Important records do as their name implies and commit to vinyl Coil's final and considered by many to be masterpiece album The Ape of Naples. A haunting, yet delicately beautiful LP that goes a long way to showing the breadth of talent as songwriters and musicians the duo of Jhonn Balance and Peter Christopherson were, and why the music they created as Coil has had such a lasting impact.
Originally released little over a year after the untimely passing of Jhonn Balance, The Ape of Naples was not as much a snapshot of Coil in their unknown at the time, final chapter but more a compilation of sorts. The material dated from 1993 to 2004 and includes live tracks and remixes, assembled and reworked in 2005 by Peter Christopherson. The Ape of Naples was originally released on the duo's Threshold House imprint in a limited run of CD's and a triple acetate, LP edition limited to 23 copies only.
The Ape of Naples is an album cherished by Coil admires the world over, yet stands tall as a firm favourite for many non-fans alike. Fusing manipulated samples from their archived recordings made through the years and featuring Jhonn's final words uttered on stage (in a startling cover, more about that later). This is an album where every step is followed silently by a feeling of impending loss, reflected solemnly in the lyrics of Tattooed Man with its line "There's a man lying down in a grave somewhere, with the same tattoos as me".
Ending the album with the final song ever performed live by the duo, a cover of "Going Up?", the theme song from the classic British sitcom "Are You Being Served?" the piece in the hands of Coil takes on a staunch, funeral-like stare. Slowly stepping forward and moving ahead, the vocals intertwined in the repetition of the lines "Going up" and "It just is". An incredible ending to what was one of the most unique groups and one of the most unique recordings to ever grace this mortal, Coil.