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- Backwards by Coil
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I have a strange relationship with the music of Coil. Some of their work I absolutely adore and is among some of my favourite music ever created. Music of unparalleled beauty. Then there’s the other side where there’s tracks I literally can’t bare to listen to, and when I do come across them I have to skip them, as they simply make me cringe. ‘Backwards’ traverses both sides of their music. That’s not to say other listeners couldn’t feel the stuff I don’t feel but their catalogue is so vast; if you loved absolutely everything they did you’re probably some kind of weirdo.
Originally created between their classics ‘Love's Secret Domain’ and ‘Musick to Play In The Dark’ spanning the years 1992-1995, ‘Backwards’ never officially saw the light of day. Instead tracks were remixed and later formed ‘The New Backwards’ as well as being scattered across their masterpiece ‘The Ape Of Naples’. It’s fascinating to hear early incarnations of stone cold classics like ‘A Cold Cell’, ‘Amber Rain’ ‘Heaven’s Blade’. This marked the point where Jhon Balance’s vocals and lyrics were at the absolute peak of their powers. When Jhon and Sleazy made their transition to the next life they each left behind a part of themselves that will continue to resonate with listeners for eternity.
The loss of these two visionary artists is in many ways tragic, and yet ironically, it was Jhon’s awareness and obsession with his own mortality that was one of the absolute foundations of the music of Coil and a key component in the music's power. Their music, specifically in these tracks, you could say is the story of their spirits temporarily inhabiting their human form and the struggle of coming to terms with what it means to be human. Both beautiful and nightmarish, and bloody essential for any Coil fan.
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