Coil
The Ape Of Naples


5.0
classic

Review

by Aaron W. STAFF
September 29th, 2016 | 103 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Does death come alone or with eager reinforcements?

Personally, I've had very little experience with Coil. The London-based industrial/experimental avant-garde duo have always eluded me, and in due part to my own laziness, I hardly know much about them aside from this particular release. Released well over a decade ago on the English/Thai-based label Threshold House, The Ape of Naples was the result of a decade of long-discarded songs and was compiled from various sessions for several of Coil's projects, mainly the shelved 1993 album Backwards, 1991's Love's Secret Domain, and other EPs and live recordings.

It is often said that The Ape of Naples is heavily dominated by electronics, from the instrumentation to the digital manipulation of John Balance's vocals, as such as in "Heaven's Blade", which creatively time-stretches and obscures Balance's vocal over a glitchy beat; or in "It's In My Blood", where the use of time-stretching adds an air of tension over Balance's demented vocal and the eerie strings that occupy the song. Sampling, like with most Coil recordings, plays a huge part in The Ape of Naples and are used to add an morbidly downbeat atmosphere to the songs, especially in the sampling of Balance's final performance with Coil in the closing track, "Going Up" (a cover of the theme tune of the late night PBS rerun regular "Are You Being Served"", sung by Fran├žois Testory).

The instrumentation of the album is one of its assets, thanks in no part to regular Coil collaborators Thighpaulsandra, Cliff Stapleton and Tom Edwards, who assisted Peter "Sleazy" Chistopherson in creating the gloomy vibe that permeates the songs of The Ape of Naples. The ethereal, despondent mood of The Ape of Naples comes across incredibly clear not only in its composition, but in its sparse lyricism as well, whether it be the yearning of death on "Heaven's Blade", with the refrain of "Just cut yourself with Heaven's blade" while Balance proclaims he is "not afraid" to figure out what's on the other side after death; or the primal human urges Balance puts across with the cries of "Man is the animal" on opener "Fire of the Mind". From the lyrics alone, it becomes clear death, and life after death are major themes of the album, and are all but confirmed with "Going Up" essentially being Balance's ascension to the next life, obscured bootleg live performance audio and all.



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user ratings (291)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
ThroneOfAgony (5)
Coil's last album, and while it might not be for casual listeners, it's still a quintessential Coil ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2016


18532 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

man is the animal



The Ape of Naples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0x77EdoXhw

Digging: Jason Molina - Pyramid Electric Co.

Pheromone
September 29th 2016


6785 Comments


gd album gd review


gd

Digging: Klaatu - 3:47 Est

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2016


18532 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thak

laughingman22
September 29th 2016


2808 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Best album around. coil discography is huge but worth the exploration

AsleepInTheBack
September 29th 2016


5930 Comments


is this a good record to get into these guys with?

Polyethylene
September 29th 2016


4677 Comments


Awesome, I loved Horse Rotorvator (the only album of theirs I have checked)

NeroCorleone80
September 29th 2016


34561 Comments


check Scatology

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2016


18532 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"is this a good record to get into these guys with?"



I'd say so, but def check their first few. Need to fix the band's page on here again, so many misplaced albums.

AsleepInTheBack
September 29th 2016


5930 Comments


alright cool, will do

ArsMoriendi
September 29th 2016


25300 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Scatology rules, this album's probably aight. Can't wait to listen to in almost a year. ;)

Digging: Sonic Youth - Dirty

KILL
September 29th 2016


81233 Comments


crazy shit

Flugmorph
September 29th 2016


20761 Comments


call me

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2016


18532 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"

Scatology rules, this album's probably aight. Can't wait to listen to in almost a year. ;)"





you're waiting a year to listen to a classic, jokes on you buddy :p

iloveyouall
September 29th 2016


6319 Comments


dude cheeky plug right here right now

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 29th 2016


18532 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

ay i planned on it



https://eoizine.wordpress.com/2016/09/29/coil-the-ape-of-naples/ (originally written for the zine, has a bit extra on it since it was originally meant to be a short review for the vinyl reissue)

TVC15
September 30th 2016


9896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Was listening to this last night, extremely beautiful album

Digging: Dexys Midnight Runners - Too-Rye-Ay

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


18532 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

damn right it is

iloveyouall
September 30th 2016


6319 Comments


I should listen to this again lol

Frippertronics
Staff Reviewer
September 30th 2016


18532 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

k

alienobserver
September 30th 2016


4495 Comments


your opinion matters



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