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Comus - First Utterance CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.16 | 548 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Another one of those albums that just amaze me. COMUS managed only two albums and then disappeared. "First Utterance" was their debut, originally released in 1971 on the Dawn label. They are often thought of as a folk-rock band, but there are major difference between COMUS and well-known acts as FAIRPORT CONVENTION or STEELEYE SPAN. Neither of those groups would create music so sinister, both in atmosphere and in lyrics. Neither would they have a vocalist who at times brings to mind Roger Chapman of FAMILY, or he decides to sing at a higher pitch, brings to mind Jerry Samuels (Napoleon XIV). And COMUS never touched on centuries old British Isles folk music or Celtic folk jigs and reels. The music of COMUS features way too many creative, twisted, and sometimes experimental passages to be called folk-rock, it's definately progressive enough to please prog rock fans. The band consisted of Roger Wootten on vocals and acoustic guitar, Glen Goring on guitar, Andy Hellaby on bass, Colin Pearson on violin, Rob Young on flute, and Bobbie Watson providing female vocals. Most everyone provides percussion (particularly bongos).

Not sure how to get about describing the songs. "The Herald" is by far the most mellow piece on the album, dominated by the vocals of Bobbie Watson. The song features extended use of electric guitar. "Drip Drip" is definately one of the album's high-points with extended and creative passages. "Song to Comus" is a bit shorted, but stuffed with lots of great violin and flute. This particular song reminds me of Family, especially because Roger Wootton sounds so much like Roger Chapman on this cut. The same goes for "The Bite" which is very much in a similar vein. "Bitten" is the only instrumental piece, basically an experimental cut that reminds me of what many Krautrock bands were doing at the same time. "The Prisoner" closes the album, another incredible piece. The British rock critics of the time hated the album. A postal strike in the UK at the time the album was released made it a bit difficult to hit the record stores. Even with David BOWIE giving this band support, didn't help. But still an amazing and twisted album. Not for everyone, but recommended for the more adventurous.

Proghead | 5/5 |


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