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
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
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
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