"The Price of Existence is Eternal Warfare": Industrial Masculinity and Coil

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Book Chapter

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Publication Title

Music at the Extremes: Essays on Sounds Outside the Mainstream


The British band Coil, centered around musician-cum-artists John Balance and Peter Christopherson, has always been difficult to situate generically. Formed in 1982 after the dissolution of the first industrial band Throbbing Gristle left members Christopherson, Chris Carter, Cosey Fanni Tutti, and Genesis P-Orridge free to develop more personal projects, Coil has always been viewed historically as constituting part of the second wave of British industrial music. Not only do Balance and Christopherson feature prominently in both industrial music fanzines and scholarly histories of the genre, but their work is frequently categorized under the label "goth/industrial" by record stores and websites. In a review of the band's last official album The Ape of Naples, for example, a contributor to the website Sputnik Music calls Coil " one of the most influential Industrial bands ever" and credits them with having "formed the entire sound [of the genre]."


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