Coil + Zos Kia + Marc Almond ‎– How To Destroy Angels

Cold Spring ‎– CSR263CD
CD, Remastered

Tracklist Hide Credits

1 Coil How To Destroy Angels (A Slow Fade To Total Transparency)
Composed By – Balance*, Gosling*, Almond*, Christopherson*Mixed By [Live Mix] – Peter ChristophersonVocals – Marc Almond
2 Coil How To Destroy Angels (Zos Kia Remix)
Composed By – Balance*, Christopherson*Programmed By, Mixed By – Jim WhelanSaxophone – Isabelle Scortanu
3 Zos Kia Baptism Of Fire
Bass – John BalanceComposed By – Balance*, Gosling*, Kent*Drums – Min Kent*Mixed By [Live Mix] – Peter ChristophersonVocals, Guitar – John Gosling

Companies, etc.



Released in 6-panel glossy Digipak. All orders direct from Cold Spring come with an exclusive artcard.

Track 1: Recorded live at The Air Gallery 24/8/83
Track 3: Recorded live at the Recession Studios 12/10/83

© Cold Spring Records 2018

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text): 0641871745159
  • Matrix / Runout: CSR263CD

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February 10, 2019

Here we have an uncut, longer version of Coil's first ever live performance from 1983, released originally on the "Transparent" CD and the previous "How to Destroy Angels" CD, which have already been remastered and re-issued before, as recently as 2017, and received scathing reviews from me.

I am a Coil fanatic, obsessed for many years with their unique pagan ambient ethos and luminous, clear sound design, and so I feel compelled to make it clear that this album represents very little of what made Coil unique. It is little more than an exploratory stumble by inexperienced artists who have yet to find their direction. I had hope I would not have to contend with continued posthumous attempts to milk the so-called value of this early performance, separated by many years from all of Coil's notable works, and with few traces of the artists' personalities, which I grew to recognize.

The record label is doing a significant amount of hype and puffery to ascribe undue importance to this recording. The press release, for example, states, "Imagine how out-of-step with the dominant culture Coil were when they unveiled themselves in the Air Gallery", painting the album as a transgressive, bold new sound and political statement. I couldn't disagree more, as the murky noise found on this album is all too typical of early 80's industrial/noise improvisation, as heard on countless nameless cassette releases and bootlegs, with little to distinguish it from Throbbing Gristle performances aside from the fact that the person doing the spoken narrations is not Genesis P-Orridge.

In contrast to previously released versions of this performance, there is a 23 minute, titular opening track which contains an unbroken longform narration in a thick British accent, apparently spoken by Marc Almond, though I wouldn't have recognized his voice as the singing voice I know. The words are discernable if one focuses, and I can make out grisly descriptions of the negative physiology effects of snorting cocaine and other drugs. Faint siren wails of feedback undulate in a loop behind the voice.

Confusingly, the liner notes state that all audio found on this release is exclusive and previously unreleased, a strange statement for a document of a live performance which has been released multiple times, albeit before in abridged form. Indeed, doing a direct A to B comparison, I don't notice any of the same sounds or passages as found on previous releases, noting that the previous versions of "Transparent" contain a far greater presence of obliterated harsh noise and shrill, female screaming. This version is primarily narration, and light on the noise.

Where did these recordings come from? How long was the original live performance? How can this be an unabridged version if it is does not contain any of the same parts as the original issue? While these things are not clear, I suppose I don't care, seeing as I don't enjoy or ascribe much value to any part of the performance, or any of these re-issues. If the label's intention was to create some kind of definitive version of this recording, they have utterly failed, as one needs both versions in order to have all of the released audio. The different re-issues seem to reflect wholly different performances (which is not possible as Coil is widely known to have done only this single performance in 1983), or different parts of the same performance which do not overlap in any capacity. In addition to this, the sound quality is dismal, far below even the more blown out sounding disks of the Throbbing Gristle live box sets which came out more than 15 years ago. As such, this is a shameful cash grab. Coil is literally dead. There is no more to be discovered. My recommendation is to treat any further such re-issues with extreme suspicion, and do not pay money for them.