Coil
...And the Ambulance Died in His Arms


5.0
classic

Review

by laughingman22 USER (8 Reviews)
June 14th, 2014 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Quietly and calmly, Coil unravel themselves, and we are forced to watch the beautiful horror.

…And the Ambulance Died in His Arms is a live album recorded near the end of Coil's career. The album displays the turmoils the band was had been facing the last few years in a rather raw fashion. Band members Jhonn Balance and Peter Christopherson had ended their long time relationship and Balance had developed a strong addiction to alcohol. Many of Coil's performances at this time had to be canceled because of Balance's inability to perform or because he did not show up at all, making improvised song structure on Ambulance an alluring rarity.

This album does not display anger, but rather a much more horrifying coldness. After the first song is finished, Balance speaks to the crowd, saying, "We're doing a quiet set today. We've had too much shouting over the past year." This statement sets the mood for the entire album. The performance is frightening, minimal and dark, yet extremely passionate and even showing a bit of hope.

Jhonn Balance's vocal performance is an absolute highlight. Most of the vocals are improvised, starting with ritualistic moans and shrieks on Snow Falls Into Military Temples. Vocal lines are repeated to mesmerizing effect, and slowly transform as songs progress. From any other mouth the lyrics would sound like mad rambling; but from Balance, the lyrics sounds like prophecies. The lyrics shine brightest on A Slip in the Marylebone Road; a surreal tale involving a meeting with an angel, and The Dreamer is Still Asleep - The Somnambulist in an Ambulance, which is a twisted recreation of a Coil classic.

Just as significant as the vocals are the contributions Peter Christopherson, Thighpaulsandra, and Tom Edwards make to the performance's dizzying soundscape. Many different electronic devices and synthesizers are used to revisit familiar themes throughout Coil's discography. The Triple Suns theme, found on the Ape of Naples, makes an appearance multiple times on Ambulance, but never loses its horrifying grace.

…And the Ambulance Died in His Arms can be considered a partner album to Coil's final work, the Ape of Naples. Both are difficult albums, displaying cold minimalism, ominous vocals, and some of the most intimate and beautiful music of any electronic artist. Ambulance gives off a much rawer and personal of view of Coil's tragic ending and is a must for any fan of the band's studio work.



Recent reviews by this author
Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld Still SmilingEinsturzende Neubauten Haus Der Lüge
Irrwisch IrrwischCranes Forever
Skinny Puppy Last RightsThe County Medical Examiners Forensic Fugues and Medicolegal Medleys
user ratings (25)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
laughingman22
June 14th 2014


1805 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This gets bonus points for being one of the best live albums ever and for having the best album title ever.

Found this at a record store for only $30, I cried

Digging: Peter Christopherson - Time Machines II

bodiesinflight57
June 14th 2014


870 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Coil review. Lovely. Agree, etc.

RoyalImperialGuard
June 14th 2014


1323 Comments


Nice review. Good band.

Arnaud
June 14th 2014


186 Comments


To me The Ape of Naples was one of the most important album of the 2000´s, and i have yet to listen to this one
Good job on the review

TheCrocodile
June 14th 2014


257 Comments


Good read, pos. Band had important albums for each decade though. Never heard this one, might be hard to find but yeah I'll just relisten to The Ape of Naples, it's been a while.

grish
June 14th 2014


983 Comments


This gets bonus points for being one of the best live albums ever and for having the best album title ever. [2]

KriegdemKriege
June 14th 2014


1280 Comments


Love the title.

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
June 14th 2014


6269 Comments


Awesome review dude. Band seems pretty cool, never heard them before though.

Digging: Porcupine Tree - In Absentia

Chortles
June 14th 2014


17996 Comments


nice

Digging: Jacaszek - Treny

laughingman22
June 14th 2014


1805 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks everyone. Coil has been releasing influential and under appreciated albums since the early 80's, though the 00's era with
this, Ape of Naples and Black Antlers has to be my favorite.

ExplosiveOranges
June 14th 2014


3158 Comments


Sweet album title. Sadly, I've never heard of this band before. Review is good, though, so you get a pos.

Digging: Winterfylleth - The Divination Of Antiquity

Revastran
July 25th 2014


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'm glad to see some Coil love here. Great album.

Digging: David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust: The Motion Picture



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy