the version on the cassette.

The dates listed for "Sewn Open" and "Silence & Secrecy" are incorrect. They should be 5.X.1983 and 5.VIII.1983 respectively (corrected).

The disc is packaged in a mini LP style cardboard slipcase, and includes a booklet with photos from Coil/Zos Kia performances, text of a Coil Manifesto written by John Balance in 1983, and a transcript of a coversation between John Balance and Peter Christopherson regarding the Coil/Zos Kia performances and recordings.


This is a historical tome in the Coil discography that the pioneering U.K. industrial group released as a cassette-only album on Nekrophile Records. Performances of early Coil as a harsh industrial noise/performance art group are captured in various live settings during 1983, including Berlin and London concerts, as well as studio/rehearsal room sessions that predate the Coil of the legendary 1984 album Scatology, which subsequently became a massively influential recording in the post-industrial movement. Here are the earliest Coil recordings, exhibiting the band as it develops a fierce noise music that later became some of the most poetic and elegiac of the era. Whether reshaping electro, new wave, hyper-minimalism, or futuristic folk, Coil remained one of the most vital groups of the '80s post-punk movement. For fans of the group, this early archival material is essential listening. The disc is packaged in a mini-LP-style cardboard slipcase, and includes a booklet with photos from Coil/Zos Kia performances. A text of the Coil manifesto penned by John Balance and a transcription of a conversation between founders Balance and Peter Christopherson are included in the booklet. Newcomers to the group are advised to explore first the albums Scatology, Horse Rotorvator, and Love's Secret Domain, though Coil fans and collectors will not be disappointed by this obscurity. Transparent provides a much-needed insight into the very early work of the extraordinary industrial music institution. - Skip Jansen...From Allmusic


* DLK says:

My first impression was in the store before I even heard the CD. I don't like the cardboard CD single type packaging. The first thing I'll need to do is find a jewel case for it. I hope it's not an indication of things to come.

Upon listening: Since I prefer early (pre-LSD) Coil albums over the more recent ones, I like the noisy/rough nature of the tracks on this CD. There's lots of noise and screaming so it's probably not for everyone though. Also, the hiss level makes it sound like they may have used one of the original 1984 cassettes for the CD master.

There is a nice booklet inside which explains the pieces and has pictures of the events they were recorded at as well as the posters for those events. It also includes "The Coil Manefesto" circa 1983. It was interesting to see how much of the text of the manifesto eventually made it's way into the lyrics of later songs.

This disc is important for it's historical documentation of that period of Coil's history, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone except completionist/rabid/insatible fans. If there are any other Coil albums that you don't already have, you should probably get them first before this one.

* John Deek says:

WARNING : Do not listen to Rape on headphones with the volume turned up loud.....I was listening to this CD on headphones.. track 3 came along and I said "ooh a live version of 'here to here'...I wonder why they call it 'rape'?"...then Min came in with some spoken word and I said "ah that explains...still a pretty harsh name for such a mellow song...."just then the phone rang, and a split second after I took the headphones off a pierching shriek ripped from the headphones...they were nearly a foot away from my ears and I was still deafened...had I been wearing them my ears would probably be bleeding...deafened in the pursuit of ultimate sound.....how ironic..."


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bookletimage 2
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How to Destroy Angels (1984...b) [Coil...12'']

01 How to Destroy Angels
02 Absolute Elsewhere


This release is subtitled "ritual music for the accumulation of male sexual energy".

"How To Destroy Angels" was originally intended to be the b-side to the track "Silence & Secrecy" on a clear vinyl 12" released by Temple Records. This release was aborted, presumably due to Balance and Sleazy's departure from Psychic TV who ran the Temple label.

The b-side, "Absolute Elsewhere", is intended to be non-playable, and according to Coil:

* first pressing had unplayable noise-filled grooves
* second pressing had playable multi-layered music
* third pressing had a smooth, grooveless surface as originally intended.

However, there's also evidence of two other versions existing (perhaps the 1988 edition?):

* playable b-side with a constant tone for around 15 minutes.
* playable b-side with a series of "test tones" in unconnected locked grooves

A pink vinyl edition exists, although it's unclear how many copies of this edition were pressed. This may be a bootleg.

