Coil is not your average band, it is not something you love and try to collect all the records and everything connected to the project. Coil is not popular band, instead it has all those people who are fascinated with their art. Coil is not the cult, Coil is something that you are living with it - inside your soul.
Coil is the art project, emerged from the ashes of Throbbing Gristle, it is the part of clique gathered around ideas and art that started with TG, but with advanced technological possibilities to dive even further into new-new age philosophy, new art directions, spiritualism, explorations in sexual freedoms, and of course out-there limits of art in capitalistic material world. People gathered in that clique, have been often called a pioneers in industrial and electronic music, with theirs projects like: Psychic TV, Nurse With Wound, NON aka Douglas McCarthy, Current 93, Death In June, Chris&Cosey (latest project Carter Tutti Void), Thighpaulsandra and others, for poor me, obscure projects. And all of those people exchange their ideas and often collaborate with each others - creating certain visual image, that sometimes is misunderstood. For instance Coil described their music as: "Ritual music for the accumulation of male sexual energy."
So far with the Coil, I consider myself a huge fan of their work, and aware of every stage of their development and experimentation. But for those of you who are not introduce with them, you will find that is very hard to find, buy, and collect all of their material - official and bootleg material. It's because they operated without major distributors and labels. I encourage you to go out and discover more for yourself, prepare your money savings and dive into the strangely beautiful world of Coil and other mentioned projects. Trivia: do you know that Coil made entirely soundtrack for Clive Barker's Hellraiser. Yes that one with cenobites, but soundtrack was canceled.
Sad thing is that: Coil doesn't exist anymore: both original and core members are dead now: John Balance, real name Geoffrey Laurence Burton (16.2.1962 - 13.11.2004), and Peter Sleazy Christopherson (27.2.1955 - 25.11.2010), but their legacy still lives on, and their is no way of stopping it. The are certain people who have legal rights and other living members are eager to release all of their unreleased material. Their is too many hungry ears that can't wait to hear those lost tapes, so only we can do is wait for something new to be released.
Well Backwards is one of the "lost albums". Recorded in New Orleans, with producer genius Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails, How to Destroy Angels - trivia: How To Destroy Angels, Reznor's projects is named after Coil's first ever released EP, so that makes him Coil fanatic like us). They entered the studio just after they finished their masterpiece Love's Secret Domain, they didn't polish and post produced album (for me reason are unknown), but after that, starts a new phase in their career, they have released one of most famous albums till this date Musick to Listen in the Dark Vol I ( and later Vol II.). So music-wise Backwards is some kind of connection between those two musical phases. As I said true fans know the difference between harsh beauty and rhythmical Love's Secret Domain album, and mystical and slowly, dark-in-the-woods Musick I and II albums.
Backwards contains almost same tracks as last official Coil album The New Backwards, but only as early versions, demo-like, but they contain certain power and rawness. Also there are some tracks from other compilations, but in different versions.
It would be easy to say "hey there is nothing new", but it is essential to see how Coil's art changes, and why are there such a radical shifts in the albums and shows diversity in their work, cause 20 years has pass. Also, if you go deep with the Coil discography to really understand psychological change into authors vision of certain piece of art.
And one more thing. This is not part of official studio albums discography. As we saw, both of core members are not with us, but there is a body of work, and with pleasure we will go and dig it, and trying to connect the dots and mystery behind phenomenon that is Coil. Yes there are better LPs and releases, but this one is another chapter, and there are conformations that there will be more music from the vault. Can't wait.
Coil is like the gnostic book of alchemy with hyper-text, that can be read from backwards, from beginning, even up-side down, then there is codes in the text, codes in the pages, codes in pictures. That's sounds like serious fun, but real Coil fan is not having fun. He is learning and seeks for... something.
So the question is: is it worth the money? Well if you consider yourself a Coil-ist, there is no doubt - get it! But if you are beginner, you can easily go to Love Secret Domain, Horse Rotorvator, or even Scatology, and don't forget . But if have heard of Coil, then there is perfect compilation: A Guide For Beginners: Silver Voice, and A Guide For Finishers: Golden Hair compilation, for me it's some kind of "greatest hits." (somewhere you can find it as one release under the name: The Golden Hair With Golden Voice).
"See The Black Sun Rise, From The Solar Lodge" Coil - Solar Lodge