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Comus - Diana CD (album) cover

DIANA

Comus

 

Prog Folk

2.74 | 26 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Diana was the first releases from infamous prog/ acid folk Comus. Diana preceded Comus debut album First Utterance which was released in February 1971. Diana was released one month earlier in January 1971. Note that it says 33― Maxi single on the cover, so this is not an ordinary single and the playing time is 15:15 minutes. There are three songs on Diana and thatīs the title track and the two outtakes from the First Uttererance sessions: In the Lost Queenīs Eyes and Winter is a Coloured Bird.

Comus is probably one of the most underrated bands of the early british progressive rock scene but their music is certainly not easy to digest. This is the kind of band that either turns you on or completely turns you off. First Utterance is infamous for itīs brutal and repulsive lyrics about rape, murder and mental illness, but itīs also famous for its beautiful acoustic guitar playing, tribal like percussion, beautiful violin and flute, folky female singing and of course the strange psychotic vocals from Roger Wootton. A truly unique album and a progressive masterpiece IMO.

Diana was the first track on First Utterance and the version on the maxi single is the same as the one on the album. Diana is actually a Colin Pearson ( Violin, Viola) penned song which is important to note as everybody seems to think that Roger Wootton wrote all Comus material. He wrote most of it and Glen Goring made the arrangements, but Diana was written by classically trained violinist Colin Pearson. To those of you who donīt know First Utterance yet ( shame on you) and therefore havenīt heard Diana itīs a pretty psychotic prog folk song with lyrics about the rape of a virgin girl. Very intense female and especially male vocals are a treat in this song. There is also some wild percussion in the song. Comus didnīt have a drummer and there are lots of powerful percussion in their music. Another noteworthy mention is that progressive death metal band Opeth have used a line from Diana that reads: And she knows by the sound of the baying, by the baying of the hounds. This line is used on Opethīs Ghost Reveries album to name the song The Baying of the Hounds. Opeth composer, guitarist and singer Mikael Åkerfeldt has on more than one occasion proclaimed that he is a big fan of Comus.

In the Lost Queenīs Eyes has beautiful female and male vocals and itīs a very melodic song. Itīs also a very short track that pleases but doesnīt impress much out of the ordinary.

Winter is a Coloured Bird is the last song on the maxi single and the longest with itīs 8:01 minutes. Itīs a sombre track with some intense vocals and a dark violin backing. All done in an acid folky style.

The musicinship is excellent and the production is perfect for the music.

If youīre familiar with First Utterance you should definitely seek this one out, but you can also get the Song to Comus boxset which includes everything ever recorded by the band. This includes Diana, an unreleased track from the First Utterance sessions, First Utterance, the second album called To Keep from Crying and a Roger Wootton single recorded shortly after Comus disbanded ( for the second time) in 1974. I would love to give Diana 4 stars but itīs hardly essential even though itīs good so itīs either a big 3 star rating or a small 4 star rating and Iīll have to go with the first suggestion here so Iīll rate Diana 3 big stars. This one is mostly for the fans. If youīre curious about Comus check out their official website which is really informative and of course get First Utterance as soon as possible. That one is a progressive masterpiece.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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