Coil were an English experimental music group formed in 1982 in London and dissolved in 2005. Initially envisioned as a solo project by musician John Balance (of the band Psychic TV), Coil evolved into a full-time project with the addition of his partner and Psychic TV bandmate Peter Christopherson, formerly of pioneering industrial music group Throbbing Gristle. Coil's work explored themes related to the occult, sexuality, alchemy, and drugs while influencing genres such as gothic rock, neofolk and dark ambient. AllMusic called the group "one of the most beloved, mythologized groups to emerge from the British post-industrial scene."
After the release of their 1984 debut EP How to Destroy Angels, Coil joined Some Bizzare Records, through which they released two full-length albums, Scatology (1985) and Horse Rotorvator (1986). In 1985, the group began working on a series of soundtracks, among them the rejected score for the first Hellraiser film. After departing from Some Bizzare, Coil established their own record label, Threshold House, through which they produced and released Love's Secret Domain (1991). Financial difficulties slowed the group's work in the early 1990s before they returned to the project on releases such as Astral Disaster (1999), and the Musick to Play in the Dark series composed of Vol. 1 (1999) and Vol. 2 (2000), as well as releasing several projects under aliases such as Black Light District, ELpH, and Time Machines.
Balance and Christopherson were the only constant members; other contributors throughout the band's career included Stephen Thrower, Danny Hyde, Drew McDowall, William Breeze, Thighpaulsandra and Ossian Brown. With involvement from these members, the group also started several smaller independent vanity labels, including Eskaton and Chalice. The group's first live performance in 16 years occurred in 1999, and began a series of mini-tours that would last until 2004. Following the accidental death of John Balance on 13 November 2004, Christopherson formally announced that Coil as a creative entity had ceased to exist, ending the Coil discography with The Ape of Naples (2005). Posthumous releases and compilations of unreleased material have since followed this, with Drew McDowall and Danny Hyde leading the project's archive.
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