The Quietus ran a retrospective on Coil‘s career for the one year anniversary of Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson’s death:
Through a potent trinity of chemically-altered states, occult arcana and technological transmutation, Coil was, perhaps, the strangest and occasionally the most frightening of bands. While their twenty year history saw much in the way of personal turmoil and tragedies as they moved through the extreme hedonism and post-AIDS fallout of London’s gay clubland to a more hermetic but no less intoxicated existence on England’s South West coast, John Balance (née Geff Rushton) and Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson remained true to their original intentions to explore, as the cover of their debut release puts it: “How sound can affect the physical and mental state of the serious listener”. Such explorations produced a unique and incomparable body of work that not only charts a most unconventional route through emergent musical technologies, but also signposts a hellishly complex set of references to occult theories and deviant figures throughout history (from Aleister Crowley to William S Burroughs) along the way. But the high physical and mental cost of their creative processes often lead to long gaps in their output. Indeed, the most elusive album in their back catalogue eluded the band themselves: Backwards, originally intended as a follow-up to 1991’s Love’s Secret Domain, was mentioned in the band’s semi-regular updates describing sessions with mainstream players such as Tim Simenon and Trent Reznor, yet the album was never released (although some of the recordings were later re-arranged posthumously for The Ape of Naples and its companion piece, The New Backwards).