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Coil How To Destroy Angels album cover
4.04 | 7 ratings | 1 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. How To Destroy Angels (16:45)
2. Absolute Elsewhere (22:36)

Total Time 39:21

Line-up / Musicians

- John Balance / performer
- Peter Christopherson / performer

Thanks to siLLy puPPy for the addition
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COIL How To Destroy Angels ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(57%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

COIL How To Destroy Angels reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

Amongst the earlier techno flavored albums released by COIL, this first extended play release HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS focused on a meditative otherworldly mix of ritual ambient and droney industrial textures that conspired to create a bizarre amalgamation of sounds that transcend 3D reality. Subtitled "Ritual Music For The Accumulation Of Male Sexual Energy," this collection of two lengthy tracks that still extends to a near 40 minute playing time was originally intended to be the B-side to the track "Silence & Secrecy" by Psychic TV but due to John Balance and Peter Christopherson leaving became an early aspect of the COIL universe.

As with most of COIL's early output this one is mired in mystery and ambiguity. Originally released on L.A.Y.L.A.H Antirecords in 1984 it was later repressed in 1988 but never found its way onto any other format than vinyl 12", however remixes were crafted and the HOW TO DESTROY ANGELS "New Remixes and Recordings" emerged in 1992 on CD format. Add to that of the the two lengthy tracks that swallow up each side of the original vinyl, the second side "Absolute Nowhere" varies during the repressing. It started out as simple noise-filled grooves on the first edition and then became multi-layered music on the second.

This two track EP takes the cosmic otherworldliness of early progressive electronic acts such as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze and creates bizarre soundscapes outside of the Berlin School continuum. The title track sounds most like a mix of a Tibetan Bhuddist ceremony with a steady percussive flow of metal percussion such as on cymbals, gongs and other metallic devices that make nice resonance. The synthesized parts are more ambient and flow like gentle clouds in the skies above with no rhyme or reason but still offer a subtle exchange of tones, timbres and dynamics that never get too wild.

The second side consists of the lengthy "Absolute Elsewhere" which clocks in near 24 minutes and is eerily hypnotic and will only be accessible to those who have mastered the ability to meditate for long periods of time. A droning sound that sounds like a dial tone on 20th century telephones before dialing is accompanied only by what sounds like the scratchy end of a record where the loops of staticky contact are in a perpetual loop for eternity. I can understand why the monotony of this one will not appeal to all but for me this experience is literally transcendental. It's almost like a bridge between the third and the fourth densities of consciousness and the portal to get there with a high pitched soundtrack.

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