First pressing included an A3 black & white poster.

This track also appears on the Unnatural History anthology in mono form, and various reworkings of the track appear on the How to Destroy Angels (Remixes And Re-Recordings) CD.


Here we have the very first Coil oil change. The engine in question would be the pop culture of the early '80s and how performances such as this, basically an extended duet for percussion and electronics, were perceived as inspirational and cutting edge. The moody trance this piece immediately evokes and clings to like a life raft was, to the newly exposed, something of a real alternative to drowning in a wave of groovy rock bands with packaged presentations and looks. Removed from any such sociological discussion and placed in comparison with the entire history of electronic music, percussion music, avant-garde improvisation, or any other related field of activity, this EP retains a surprising charm. An obvious hurdle to leap would be the "duh" factor -- the title track is as much about banging on gongs as destroying angels, although these are actions that could be connected. Anyone who has ever spent time making noise on a gong will have done everything on this record. The contrasts arising instantly from the instrument's built-in dynamic range are the main motivating factor in how the music develops, rather than any creative invention of the performers. The performance requirements of bringing these dynamics into play on a gong also require very little skill of any kind, meaning that most of the praise that can be directed at this recording has to do with the concentration displayed, both intense and impressive. The B-side of the recording is blank, creating an instant and quick composition entitled "Absolute Elsewhere" that might just be the more successful conception of the two. At least the person who said "I don't have time to listen to this stuff anymore" about the first side wouldn't be able to make the same comment!. - Eugene Chadbourne...From Allmusic


front cover
close-up of cover text
labels: side 1, side 2


Dolbied (The Melancholy Mad Tenant) [This Version Was Reissued & Expanded In 2005] (1984...c) [Coil/The New Blockaders/Vortex Campaign...CD]

01 Coil / The New Blockaders / Vortex Campaign, "Dolbied 1"
02 Coil / The New Blockaders / Vortex Campaign, "Dolbied 2"
03 Vortex Campaign, "Untitled"
04 Vortex Campaign, "The Melancholy Mad Tenant Part 1"
05 Vortex Campaign, "The Melancholy Mad Tenant Part 2"


Track 1 and 2 originally released on the "Dolbied" cassette (VC, Belgium 1984) in an edition of 50.
Track 3 originally released on the "Slaughter Of The Innocent" cassette (Private, UK 1983). Track 4 is previously unreleased.
Track 5 is listed as previously unreleased on the cover, but was previously released, in a slightly shorter version, on the "Slaughter Of The Innocent" cassette (Private, UK 1983).
Edition of 500, including a special cloth bag edition of 100.

Nightmare Culture (1984...d) [Sickness of Snakes/Current 93...12'']

01 Killy Kill Killy (A Fire Sermon)[Current 93]
02 Various Hands [Sickness Of Snakes]
03 The Swelling of Leeches [Sickness Of Snakes]
04 The Pope Held Upside Down [Sickness Of Snakes]


Sickness Of Snakes Is John Balance & Peter Christopherson + Boyd Rice

Sickness Of Snakes's Songs appear also in Unnatural History (Compilation Tracks Compiled)

Scatology [This Version Was Reissued In 2001] (1984...e) [Coil...CD]

01 Ubu Noir
02 Panic
03 At The Heart Of It All
04 Tenderness Of Wolves
05 The Spoiler (Unreleased Alternative Version)
06 Clap
07 Restless Day
08 Aqua Regis
09 Solar Lodge
10 The S.W.B.P.
11 Godhead=Deathead
12 Cathedral In Flames
13 Tainted Love [Soft Cell]


The working title for this album was Poisons, and John Balance originally intended to release it on his own Hearsay And Heresy label.

The track "The Sewage Worker's Birthday Party" was originally intended for release as a single-sided flexidisk to be included with an issue an Italian magazine called "Free". This release never took place.

"Restless Day" is taken from the compilation album Devastate to Liberate. "Aqua Regis" and "Tainted Love" are taken from the Panic/Tainted Love single.

"The S.W.B.P." is the same track as "The Sewage Worker's Birthday Party" from the LP release.

Remastered by Thighpaulsandra, and fully authorized by Coil.

