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Coil - Astral Disaster CD (album) cover

ASTRAL DISASTER

Coil

 

Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 7 ratings

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Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer
4 stars With a running order that is wrong on the CD packaging through a manufacturing fault - the tracks are all back to front.

Queasy swarms of electronic bees in the form of a so called 'Syrinx' synthesiser herald the introduction of this very strange album. In which the introductory tune 'Avatar' sung by John Balance (lead vocalist) states that the inspiration was the fact that Jimmy Page once said that film-maker Kenneth Anger was an 'Avatar'. A pure spirit incarnated on Earth.

Red Indian Comanche funereal drumming starts the ritual music of 'The Mothership and the Fatherland'. Supposedly about Nazi UFO''s, this grabs my attention any day of the week. It's repetitive to the core until whining keyboards create a hypnotic trance as a frozen shivery electronically manipulated vocals gradually emerge amongst the fog, sounding like a freezing cat being slowly strangled. There are many similarities with Tangerine Dream's 'Zeit' keyboard approach present.

Surprisingly recorded in just two days over Halloween, Astral Disaster has a feeling of impending doom and catastrophe throughout.

The undoubted highlight of 'Astral Disaster' is 'The Sea Priestess' a name 'Aleister Crowley' once claimed his own. It's a 14 minute slab of heaviness without a drum or guitar in sight. A downward emotional spiral, beginning with metallic chimes retaining the 'Zeit' keyboards. Booming echoed John Balance vocals really make you sit up to attention as all sorts of abominations appear to be revealed to all. It's very uncomfortable listening and not at all 'Work Friendly' due to the morose atmosphere created. Next to Crass's 'Reality Asylum' this is probably the most upsetting song I've ever heard. It's the manner in which it's delivered with such ominousness yet deadness that really hits home and quite frankly leaves me an emotional wreck.

The next track 'I Don't Want to be the One' is more forgettable after the slab of doom that preceded it. Here, old 70's style Kraftwerk technology is used amongst some crazed vocals, but it's not that good, and in a way I'm glad just to get that last tune out of my head.

Muur- can be described as follows - 'MU' was the earths landmass before even the Cambrian period when everything was lumped together in one big blob. The 'UR' means 'proto' and 'earlier'.

Springy elastic warps of electric sounds detonate and release further noises of indeterminate origin as a warped vocal by John Balance bleats out unhappy lyrics basically sounding like one of the droids in 'Star Wars'. It's all deeply creepy with lyrics about being 'kicked to death on a beach' before prettily plucked strings manifest as deep drones of hopelessness leave you shattered and bewildered. As if that wasn't enough some beautiful tuneful piano is played to the end which electronically deteriorates enormously just before the conclusion.

A truly devastating blow to the head which will either leave you feeling thoughtful and contemplative or downright miserable and fed up. Honestly, I don't think I've felt this bad after listening to an album in my life even though I've owned the thing since 1999. Admittedly It's the first time I've heard it in 5 years but by God...

A very distressing album and unlike anything you'll hear in the Archives.

Dobermensch | 4/5 |

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