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Coil Winter Solstice: North album cover
2.72 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews | 22% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. A White Rainbow (8:53)
2. North (3:45)
3. Magnetic North (8:51)
4. Christmas Is Now Drawing Near (3:30)

Total Time 24:59

Line-up / Musicians

Releases information

Winter Solstice: North is the final release of the four part seasons collective created by Coil. Vocalists Rose McDowall and Robert Lee contribute to the song "Christmas Is Now Drawing Near", a traditional Catholic song. The song features Rosa Mundi.

This album was re-released on Moons Milk (In Four Phases). This album will again be re-released on Moon's Milk In Six Phases.

Thanks to siLLy puPPy for the addition
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COIL Winter Solstice: North ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

COIL Winter Solstice: North reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars WINTER SOLSTICE is the fourth edition in the Season series of limited edition Equinox/Solstice releases by the bizarre experimental electronic act COIL. Unlike the other three seasons that were released in 1998, this one was delayed and came out in 1999. It was initially released limited to 1000 copies on clear vinyl with another 45 signed copies on fluorescent orange vinyl. A second pressing of 300 copies was released on white vinyl. The original vinyl releases contained only the two tracks "A White Rainbow" and "Christmas Is Drawing Near" while the CD versions added the two extra tracks "North" and "Magnetic North." This Season along with the other three CD versions can all be found together on the compilation "Moon's Milk (In Four Phases)"

"A White Rainbow" initiates a industrial drone sound that slightly slides up and down in pitch and then is joined in by an irregular percussive beat and an almost folky type synthesized lick and sung vocals in the foreground with an echo effect of background vocals. This one reminds me of Dead Can Dance in many ways. It has a very strange mix of folk elements and electronica

"North" is focused on creating a harsh ambient background. It almost sounds like a helicopter. A sinister organ slowly joins in and becomes dominant. This is a bizarre dungeon synth track with a steady rhythmic pulse and what sounds like processed vocals shrieking out from the abyss. The vocals become less process and more intelligible while the undulating rhythm pulse continues to stomp about like a mammoth on the frozen tundra

"Magnetic North" is a much calmer track with placid keyboards lulling ambience and spoken poetry. The drone keeps an eerie feel as the poetry becomes more forceful. This is in fact nothing more than ambient backed spoken word poetry that goes on far too long

"Christmas Is Now Drawing Near." While nothing surprises the listener when listening to the surreal musical world of COIL, no one would expect a traditional Catholic Christmas song from them! This one features the extra vocal contributions of Rosa McDowall and Robert Lee. Despite this one being a traditional COIL manages to give it their own personalized freaky feel however this is probably one of the least bizarre tracks on all of the Seasons releases. This one reminds me more of a Loreena McKennitt song than COIL because of the Celtic folk feel but what the hey

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars This EP is the final in a series of 4 CDs that contain music inspired by the seasons. Each one of these CDs is so different, but that is usually the case with Coil, and that is what makes their music so interesting, you never know what to expect. Overall, this one is cold and ambient, the music definitely reflects the empty feeling of the winter season, at least in the north half of the hemisphere.

This EP has 4 tracks. The first track, "White Rainbow" is sparse recording, at least most of the way through, with inconsistent percussion, vocals that sound like Brendan Perry from "Dead Can Dance", except with all electronic synths and sounds. The song is sung in a chant style, but with one voice, no harmonies. This sparseness continues most of the way through, but towards the last few minutes, strange electronic noises start to take over the track until it obliterates the drone and vocals that have been dominating the song.

Next is "North" which is comprised of metallic electronic sounds, again quite ambient with a soft rhythm underneath. There is a lot of echo, and you can hear a indiscernible and processed voice that sounds like it is echoing through a dark hallway. No melody here, just experimental and spooky ambience.

"Magenetic North", the third track, is another electronic drone, with varying tones that swirl around. There are subdued, almost whispered, and tuneless vocals. There is no rhythm here, it's just mostly quiet and subdued. The feeling is loneliness and isolation. The best way to experience this is with a good set of headphones, in a darkened room, with your eyes closed. It's also a good time to take a nap, because it goes on for 8 minutes.

It's not Winter without a Christmas song, so, Coil puts a traditional folk song on as the last track. Titled "Christmas is Now Drawing Near", it is sung and performed by guests "Rosa Mundi". It is a Catholic song, and it sounds like it, with a little Celtic feeling to it. Strings provide a drone like sound while keyboards provide atmosphere, keeping things cold and mostly dark.

Strangely enough, the short EP is very relaxing, even with it's dark and somber tones. It is quite ambient and mostly drone- like, and you almost wish for something a little upbeat, but you don't get it here. It is decent enough for lovers of ambient drone music, and those interested in Electronic Prog might want to try it out. Otherwise, it is not very interesting. As a fan of ambient electronic music that is done well, I really have a hard time getting into this one. You would probably be better off finding the compilation "Moon's Milk" which contains the 4 EPs in this series, as they do work better together than they do separately. Otherwise, this lone EP is only for collectors and fans.

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