Coil
Horse Rotorvator


5.0
classic

Review

by Matthew Dreany USER (18 Reviews)
August 17th, 2006 | 42 replies


Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist


Industrial is a rare genre. You really can do anything you and it's still considered Industrial, because that's what it is. It's experimental music.

When most casual music fans here Industrial they picture Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and maybe even Tool. Well, I don't know where a lot of people group Tool into Industrial, seeing as they are Progressive, but Nine Inch Nail ARE industrial. A lot of Industrial snobs hate the music that started us in this genre, and it's not hard to tell why. To truly enjoy Industrial, you must be a patient and risk-taking listener. "Real" industrial is possibly the least accessible genre on the planet. So many odd tape loops, shrieking, grinding, and cold/lifeless music is truly odd, but beautiful in so many ways.

Enter Coil: Not quite the difficult to listen to 1st Generation of Industrial such as Nurse With Wound and Throbbing Gristle. But not the polished, mastered, so easily accessible a 5 year old could appreciate it Industrial of the mid 90's. Coil is part of the connection between old and new school. They are old school, but they paved the why for so many future artists. Out of all of the coil albums, Horse Rotorvator is generally considered the band's Holy Grail.

The album is so harsh and destructive, yet very emotional and touching. This is because of lead singer Jhonn Balance, who combines harsh industrial noise with a great voice.

The album's leading track The Anal Staircase Starts out chaotic and let's you know that this won't be a happy album. Though the name is a bit silly, the song couldn't be more serious. The song contains random samples of children shouting and laughing, with a slightly funky synth, while Jhonn gives extremely dark lyrics:

"Take a hollow point revolver.
Right down the rapids of your heart.
Blow the fucking thing apart
Blow the fucking thing apart
"

Even the most depressing albums have a glimmer of hope that briefly takes the listeners away from misery, but not Horse Rotorvator. The closest thing to serene music are the 2 Interludes. Babylero Features a child singing in a different language. Herald features a marching band playing sort in a dark and almost bad way. What it has to do with the rest of the album, I have no clue, but the mysteriousness of this album is the best part.

Most of the album is a dark, cold look inside a tortured soul, but Circles Of Mania is flat out Jhonn Balance going completely crazy, and it's great. Jhonn repeatedly chants "You get eaten alive by the perfect lover" and breaks into a believable psychotic laughter. Eventually Jhonn talks about "Fucking the ground" and proceeds to break into a maniacal orgasm, and eventually just starts making monkey noises. It is really unlike anything you've heard before.

Ravenous is an instrumental track that has lots of descriptive sounds. Such as gates creaking, and what sounds like panicked running through grass, all behind a dark piece of music. The Golden Section features a man describing the angel of death, though there is no singing and only talking, it is still a great listen, the describes in detail facts about the angel of death, to blaring horns, and low chants.

Slur seems like it could be a single if it wanted to. It is very catchy. With constant pounding percussion and middle eastern sounding horns. It is the most accessible songs on the album. While Who By Fire is a Leonard Cohen cover, Who has made a career out of getting out staged on his own song (Cough *Jeff Buckley*Cough). The song contains some really great lyrics:

"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?
"

Penetralia is easily the most traditional Industrial song on the album. Harsh guitar, loud noises, destruction. If you like industrial, you should like this song. The song is yet another classic instrumental. Even though Coil's intrumentals are fantastic, Jhonn's lyrics are what make Coil legendary. Take Blood From The Air, in which Jhonn doesn't even sing, accompanied by a dark a depressing soundscape with screaming and moaning children. he speaks very dark lyrics in a cold tone:

"The world is in pain and should be put down and God is a sadist and that he knows it."

"Everything Changes, And Everyone Dies"


Though Horse Rotorvator is filled with masterpiece songs, and though if this were a Track By Track, no song would get below a 4.5, the best song couldn't be more obvious. Ostia (The Death Of Pasolini) which is about the death of Pier Paolo Pasolini, a very controversial Italian filmmaker, author, and philosopher. Who was killed in Ostia, a city in Rome by a Gay prostitute. The song has such beautiful Violin work and really depressing and descriptive singing by Jhonn. Maybe the most beautifully sad song ever made.

The album ends with The First Five Minutes After Death. An instrumental that sums up the album. Cold, Dramatic, and Hopeless. With blaring horns, screeches, and instrument work that sounds like well, the first few minutes after death. It's like the last person in the apocalypse dying and looking on at all of the destruction before he moves on to the after life

Horse Rotorvator is peaceful for one second, it is without question the most hopeless music I have heard, and what makes it good is that the depression is believable, Jhonn Balance was a man with struggles as you can see in his music. Death was always a constant subject in his songs. Since his death in November of 2004 caused by falling off of the balcony of his house while drunk, his work seems even more hopeless. Horse Rotorvator was a sad piece of music, and a beautiful one as well.

Pros
Great Lyrics
Dark, Well Produced Music
Consistently Great Songs
Jhonn Balance's Vocals

Cons
Honestly, the only con would be. The album could be too depressing for some. If you are considering suicide or are really down on your luck, I would suggest not listening to this. It is easily more sad than anything else I've heard.

