Coil - Black Antlers (2004)
Black Antlers marked a departure for Coil moving away from pure electronic sound to the inclusion of acoustic instruments. With the release of The Ape of Naples, a somewhat muddled affair cobbled from sessions some 13 years old, Black Antlers is perhaps a more accurate reflection of Coil's latter musical direction cut short as it was by the tragic death of John Balance. Given that only one of these tracks surfaced on The Ape of Naples then these may yet become the definitive versions of these tracks. In hindsight, Black Antlers is strewn with veiled premonitions of Balance's impending fate no more tellingly than on 'Sex With Sun Ra' where he casts off the comment that "most accidents occur at home". The queasy electronics of 'The Gimp (Sometimes)' where the layered and effected voice of Balance expresses a deep sense of self-loathing in the lines "sometimes I hate myself". There's also the emotive reading of the Appalachian lullaby, 'All The Pretty Little Horses' where Balance delivers a powerful and mournful vocal take to the marimba backing that is almost swallowed up by the searing and soaring electronics. It's a beautiful song and its poignancy cannot be missed.