It features a different cover from the Some Bizzare edition, with the text "Stevo, Pay Us What You Owe Us!" printed on the cover and spine, in reference to the fact that Stevo at Some Bizzare has not paid them for the many CD reissues he has released. The cover also states that this is Volume 1 in a series of remastered reissues, with Volume 2 being Horse Rotorvator and Volume 3 being Love's Secret Domain. The spine mistakenly has it printed as Volume 2.


Coil's first official full-length album, Scatology, is one of the essential landmarks in the group's discography and, moreover, one of the '80s industrial scene's more vital and influential recordings. This is the first part of the essential Coil trilogy that also includes Horse Rotorvator and Love's Secret Domain. The 1984 album exhibits the group at its early industrial stage, in transition to the undefined genre of astral noise psychedelia that Coil would inhabit for the following decades without peer or precedent. The core duo of Peter Christopherson and John Balance are joined by Clint Ruin (aka Jim Thirlwell), whose role in the production cannot be underestimated, as well as Stephen E. Thrower, Throbbing Gristle's Alex Ferguson, vocalist Gavin Friday of the Wolfgang Press, and one Raoul Revere (who is in fact British camp pop legend and Soft Cell vocalist Marc Almond). "Restless Day" is a haunting rumination that defies description, other than being an utterly essential self-defining moment in the Coil paradigm, with an atmosphere hanging in the tense space between harsh noise and harmony that apparently causes time to cease. "The Tenderness of Wolves" features the vocals of Friday in one of the more poetic moments of the '80s post-industrial sound. At the album's somber end, this outstanding work finishes with a rendition of "Tainted Love" featuring Almond, who had made the track a new wave hit with Soft Cell. Here, however, the tune is given a bleak slow-motion version that could be read as a tragically suggestive commentary on the AIDS epidemic of the era. The album was originally released on Force & Form/Some Bizzare, and was the subject of numerous bootlegs and illegitimate versions. For the record, the 2001 version on Threshold House/ World Serpent is the only version authorized by the group. Maybe the numerous LP and CD versions that have appeared since its original release are suggestive of just how vital the album is, not only in the Coil discography but to the industrial electronica scene as a whole. Scatology is nothing short of essential. - Skip Jansen...From Allmusic


* In his "Coil Album Guide", Dave Piniella writes:

Coil's first full-length album, Scatology is part of the backbone of Coil's great albums (along with Horse Rotorvator and Love's Secret Domain). This is Coil at their early, industrial stage. The album is about making good music from shitty sounds, hence the title. Most of the songs are harsher and less polished than more recent releases. "Restless Day" and it's description of a mundane life filled with ennui is accented by strange tickings and a throbbing bass. "The Tenderness of Wolves" features vocals by Gavin Friday and the album ends with a somber rendition of "Tainted Love", which was originally released as a single with two album cuts ("Aqua Regis" and "Panic") was later added to the CD reissue. Coil's cover and subsequent video of "Tainted Love" was their reaction to the AIDS epidemic of the era (mid-to-late 1980's). Originally released on Force & Form/Some Bizzare, (along with Horse Rotorvator), the illegitimate repressing of these albums has been the cause of much anger and frustration on Coil's part. The short version: Stevo (from their old label) kept on releasing the album(s) and screwing Coil out of their share of the profits.


front cover
back cover
tray card

Panic/Tainted Love (1985) [Coil...CD EP]

01 Aqua Regis
02 Panic (Remix)
03 Tainted Love [Soft Cell]


"Panic" is different from the version on Scatology. This version also appears on the Unatural History III anthology release.

"Aqua Regis" and "Tainted Love" also appear on the CD editions of Scatology.

All profits from the sale of this release were donated to the Terrence Higgins Trust AIDS charity.