Recommended Tracks
Ostia (The Death Of Pasolini)
Slur
Circles Of Mania

5/5



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A weird but amazing experience from a band that is nearly impossible to categorize...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 17th 2006


3995 Comments


As a note on very specific nitpickiness, I feel like Throbbing Gristle gets lumped into Industrial whereas Coil comes across as Dark Ambient, despite Coil being the Kayo Dot to Throbbing Gristle's Maudlin of the Well, so to speak. Coil just feels like they released more crap that gets lumped with dark ambient, and Throbbing Gristle was more into hard machinery and a neo-nazi style that represented a lot of what industrial was about in the early 80s.

"Freshly Baked"
August 17th 2006


583 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

A lot of coil's stuff has dark ambient. But I think over all they were Industrial.

When they started, they seemed pure Industrial (Scatology) and as time grew, they seemed to "grow out" of industrial so to speak (The Ape Of Naples). But I think Horse Rotorvator has a lot of both.

Then again, LSD was almost entirely ambient. You do have a point.

As for the review itself. Just know it took me a long time to finish it. I redid it three times. 3 of the four reviews the album was a 4.5, but it's funny, whe you review an album, you tend to listen to the album a lot. And the album just started to fit better and seem more complete with each listen. What I saw as unentertaining or odd parts at first, they turned into more and more nice parts. I don't want to be a perfect rating slut, but this album is just beautiful. I really don't see any problems with it. The only bad thing anyone's ever said about this was that the production sounds dated. But I like dated production, even though this really doesn't seem any more dated than most 80's Industrial music of Dark Wave.
This Message Edited On 08.17.06

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 17th 2006


3995 Comments


Well the thing is I've only heard one Coil album as a whole album, and it ended up sounding closer to dark ambient. However, I've spent a lot of time listening to Foothill Community College Radio, where I've picked up a lot of Coil from various interviews, and studio sessions. From all of that too their separation from the industriality of Throbbing Gristle has been firmly established. However, I definitely trust you on any given album because hey, this band has a huge, and really esoteric discography.

"Freshly Baked"
August 17th 2006


583 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

What complete coil album have you heard?

DFelon204409
Emeritus
August 17th 2006


3995 Comments


OMfg. It was off slsk from somebody two summer ago. I can't even remembe the title. My apologies. I heard it and was unimpressed so I deleted it from the ol hard drive.

slack
August 17th 2006


249 Comments


I think their Unnatural Histories and Gold is the Metal ... is really their best work. Couldn't really get into this one, though. Maybe I should dust it off once more.

Insignificant
August 1st 2007


7 Comments


Possibly the best overall "song-based" Coil album, and my favourite of their pre-Moon's
Milk albums. Literary, well-constructed, original, very dark(ly humourous), and oh-so-
beautiful. Not something to play each and every day, but once and a while, it really hits
the spot (at least one, really).

P.S. "Penetralia" is the word for the innermost part of a temple. Also, "Slur" is
supposedly about being sodomised in Marrakesh... Don't ask. Pretty Burroughsian,
really.This Message Edited On 08.01.07

Spamue1G
July 28th 2008


1292 Comments


My problem with a lot of early industrial is the ridiculous beliefs or stances they had. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but it does seem like early industrial bands were often Nazi-like. I just can't listen to a band knowing they support Nazi-ism. Coil is probably the harshest I can go into the mix of industrial, something is probably stated by the fact that NIN are my favourite band of all time, but I just don't see the appeal in noise. Just noise. That's what some early industrial sounds like to me, but I quite like a few of the songs off this album, I might have to buy it some day soon.

Spamue1G
August 18th 2008


1292 Comments


Oh, and well said with industrial being the least accessible genre on the planet. Took me weeks of listening to get into Coil, but it was worth it.

Sabottheory
June 26th 2009


355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

derp

rubbervegas
September 30th 2009


9 Comments


Seeing as Industrial Records was mostly made up of iconoclasts, the whole Nazi iconography etc was just to make people feel uneasy as was part of the whole art concept. I don't think their beliefs were actually national socialist. You can guarantee some national front ass clowns got the wrong idea and jumped on the band wagon though.

Meatplow
March 5th 2010


5524 Comments


I'm glad I finally checked out Coil, this is fantastic.



shindip
November 25th 2010


3536 Comments


how dare you insult leonard cohen

Meatplow
November 25th 2010


5524 Comments


sleazy just died

Terrifyer
November 25th 2010


3403 Comments


ive listened to ape and the musick for the dark albums, but not this

i should probably change that :/

EvilCashew
April 16th 2011


132 Comments


Just started listening through this.

aok
April 30th 2011


4440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

word. i thought you'd like this one =)

aok
April 30th 2011


4440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

my mind goes inside out every time i listen to 'circles of mania.' amazing how they can capture so much in only 5 minutes

geezers1989
October 14th 2011


135 Comments


why the hell do people think tool is industrial? it truly boggles the mind

scissorlocked
October 14th 2011


3511 Comments


record is epic

Digging: Traumprinz - All The Things



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