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Coil Love's Secret Domain  album cover
4.29 | 26 ratings | 3 reviews | 42% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1991

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Disco Hospital (2:17)
2. Teenage Lightning (5:09)
3. Windowpane (5:45)
4. The Snow (3:55)
5. Dark River (6:27)
6. Further Back And Faster (7:54)
7. Titan Arch (5:02)
8. Chaostrophy (5:37)
9. Love's Secret Domain (3:52)

Line-up / Musicians

- John Balance, Otto Avery, Peter Christopherson, Stephen I. Thrower / All electronics and effects

Guest artists:
- Juan Ramirez / Guitar (1)
- Rose McDowall / Backing vocals (3)
- Mike McEvoy / Keyboard (4)
- Cyrung / Didgeridoo (5,6)
- Juan Ramirez / Guitar (5)
- Marc Almond / Vocals (7)
- Audrey Riley, Jane Fenton / Cello (8)
- Julia Girdwood / Oboe (8)
- Jos Pook, Sue Dench / Viola (8)
- Andrew Davies, Clive Dobbins, Gini Ball, Sally Herbert / Violin
- Charles Hayward / Drums (9)

Releases information

Torso, Torso LP
Treshold House 2013 CD reissue

Thanks to philippe for the addition
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COIL Love's Secret Domain ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(42%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (8%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

COIL Love's Secret Domain reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Dobermensch
5 stars This is by far Coil's most accessible album, but that's not to say it's easy listening by any stretch of the imagination. It's full of wonderful arrangements and invention that foredhadow sounds copied in the late 90's acid movement in the UK. Love's Secret Domain (LSD) differs greatly from what Coil recorded before, moving towards 'IDM' rather than 'Industrial'.

Psycho Killer Clown music kicks things off with 'Disco Hospital'. A rhythmic swirl of samples and synth hooks. This is Coil's party album - where only the oddest are invited. Is it just my mind or are those mashed up lyrics reciting the words 'Rape scene torture'?

Clearly the five years between this and 'Horse Rotorvator' have been spent consuming large quantities of hard drugs. A sonically messed up 'Teenage Lightning 1' spews forth a bellyful of electronic cut-ups and strange warped vocals mixed with a bossa-nova beat which batters from ear to ear relentlessly.

The wonderfully murderous line 'Kill the Creator, send them the Bomb' sets up the deranged 'Things Happen'. Annie Anxiety's vocals are disturbingly compelling throughout, sounding like she's drank two bottles of whisky before letting rip with a bunch of truly demented rantings. This was a seriously good bit of casting by Coil.

Controversy followed 'Snow' due to it's techno tendencies - rather than the drug related reference. Thankfully it sounds far more tasteful now than it did in '91. A smooth electronic dance beat displays strange swirling whines and groans in the background.

Everything pulls in different directions, leaving a mishmash of styles in 'Love's Secret Domain'. Pre-release statements by Coil described this as 'lighter' and 'more optimistic' than 'Hosrse Rotorvator'. It may be somewhat lighter in feel but it's certainly not more optimistic than previous releases, being far more subtle in its deviousness.

'Dark River' is one of those tunes where the album rises to five stars. An out of place six minute instrumental where beautifully treated acoustic guitar is blended with deep heavy tuneful throbs of bass and odd experimental electronics swish around in the background. This is without doubt the prettiest moment in 'Love's Secret Domain'.

Some Rolf Harris Didgeridoo appears in ' Even The Darkness Is Something To See' A tune with a skip beat that is mashed up and destroyed at its conclusion.

Ultra strange wobbly percussion and throbs of keyboards make up the second part of 'Teenage Lightning' - a fitting reprise to the almost happy lunatic sounding first part.

Windowpane' follows and here's where Coil took a battering. At the time this was criticised as a big sell-out. It even spawned a frankly cheap dodgy video. With the passage of time it has dated well. This is the straightest Coil song you'll ever hear, with its almost 'house' style beat. It's enhanced with the many bloops and bleeps that run rampant throughout. John Balance's vocals are squashed through old style 'Throbbing Gristle' effects leaving an altogether queer and sickly outcome. The ultra loud finale has reversed John Balance vocals bellowing out the line ' 'Gold is the Sky in Concentrate'

A highly agitated and paranoid track called 'Further Back And Faster' follows. Blaring didgeredoo and rapidly echoed drum machine take centre court in a track clearly made by angst ridden weirdos. At almost 8 minutes, it's also the longest track on the album, but is so full of unusual effects that you're not aware of the time lapse.