Coil had only been around a couple of years by the time the material on this EP was considered of interest for an American pressing courtesy of Wax Trax. A comparison between this and the previously released How to Destroy Angels EP is like the difference in view between a basement apartment with no windows and a balcony panorama of an entire neighborhood -- although in the latter case it might be located in a city such as Houston, TX, in which there is no such thing as zoning and people just do whatever they want. It is part of the appeal of this set of three tracks that such disparate elements come into the mix, some of them expected and some of them not. Dreary, depressed vocals and purloined drum and keyboard beats of noxious simplicity are associated with this musical style and era, but a player such as acoustic bassist Bill McGee adds something special. "Panic" is a performance that is full of the stimulating joy of collaboration, factors assuming varying relationships of importance as if someone had the courage to make a sandwich with his eyes closed. Several decades later a listener can pick out accomplishments that were imitated literally to death as well as details too idiosyncatic or original to pass into general useage. The much-heralded cover version of the Soft Cell hit "Tainted Love" is pretty boring, unfortunately. - Eugene Chadbourne...From Allmusic


The Anal Staircase (1986...a) [Coil...12'']

01 The Anal Staircase (A Dionysian Remix)
02 Blood From The Air
03 Ravenous


Some copies came with a card advertising the upcoming release of Horse Rotorvator. Some copies came with an insert advertising the Hang Loose With Coil fanzine published by R&D Group 28.

"The Anal Staircase (A Dionysian Remix)" also appears on the cassette edition of Horse Rotorvator.
"Blood From the Air" also appears on Horse Rotorvator.
"Ravenous" also appears on the cassette and CD editions of Horse Rotorvator.

Record Vox, the label which released Horse Rotorvator in Germany, distributed this release as well. The record is identical to the UK edition, they just imported copies and put a Record Vox address sticker on the back cover.


front cover
labels: side one, side two
Horse Rotorvator card insert
Hang Loose With Coil insert - art side
Hang Loose With Coil insert - text side


Horse Rotorvator [This Version Was Reissued In 2001] (1986...b) [Coil...CD]

01 The Anal Staircase
02 Slur
03 Babylero
04 Ostia (The Death Of Pasolini)
05 Herald
06 Penetralia
07 Ravenous
08 Circles Of Mania
09 Blood From The Air
10 Who By Fire [Leonard Cohen]
11 The Golden Section
12 The First Five Minutes After Death


Remastered by Thighpaulsandra in 2001, and fully authorized by Coil.

It features a different cover from the Some Bizzare edition, with the text "Stevo, Pay Us What You Owe Us!" printed on the cover and spine, in reference to the fact that Stevo at Some Bizzare has not paid them for the many CD reissues he has released. The cover also states that this is Volume 2 in a series of remastered reissues, with Volume 1 being Scatology and Volume 3 being Love's Secret Domain.


The title Horse Rotorvator is explained in the liner notes as a device large enough to "plough up the waiting world," created from the bones of the horses of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Bay City Rollers this isn't. On the group's second full album, Coil continue the refinement of brute noise and creepily serene arrangements into a truly modern psychedelia, from tribal drumming and death march guitars to disturbing samples and marching band samples and back. Balance shares the same haggard, mystic vocal delivery common to fellow explorers of the edge like David Tibet and Edward Ka-Spel, but he has his own blasted and burnt touch to it all. His lyrical subjects range from emotional extremism of many kinds to blunt, often homoerotic imagery (matched at points in the artwork and packaging) and meditations on death. As a result the cover of Leonard Cohen's "Who by Fire" isn't as surprising as one might think. Past guest Marc Almond appears again on the track with backing vocals, as well as adding them to "Slur," which is composed of an unsettling mix of harmonica, bells, percussion and whatever else can be imagined. Other guests include Almond's then-musical partner Billy McGee, adding a haunting, sometimes grating, string arrangement to "Ostia," which is about the murder of radical Italian filmmaker Pasolini, and Clint Ruin, aka Foetus, adding his typically warped brass touches to "Circles of Mania." Paul Vaughan narrates the lyrics on "The Golden Section," creating a stunning piece that in its combination of demonic imagery and sweeping, cinematic arrangements holds a common ground with In the Nursery. All the guests help contribute to the album's overall effect, but this is Coil's own vision above all else, eschewing easy cliches on all fronts to create unnerving, never easily digested invocations of musical power. - Ned Raggett...From Allmusic


* In his "Coil Album Guide", Dave Pinella writes:

Coil’s second full-length continues in the industrial vein as evidenced by the opener "The Anal Staircase," which was originally released as a 12" in a different mix. The album is full of the excesses of Roman times, full of sex, horns, drugs and death. Aside from the military motif, the album also brings to the forefront the music’s homoeroticism, with tracks like "The Anal Staircase" "Slur" and "Penetralia" all stressing the point. "Ostia (The Death Of Pasolini)" is the album’s centerpiece, with soothing insect-like percussion and strings over a plaintive vocal by Balance. Like Scatology, the album features a cover (this time it’s a totally sick, drastically reworked version of Leonard Cohen’s "Who By Fire") as well as problems with Stevo over the money from the reissue(s) of it.

