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Comedy Of Errors - Disobey CD (album) cover

DISOBEY

Comedy Of Errors

 

Neo-Prog

3.92 | 208 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars A second chance

I think it is very fair to say that most of the genre-specific album top lists of the respective subgenres here on Prog Archives predominantly contains albums released during the first few years of existence of the subgenre in question. Though, not so for Neo-Prog; looking at the Neo-Prog top 100 list, one can easily notice that an overwhelming number of albums are not from the early 80's when the genre first began but instead from recent years. Moreover, most of the genre's recognized originators and many of the major names in the genre have released albums in recent years that are far more popular than these same bands respective "classic" albums from the 80's and early 90's. This is true of IQ, Galahad, Abel Ganz, Pallas and Pendragon, for example. Who could ever have imagined this back in the late 80's when Neo-Prog was declared dead?

It is evident that Neo-Prog has been undergoing an astonishing renaissance in recent years that would be unimaginable for most (all?) other subgenres on this site. Another sign of this (or possibly an effect of it?) is that surprisingly many bands from the distant past make unexpected returns. Even bands that never made it in the first place are now getting back together and releasing albums to rave reviews. Comedy Of Errors is one such band. Initially formed in 1984, they were struggling to make a name for themselves without much success over the course of a few years in the 80's. After having recorded a couple of shorter demos they quickly faded into oblivion. A CD compiling some of the band's early recordings was released in 1988 and this is generally considered to be the band's debut album even if it was not sanctioned by the band themselves.

This would have been the end of the story, but forward some 20 years and Comedy Of Errors very unexpectedly got back together again to record this full length album called Disobey (which the band themselves now consider to be their debut album); Comedy Of Errors unexpectedly resurfaced and thus joined the ranks of unsuccessful bands from the past wanting to have a second chance in an era more favourable to progressive Rock than was the 80's. It is indeed good times for fans of progressive music in general and Neo- Prog in particular. Comedy Of Errors are worthy practitioners of this "trend". Disobey features some strong compositions, good vocals, nice keyboard and lead guitar parts.

While rooted in the 80's, Disobey is not a retro project as such. The sound is more modern, or dare I say "timeless"? I find the sound of this album a bit grittier and downright rocking than most other recent Neo-Prog releases, but there are also some nice classic Symphonic Prog influences. It is unclear to me how many of the tracks are re- recorded versions of songs written in the band's early days, but only one of the 12 tracks here appeared previously on the unofficial self-titled 1988 release - namely, the first part of The Student Prince suite.

Most of the songs here are good, but there are a couple of weaker tracks in the middle of the album in the rather straightforward rocker American Rodeo and the overly anthemic Could Have Been Yesterday. There are two pleasant instrumentals in Prelude, Riff And Fugue and Ailsa's Lullaby that bring a bit of diversity to the album. The best tracks for me though are the 10 minute Carousel, Jekyll and the opening title-track as well as the piano-driven ballad Joke. The latter is not unlike The Bee Gees' I Started A Joke (but sounding more like Faith No More's cover of the same song) in style. The four-part The Student Price is good, but the four parts are really rather independent songs than parts of a single extended piece.

Disobey is a good addition to any Neo-Prog collection, but not quite up there for me among the better albums of the genre

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |

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