Marc Almond makes an appearance on 'Titan Arch'. This is the one track that belongs on 'Horse Rotorvator'. A heavy brooding tune that sounds like a public execution is about to happen. Nasty screeching horns and strings are pummeled by a fat throbbing one note bass and for once Almond actually sounds quite cool. Loads of electronic tweakery keeps interest at a maximum. A superb track when listened to on headphones.

Proceedings get a bit noisier and less tuneful with 'Chaostrophy'. Purely electronic and full of sweeping waves of distorted synths, it's the one track that may alienate some listeners. Gradually it morphs into a beautiful finale with gorgeous horns relayed through echo units as colourful strings are plucked towards the end.

'Lorca Not Orca' reprises the 'Teenage Lightning' trilogy - this time being full of flamenco guitar and almost alien robot voices from Jon Pertwee's tenure of Dr Who. Possibly the highlight is the final track and album header 'Love's Secret Domain'. A truly sinister track that has the gall to begin with a drum roll. Another Bossa Nova beat is at the helm as John Balance snarls and growls his way through an almost funky confrontational torrent of hate and misanthropy.

This is Coil's most beguiling and bewildering recording - a hall of mirrors, where nothing makes sense. It chops and changes throughout in an almost drug addled manner. If you can get by the offensive sleeve design (you really don't want to know - just look closely) you could be letting yourself in for a treat.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Coil entered the 1990s by drawing on more accessible strands of electronic music - then- current trends in dance music in particular to produce an album with a subtle balance of Coil's trademark esoteric industrial explorations and material which manages to be approachable and accessible whilst at the same time sounding decidedly uncommercial. Enhanced by the presence of numerous guest musicians - in particular, a womens' chamber micro-orchestra of Audrey Riley, Jane Fenton, Julia Girdwood, Jos Pook, and Sue Dench add a little gravitas to the excellent Chaostrophy - the album has a cohesive sound with the only discordant note being the cover art, which for my part suggests something more medieval and folky than we get here. Expect the unexpected, though, and it'll be delivered.
Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars LOVE'S SECRET DOMAIN is commonly called COIL's accessible album but with a medieval art piece on an outhouse door with such a title, let's just say that "accessible" is only a relative term in the strange musical universe inhabited by COIL. I think it's considered as such mostly because of the fact the timings on the majority of tracks are a steady 4/4 beat and the progressive time signatures aren't as prevalent. This like any COIL album is highly experimental and eclectic and if anything more diverse in the influence department. There is the usual strange multitude of sound effects shrouding every beat and rhythm that emerges but unlike the past releases which focused a lot of time to brooding synthesizer jingles, we do a little more variety in the songwriting on this one.

The album begins with "Disco Hospital" with weird groans and electronic sliding notes before it morphs into a strange glitchy type of techno ambient acid house weirdness. We finally get a nice steady drumbeat to normalize the bizarro effect. It actually then becomes a nice loungy exotica number that even 50s housewives in rural Kentucky would like, well for at least a few seconds anyway, back to weirdness. Next track "Teenage Lightning 1", steady beat, klinks and klanks and bloops and bleeps. Robotron dance party? Nice backing vocals that have a nice digital age quality. Then we get "Things Happen" which has a psychotic female persona semi-singing to acid house beats. There is even a short but sweet flamenco guitar piece at the end with embellishments clearly out of the COIL playbook. There is a plethora of guest musicians on this release as well including Marc Almond from Soft Cell.

This album holds together fairly well and is a nice diverse collection of COIL weirdness to suit my appetite for the sonically demented. A few of the tracks on here would be messed around with and would appear in even stranger forms on the following release "Stolen And Contaminated Songs" and the track "The Snow" which is one of the most danceable of all COIL releases would find its very own EP with several remixes. Personally I can't say this is my favorite album by COIL since it's their dark and highly experimental output that excites me the most, but even when they release things that are somewhat closer to "normal" they managed to keep the sound eclectic and interesting. A great place to start for beginner's who wish to acclimate themselves to the idiosyncrasies of this strange electronic world before diving into the truly "out-there" stuff.

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