* Mark Coleman says:

The song "Ostia" is about the death of Pier Pasolini, an Italian filmmaker. The only Pasolini I have seen is "Salo: 120 Days in Sodom," his adaptation of Sade's libertine classic set in the days of the Italian Fascists. It is an excellent work, even though it features graphic coprophagia (shit eating) and child sex. Apparently (correct me if I err, I probably will) Pasolini had finished filming "120 Days" and picked up a boy prostitute and took him to his coastal villa in Ostia on the Italian Coast. The prostitute (an Italian government agent I've heard) ran Pasolini over in his own BMW and left him dead in a ditch. This is as much as I know, but the crickets at the beginning were recorded at the Aztec Ruins of Chichen Itza (sp?) where Aztec priests made human sacrifices. I could also be wrong about Aztec, it could have been Mayan.

* Nisus submits:

Aside from your general moral issues, he was rather straightforward in his political attacks against the system in essays and articles he wrote. But as I understand it, the thing that really brought up the possibility of there being more to his murder than it seemed was inconsistency in the story of the boy who supposedly committed it coupled with statements made by other "hustlers" regarding another car following them with four men in it. There is an interesting documentary about Pasolini's death called "Whoever Says The Truth Shall Die" if anyone wishes to pursue the matter, and it is also discussed a bit in Enzo Siciliano's biography of Pasolini.

* In reference to the lyrics of Ostia, Matt Bartels says:

This is from Judges chapter 14, vs. 14.: And he said unto them: Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.

It is from the the story of Samson. He had killed this lion on his way to meeting his soon to be first wife, Timnath the Philistine. After hitting it off with her, passed the lion's carcass on the way home and found a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass. Samson eats the honey and gives it to his family to eat without men-tioning its source....

Later his family is throwing a feast for Timnath and 30 of her Philistine friends and Samson poses the lines in question as a riddle, telling them if they figure it out he'll give them 30 sheets and 30 garments. and if not vice versa. Samson's wife begs the answer out of him and tells her 30 friends. Samson is pissed that he lost, and his response is first to say "If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle". Then 'the spirit of the Lord came upon him' and he went out and killed 30 people to take their sheets and garments to pay off his debt.

So, is the idea here the parallel of betrayal by their lovers suffered by both Pasolini and Samson, or is it elsewhere? The golden sticky trickles seem to also stand on their own with nice multiple meanings....


The Anal Staircase

And the angels kiss
Our souls in bliss
Measure the extent of a dizzying descent
Down the Anal staircase.
Put just one foot on the staircase
And the next step you're down here
On this face.
And the rapids
Of my heart
Will tear your
ship of love apart
And we'll
End up wrecked
We'll end up
at the start
Of the Anal Staircase.

And the angels kiss
Our souls in bliss
Measure the extent of a dizzying descent
Down the
Anal staircase.
Take a hollowpoint revolver
Shoot down the rapids
Of your heart
Blow the fucking
Thing apart
Blow the fucking
Thing apart.
One step
Two step
Three step
Four Step.


Roman land
Of Roman sands
And Roman sons.
As I watch the sun sink down
On the bloodred edge
Of the bloodred town
There are shadows for sale
On the edge of town
At the edge of the night
Is a darkness seen
From the side of the light
(From the side of the night).
And the winds blow round
this sleeping town
This sleeping town
This Roman land
Of Roman sands
And Roman sons.
And it seems to me
That when I close my eyes
All the lights in the world
Go out
And the night passes by
And you whisper to me
A thousand lies
I stare in surprise
Towards the desert's warm black
And the desert stirs
And the desert stares back
With a thousand eyes
Piercing eyes
Ancient eyes
And I ask my lover
"Do you know
Where the desert roses bloom and grow?"

