Saturday, July 11, 2020
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Artist: Coil
Title: Backwards
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
This release seems to be an element of controversy, and apparently a sort of bootleg, as it's an element of one of the most obscure period of Coil's existence. Apparently, from 1993 to 1999, the focus of this project was ELPH. With the issue, in 2007, of "The New Backwards" it emerged how Coil recorded a proper album, called "Backwards" which was unreleased. While the remixed version of this album was dubbed as it wasn't the missing link between the two eras, Danny Hide, who worked with Peter Christopherson on "The New Backwards", has remastered the original version of this release including some tracks, "Amber Rain" and "A Cold Cell", revealing the path that would lead to the concept of "moon music".
This album starts with "Intro" an intricate synth loop. "Backwards" reveals how not only the singing style of Jhonn Balance influenced bands as NIN, whose Nothing should release the album, but also the musical structure based on obsessive beats and noises. "Amber Rain" is instead a precursor of what will be developed as "moon music" as it's based on meditative synth and a lesser aggressive vocal lines. "Fire Of The Green Dragon" and "Be Careful What You Wish For" are almost instrumental tracks focused on rhythmic patterns. "Nature Is A Language" one of the few tracks where Balance's voice is filtered and "Heaven's Blade" is a return into territories explored in "Love's Secret Domain". The synth lines of "CopaCaballa" and "Paint Me As A Dead Soul" are only an accompaniment for the expressiveness of the voice. "AYOR (It's In My Blood)" is a variation of the structure of "Backwards". "A Cold Cell" is the absolute peak of the album based on a simple and atmospheric synth line and the sad and mystical vocal line, a superb introduction to the 'Music To Play In The Dark'. "Fire Of The Mind" closes this release mirroring the voice with the use of the noises.
From a critical perspective, there's only suppositions on the motives behind the decision to not release the original version of this album. However, as the missing link between two separate periods of Coil's artistic life, this release has an historical importance in itself and simply the presence of the presence of this version of "A Cold Cell" make it an essential release. Absolutely recommended.


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