Unnatural History II (Smiling in the Face of Perversity)

January 1995

Cover Image

UK CD Threshold House LOCI CD 10

  1. Red Weather [BETHEL]
  2. theme from "Blue" 1 [LOCIS1]
  3. Airborne Bells [XPIG22]
  4. Another Brown World [SUB004]
  5. Contains a Disclaimer [PATHCD1]
  6. The Hellraiser Theme [COIL1, LOCI1]
  7. In Memory of the Truth
  8. Unquiet Rest
  9. Wait, Then Return
  10. The Hellbound Heart [COIL1]
  11. The Box Theme [COIL1]
  12. No New World [COIL1]
  13. Vanishing Point [COIL1]
  14. The Main Title [COIL1]
  15. theme from "Blue" 2 - [MP3] [LOCIS1]
    The Hills Are Alive - [MP3]

John Balance
Peter Christopherson (except 1)
Drew McDowall (2, 15)
Stephen Thrower (3-14)
Peter Smith - artwork

A collection of tracks that originally appeared on various compilations and limited edition releases along with three previously unreleased tracks ("In Memory of the Truth", "Unquiet Rest", "Wait, Then Return") recorded during the same sessions as the Hellraiser material.
"Vanishing Point" is a retitled version of "Attack of the Sennapods" from Hellraiser Themes.
"The Hills Are Alive" is not listed on the cover, and appears on the same CD track as "Theme From Blue II" following several moments of silence.

Overall impression: excellent. The 3rd installment of the Unnatural History series, this one covers compilation and outtake material from 1985 - 1996, 6/10ths from the '90s. The amazing diversity of this always intriguing band is again put on display here. The 80's material is similar to the 80's albums, such as "Horse Rotorvator" and the 90's material is much like the "Stolen & Contaminated Songs" cd. A little bit of every style Coil has touched on is represented on this cd; beats, ambience, vocals, noise, misc sounds, orchestral, etc, etc. "First Dark Ride" and "Baby Food" are amazing journeys in sound, "Music for Commercials" are short and interesting, "Panic" is crude, "Neither His Nor Yours" is quirky, "Feeder" is a beautifully stark and noise filled collaboration, "Wrong Eye" is an early sketch of "Windowpane", "Meaning What Exactly" is an extended intro for "Things Happen", "Scope" is noisy and "Lost Rivers of London" is an almost spoken piece by John with intriguing musical backing. I think I like this one better than the previous one, UH II, but both are very good. Really good artwork on this one by Nick Blinko and Coil. It's hard to say if this is a good place to start a Coil collection, due to the diversity of the back catalogue and this collection itself, but it's certainly a must for any devoted Coil fan. Plus, it's easily attainable (but rather price-y) unlike the out of print "Horse Rotorvator" and "Love's Secret Domain" albums. - Mark Weddle, Brainwashed

I just got this in the mail from Soleilmoon this weekend. Not a bad little collection of tracks; I have about half the stuff on it, but only in the form of tape dubs, so I'm glad to have them on CD.

"Red Weather" was nice to hear finally, though a bit disappointing. I've heard that its from the same recording session as "S is for Sleep", and it certainly does have a lot of the same elements, though "S is for Sleep" makes more interesting use of subliminal elements.

The "remixed and remastered" aspect is noticeable in places; "Airborne Bells" is essentially the same track, but there seems to be a subtle difference in the way it sounds, I think due to remastering it for CD. The ending to "'Contains A Disclaimer'" has been altered slightly from the original on the Pathological comp. and "The Hellraiser Theme" seems to have a few new sounds in it as well.

The lost Hellraiser tracks are wonderful, even stronger than the previously released tracks, IMO. I particularly like "Unquiet Rest" which shows Coil in a very Zamia Lehmanni-esque mood; in fact, I'd almost think they were sampling from ZL, except that I think "Hellraiser" was a few years before this. What's with the abrupt ending to this track though?

The "Themes from 'Blue'" were pretty good techno Coil tracks; I got a big kick out of the second one, with its "KC and the Sunshine Band"-style opening. I am curious what these tracks actually had to do with "Blue", however; I have the "Blue" soundtrack and I don't remember either of these tracks as being in there (the only Coil element I recognized in the soundtrack was the oboe from Love's Secret Domain) nor did I recognize any sounds from the movie in this track. Perhaps they were some sorts of "Aphex Twin mixes".

It was nice that they included "The Hills are Alive" (the hidden track), since, completist as I am, I had no intention of picking up an expensive second-rate techno comp just to get it.

UHII is good collection of tracks, but it really had more the feel of a collection of tracks than the more coherent Unnatural History did, perhaps because it was covering a wider period than the first one did;

by Peter Werner -

Regarding Another Brown World and Contains a Disclaimer, according to Coil, the recordings werde made in Birma/Burma at a place called Pagan (believe it or not) which is basically a field of animistic cult sites and temples. There is one mountain/hill called Popo on whose top there is a temple and which has a spiralling pathway upwards to that temple which is spotted with sacrificial plattforms and cult places all of pre-buddhist origin. The temple has been taken over by buddhist but, the older religions are still held to be valid. On the day Coil were there an old monch was singing these animistic magical verses and they asked whether they could record his voices if they were to donate something to the temple. He agrees and so he appeared on Another Brown World.... This could be a rather rare recording being taken in 1987 before the stronger influence of the military forces in Birma molding buddhism into the state religion......