Ostia (the Death of Pasolini)

There 's honey in the hollows
And the contours
of the body
A sluggish golden river
A sickly golden trickle
A golden, sticky trickle
You can hear
the bones humming
And the car reverses over
The body in the basin
In the shallow sea-plane basin.
And the car reverses over
And his body rolls over
Crushed from the shoulder
You can hear the
Bones humming
Singing like a puncture
Killed to keep
the world turning
Throw his bones over
The White Cliffs
of Dover
Into the sea
The Sea of Rome
And the bloodstained
Of Ostia
Leon like a lion
Sleeping in
the sunshine.
Lion lies down.
"Out of the strong
Came forth sweetness."
Throw his bones over
The White Cliffs
of Dover
And murder me
In Ostia.
The Sea of Rome.
You can hear his bones humming.
Throw his bones over
The White Cliffs
of Dover
And into the sea
The Sea of Rome
Then murder me,
In Ostia.

Circles of Mania

Nero's long hot tongue
Nero's long hot
tongue licks....
This is the sound
Of the world
turning round
The underground
This is the sound of the w
orld turning round
The world
spinning round.
You get eaten alive
By the perfect lover.
I fell in
to a burning ring
A burning ring of
And the knives
slide in
They slide deep
into my skin
And they open me
so wide
That you stick your
head inside
You get sewn
inside alive
You get eaten alive
By the perfect lover
When you've
swallowed one
You just
swallow another
To drive away
this hunger
You stay in
there forever
Caught in the centre
Of a circle of manias
Chemical Angel
Enters arena
Toro D'Or
falls to the floor
Fucking the ground
The hole in the ground
And hot wires sing
Deep in my skin
I'm writhing...
Like Dutch Schultz at
106 degrees...
And I wake up licking
I wake up licking the
bedsheets clean
Licking and

Blood from the Air

A sleeping explorer
his wandering mind
crossed over the border
a mind like a cemetery
where the corpses
are turning
where the bodies
twist deep
in the frozen grip
of a dreamless sleep
then the lowest
comes up
like a wreck
from the depths.
He hears night calling
and has dreams
of waking
here in this brightness
that burns like
slow lightening
he sees words
burnt in ice
reads, "The World is
a Wound
In the Body of Christ".
Effects of the animal -
Animal sound effects
He says, "Death,
he is my friend
He promised me
a quick end".
Says, "The world is
in pain
and should be
put down
and God is a sadist
and that he knows it".
The depths of the
night sky
reflects in his eye
He says,
"Everything changes
And everyone dies".
And the night
slits her veins
and the
darkness drains
and the void
rumbles in
like an
underground train...
Forever comes closer
the world is in pain
we all must be shown
we must realise
that everyone changes
and everything dies.

Who By Fire by Leonard Cohen

And who by fire, who by water,
who in the sunshine, who in the night time,
who by high ordeal, who by common trial,
who in your merry merry month of may,
who by very slow decay,
and who shall I say is calling?

And who in her lonely slip, who by barbiturate,
who in these realms of love, who by something blunt,
and who by avalanche, who by powder,
who for his greed, who for his hunger,
and who shall I say is calling?

And who by brave assent, who by accident,
who in solitude, who in this mirror,
who by his lady's command, who by his own hand,
who in mortal chains, who in power,
and who shall I say is calling?


front cover
back cover

Gold Is The Metal (Returning To The Purity Of The Current) [This Version Was Reissued In 1996] (1987...a) [Coil...CD]

01 Last Rites Of Spring
02 Paradisiac
03 Thump
04 For Us They Will
05 The Broken Wheel
06 Boy In A Suitcase
07 Golden Hole
08 Cardinal Points
09 Red Slur
10 ...Of Free Enterprise
11 Aqua Regalia
12 Metal In The Head
13 Either His Or Yours
14 Chickenskin
15 Soundtrap
16 Hellraiser
17 The Wheal
18 The First Five Minutes After Violent Death


From the liner notes: "This release is not the follow-up to Horse Rotorvator... but a completely seperate package - a stopgap and a breathing space - the space between two twins. Presented here are thoroughbreds that escaped the Horse Rotorvator - discarded shards, distortions, disappointments, scrambled and disassembled stages. Remnants of what once was. This record is a chance for us to release some otherwise placeless pieces of music."

