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Coil - Love's Secret Domain  CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

4.30 | 22 ratings

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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.

Dobermensch | 5/5 |


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