Industrial music and the avant-garde have always had a tightly-wound relationship. The first industrial acts were essentially experimental acts like Einstürzende Neubauten, Throbbing Gristle, and today’s highlight, Coil, that all eschewed the traditional electronic music of the time (the growing idea of new wave music) in favor of something dark and mechanical.
And arguably no industrial band was darker than Coil. To this day, the collaboration of Peter Christopherson and John “Jhonn” Balance under this eponym has been a symbol of serious musical exploration. Although Balance and Christopherson have both since passed, their legacy has lived on through their pioneering contributions to industrial music (with their first two albums Scatalogy and Horse Rotorvator) and generally experimental music. Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) considers them to a primary influence of his, to the point of actually naming a project of his after the band’s EP How To Destroy Angels.
The Ape of Naples is Coil’s final release, and is dedicated to the memory of John Balance, as he died before its completion. While the album has moments that verge into industrial, its something completely its own—a release that, above everything else, supplies a dark morose tone via unorthodox sound and instrumentation.