Reissued in 1996 with all-new artwork, subtitled "Returning to the Purity of the Current."


This album is basically a collection of odds and sods that did not make it onto Horse Rotorvator, as well as some tracks from elsewhere (including stuff intended for The Dark Age of Love which became Love's Secret Domain). Despite the fact that it is a compilation, it manages to come together as a cohesive whole quite nicely.
The album opens with "The Last Rites of Spring" and ends with "The First Five Minutes of Violent Death". The former sounds like the dark forces are banging on the door, forcing it open to run manically around screaming and chanting. The later is about the most resigned sounding Coil track, the corpse being well and truly gutted. In between we have premium late 80's Coil, that combines a flair for esoteric melody with chaotic noise and seemingly random samples. As a link between Horse Rotorvator and Love's Secret Domain it is perfect.
Stand out tracks include: "For Us They Will", a Scatalogical digging, and one of the more intensely atmospheric tracks on the album. John Balance (I think) rambles on a bizarre rabid monologue concluding that "You have to burn to shine". Reminds me of "Tenderness of Wolves". "Boy in a Suitcase" is perhaps the best track on the album. It is a relic of early Coil sessions and features a rare performance by Peter Christopherson. It sounds quite reminiscent of Psychic TV, and features a nice quirky brass insert by Andrew Poppy. Unfortunately it is too short. "Cardinal Points" is a fantastic film score that evokes images of lakes, fog and towering Monoliths rising out of the gloom. Very filmic, sweet yet driving at the same time. This tracks points towards the Hellraiser score, as well as "Chaostrophy". "...Of free enterprise" and "Aqua Regalia" include the live takes of the Acapulco brass band heard on "Herald", mixed in with a minor key reversion of "Greensleeves". This works really well as ominous Orwellian theme music. "Either His or Yours" is an alternative mix to a John Giorno/Coil collaboration and becomes a rather groovey little tune as it slowly builds steam. "The Wheal", with a rather unCoil-like fuzz guitar improvisation courtesy of Alex Fergusson (PTV). It reminds me of a New Order outake and is quite sweet.
Overall, I'd say that, while it doesn't have the greatest tracks, it is perhaps the most cohesive sounding of the Compilation Coil stuff. Rather like a soundtrack to some piece of Inner Cinema, motifs and sounds revolve, disappear and return. Essential for the completists and a good intro to their soundtrack stuff as it is a little more abrasive than Hellraiser. 3 1/2 out of 5 - Jonathan Barrett


There is a song on Horse Rotorvator titled "Herald" and there is a song on Gold is the Metal titled "...of Free Enterprise." The Herald of Free Enterprise was a passenger ferry belonging to one of the various ferry lines that provide daily services across the English Channel. On March 6th, 1987 in the early evening just outside of Zeebrugge the ferry sank. 193 people died on that night. The accident was put down to the bow doors having not been totally closed (they were in the process of doing so) and an unusual current caused a relatively small amount of water to come on board. A capsize occurred - the crew didn't make a habit out of anything.... they were under unbearable pressure from the company (then Townsend Thoreson - now amalgamated into P&O Stena Line) over timetabling and this was how they were expected to shave off a couple of minutes in their turn around time - close doors as you set off. Inevitably, one man was found as the one who should have actually physically closed the door on that trippage - the captain is always ultimately responsible as the one in charge of the vessel - however the verdict was one of corporate manslaughter - i.e. practices encouraged by the company had caused the thing to turn over, not an individuals negligence. Associations were set up for the families to try to come to terms with things. The annual service that was held was discontinued after 10 years to try to help people get on with life.

