Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography



Progressive Electronic

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Coil How To Destroy Angels album cover
2.73 | 9 ratings | 3 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Write a review

Buy COIL Music
from partners
Studio Album, released in 1992

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Sleeper (2:01)
2. Remotely (16:55)
3. The Sleeper II (5:20)
4. Tectonic Plates (6:58)
5. Dismal Orb (7:32)
6. How To Destroy Angels II (16:26)
7. Absolute Elsewhere (0:01)

Line-up / Musicians

- John Balance, Peter Christopherson, Steven Stapleton / All instruments, electronics and effects

Releases information

Treshold House

Thanks to philippe for the addition
Edit this entry

Buy COIL How To Destroy Angels Music

More places to buy COIL music online

COIL How To Destroy Angels ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (11%)

COIL How To Destroy Angels reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars This is the first Coil record I ever bought, and as such it holds a rather special place in my collection. It contains a number of remixes and reworkings of one of the band's earliest tracks "How To Destroy Angels." The original piece was made entirely with gongs and other metallic percussion and is one of the landmark achievements of early industrial music. Here, we have a variety of studio manipulations that surpass the earlier version in imagination and atmosphere.

"The Sleeper," at a mere two minutes, isolates and focuses on a weird pulsing sound like a wet jumprope being swung around. "Dismal Orb" strips away all but the most minimal of textures and simply hangs in the air, like swamp gas.

"Tectonic Plates" is a highlight, filled with violent scraping and grinding noises. It lives up to its title completely, as it conjures up images of vast rock formations smashing against each other under the mounting pressure of liquid magma. The vast array of effects the band is able to achieve from such simple source material is astonishing.

The album also includes a full length remix of the original sixteen minute "How To Destroy Angels" by Steven Stapleton (Nurse With Wound.) Unfortunately, the remixing is too subtle to really be noticeable unless you listen to the two side by side. The upside of this is that listeners who have been unable to acquire the the compilation "Unnatural History," on which the original track appears, now have a chance to hear it.

The album concludes with one second of silence, entitled "Absolute Elsewhere." This is a reference to the original one-sided vinyl, on which the blank side was labeled with this title. This albums is often referred to as an EP, owing to it's rather specific nature, but its length spans a good fifty minutes. More than satisfactory, considering the quality of the material.

Review by Dobermensch
1 stars Probably the best named album of all time. Unfortunately that's as high an accolade I can bestow on this Coil release. It's a complete departure from all their previous releases, being completely vocal free and unfortunately tune free.

'How to Destroy Angels' could be described as what sounds like the creation of life itself from primordial soup in the Cambrian era of Earth's history- 500 million years ago. That point in time where all sorts of strange looking fan-like creatures swam about in oceans full of feathered plankton that were destined to die.

Swirling groans and grumbles are the order of the day as occasional swooshes and rattles suddenly frighten the life out of the listener if played at high volume.

According to the liner notes it's about an angel with eyes all over its body for every soul in the world, and when someone dies, one of the eyes closes and the angel scoops them up in a bag. What the hell is that all about?

There are certain similarities with 'Lustmord' with its cavernous feel, but there's a lot more going on at ground level with a multitude of strange electronic effects warbling and hissing. This is indeed a very strange album. One which won't endear many first time listeners to 'Coil'. 'The Sleeper' has some semblace of tune as a wobbly keyboard plays a single note and wheezing airy effects shuffle from ear to ear.

'Tectonic Plates' suddenly throws a bunch of clashing cymbal like electronic noise in my face. So loud that the volume has to take a massive downwards leap before my ears bleed. My tinnitus is bad enough already thank you very much 'Coil'.

In all honesty I hardly ever play this, and there's a reason for that. It's simply unlistenable. I can't think of any instance in my moods or feelings when I'd want to hear this.

I'm a big 'Musique Concrete' fan. I love the juxtaposition of random noise as purported by the likes of 'Robert Normandeau' and 'Francis Dhomont'. 'Coil', however seem to get it all wrong here. 'How to Destroy Angels' is jarring in the extreme. The deep industrial sounds are good but the sudden volume surges really leave me feeling angry.

The lengthy 16 minute 'How to Destroy Angels 2' introduces treated Tibetan singing bowls and gongs which is a bit more pleasant to the ear. This is probably the kind of track 'Aleister Crowley' would have played on his i-pod had he been around today. It has a ritualistic feel as though played during a Satanic Mass. Imagine my disappointment then when I've nothing else to say about it. It drags on far too long, unless of course you're a fan of the sacrificial slaughter of virgins.

One to avoid for all but the hardiest 'Coil' fans.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars COIL's ambitious recording work ethic led to many tracks being rerecorded, remixed or completely reinterpreted over the years and one of the first of these collections of new inspirations emerged with the 1992 version of HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS only with the tagged on subtitle "(New Remixes and Recordings)" to distinguish it from the 1984 EP of the same name.

While the original EP only consisted of the 17 minute title track and the one second of silence at the end titled "Absolute Elsewhere," this remix album contains six tracks that reimagine the same track in various different ways. This album was the collaborative effort of COIL itself meaning John Balance and Peter Christopherson along with Steven Stapleton of Nurse With Wound.

Balance remixed "The Sleeper," "The Sleeper II" and "Tectonic Plates," Christopherson remixed "Remotely" and "Dismal Orb" and Stapleton remixed "How To Destroy Angels II." "Absolute Elsewhere" remained the same unmixed silence as on the original EP :D Generally speaking the tracks are so radically different from one another that's it's almost impossible to tell that they are indeed spawned from the same source.

HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS Remixes is an extremely dark and bleak journey through the deep darkened harshness that evokes the chilling sounds of some terrifying underworld. While it may be difficult to even call this music due to the incessant industrial droning effect and the wild and unpredictable synthesized sounds that simulate everything from beastly breathing to hydraulic systems having a very bad day, this collection of reinterpretations does hit the spot if you are seeking some of the most sadistic sounds possible.

This 1992 Remix album is almost always one of the lowest rated and under appreciated COIL releases when you gaze upon the lengthy canon list that spans four decades of releases and i can totally understand the reason for this. Firstly, there's relatively little to grasp on to and much less to relate to in any sense of musical structures or patterns. This one is all about freaky unnerving sounds that are designed to terrify.

For that it works quite well but even though COIL is one of my favorite artists of all time, i have to admit that i rarely play this one but when i do i am utterly in awe as this instantly makes me feel as if i'd been transported into a virtual reality set of an H.R. Giger scene from Necronomicon and although my desire to go there often rarely occurs, when i do have the urge to experience the bleakest existence possible in terms of sound then an album like HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS is exactly what Dr Evil ordered.

3.5 rounded down

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of COIL "How To Destroy Angels"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.