Sometimes abbreviated as GITMWTBS (more often shortened to Gold Is The Metal), this is a "stop-gap and breathing space" between proper albums, which is noticeable as it doesn’t have the obvious unity that Scatology and Horse Rotorvator have. It features unreleased tracks from the Horse Rotorvator era, including alternate versions and unreleased tracks. GITM also continues HR’s "Herald" with it’s sister track, "...of Free Enterprise". "Cardinal Points" and "Hellraiser" are also otherwise unreleased demo versions of the main theme from Clive Barker’s Hellraiser film. Various versions of this album have been released on LP and CD: five different LP versions and two CD versions, all with different artwork. Several of the LPs editions include with deluxe packaging and bonus 7" single(s) (originally "The Wheel" b/w "The Wheal", then "Keelhauler" b/w "The Wheal" -- making this particular release a pain in the ass for collectors. The title comes from an early work of a favorite poet of Balance’s. The disc is also worthwhile for the liner notes, which include details and insights regarding some of the origins of the songs. Also of note is one of Sleazy's rare vocal turns on "Boy in a Suitcase". - Dave Piniella

Buy Here [Digital Format + Images]


The Wheel (1987...b) [Coil...7'']

01 The Wheel
02 The Wheal


Came free with first 500 copies of Gold Is The Metal LP.


When the storm clears and the sun shines
We'll see the country beyond the garden
I was dragged here by an angel
Against my weak will the stronger dictate.

Now I stand here, I've scaled the mountain
That led from function to forms of glory.
And when our hands touched like worlds colliding
A star exploding
Then I knew that the wheel is turning.

Rust transmuted to gold and silver
By strength of true will no more resistance
Just perfection
The wheel is turning.

01 The Wheal
02 Keelhauler


Came free initial copies of Gold Is The Metal LP.

01 The Wheel
02 Keelhauler


In 1996, 23 remaining copies of the 7" were found in a closet by John and Sleazy who made them available via the rec.music.industrial newsgroup.
Each copy came with a handmade sleeve that reads: "This so-called special edition of Coil's Keelhauler single is one of 23 copies found at the back of a wardrobe and offered for sale via rec.music.industrial at the outrageous price of $20." (This message is meant to poke fun at the fact that several r.m.i subscribers commented that they felt the price was too high, triggering a heated debate regarding the ethics of limited edition releases.)
The other side of the sleeve features John & Sleazy's photos, signatures and fingerprints (another poke at the supposed "criminal nature" of the release). Each copy also included several stickers as inserts.


Hellraiser Themes [This Version Was Reissued In 1990] (1987...c) [Coil...CD EP]

01 Hellraiser
02 The Hellbound Heart
03 Box Theme
04 No New World
05 Attack of the Sennapods
06 Main Title


The Unreleased Themes for Hellraiser (The Consequences of Raising Hell) is the original title.

The Consequences of Raising Hell... is printed on the spine of the record, and is generally considered to be an alternate title for this release.

The first 3 tracks (Side A) are taken from Coil's soundtrack to the Clive Barker film "Hellraiser" which was rejected by the film studio. (The following quote from Barker appears on the cover: "The only group I've heard on disc whose records I've taken off because they made my bowels churn.")

The remainder of the tracks (side B) are a selection of short peices that were commissioned for use as music for advertisements on British television. They also appear on the anthology release Unnatural History III under the group title of "Music For Commercials". These tracks were originally planned to be released as a limited edition 7" EP on R+D Group 28.

side a: the Unreleased Themes for Hellraiser

1. Hellraiser
2. Box Theme
3. Main Title

side b: music for commercials

1. Airline 1
2. Liqueur
3. Perfume
4. Video Recorder
5. Airline 2
6. Natural Gas
7. Cosmetic 1
8. Cosmetic 2
9. Analgesic
10. Road Surface
11. Accident Insurance

Title changed to Hellraiser Themes for CD edition (1990).

The commercial tracks from the 10" and CS releases were dropped for the CD, and replaced with three more tracks from the Hellraiser sessions. All of these tracks, plus additional tracks from the same sessions, appear on the anthology release Unnatural History II.

The first pressing of the CD had black lettering on a blue background, while the next few pressings had black lettering on a silver background. After switching to a different manufacturer, the colours changed again to black lettering on a white background.


Clive Barker and Coil were friends during the early 1980s and it's been frequently noted that he was inspired to write "Hellraiser" from some of the literature and art Coil used to collect. Naturally he wanted Coil to do the score but while initial reports claim their music was "too scary" for the film, the reality is closer to that of the Hollywood studio wanting their own chums to do the work.

we miss you Jhonn...