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Comus - Out of the coma CD (album) cover

OUT OF THE COMA

Comus

 

Prog Folk

3.96 | 88 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Well, now here's a surprise! It is rarely so that a band release an album after a hiatus of the odd 40 years and it's like they never split up in the first place. More than often comeback albums of bands from yesteryear or even longer put out an album merely lukewarm, if that. In this case it is just the opposite.

Comus. Who were they? Who are they? Musical geniuses? Demented occultists? I suppose the truth lies inbetween. There is no question in my mind that Comus are brilliant in a weird, scary, demented way. In the garment of british folk they rear their ugly head and behold, there is light in the darkness and I am willing to follow this askewed light wherever they go.

I often find myself categorising Comus as Hammer Horror folk. If you've ever seen one of Hammer's productions I think you know what I mean. There is quite a resemblance between these two. Listening to Comus I see before me misty, british meadows, gently stroked by the morning sun but behold, in the far lurks the creatures of the dark. The people who dwell in the dark side of existance. Purple garments. Horned helmets. Crooked daggers and incantations. Blood and gore.

"Out of the coma" is an aptly named title for an album so long in the waiting and starts off with the powerful title track. Great instrumentation and vocals from the depths of humankind. "The sacrifice" and "The return" are equally impressing, though the latter is very beautiful and gives somewhat of relief to the other tracks horror-like soundscapes.

I suppose that the prize is really "The Malgaard suite". Shrouded in mystery and coming out of the past like a ghost it is great to hear. If I had been there in 1972 I probably would have found myself blown away, since it is a performance of great power. Coming off a cassette gathering dust for 40 years the audio is less than crisp. On the other hand the sound is amazing, considering, and gives a really good idea of what it must have been like witnessing Comus perform live. Don't get yourself worked up about the audio quality. It is amazing considering it's age, like I wrote, and is truly an amazing experience. It is nigh on impossible to decipher something or anything of the lyrics but in some sort of way it only adds to the experience. A rare moment in time, thought to have been lost for eternity, rises through the ashes and presents us with something truly unique. I am not saying that "The Malgaard Suite" is the best song by Comus, simply that it is a raging piece of music so historically important and rare it transcends imagination. Glorious, really. Maybe Comus will get around to record it in the studio alongside part 2 and that would be truly awesome.

The Comus trademarks, beauty and horror in perfect folk harmony, are all very evident on "Out of the coma" and is all you could wish for (and more) from a band who left such a legacy 40 years ago and then lying dormant in obscurity, a secret known only to the initiated. This is truly an amazing feat and this morning I've listened to it for several hours, discovering more and more of the secrets on the album. The folk that Comus presents is one where the boundaries of the genre are stretched to the limits and maybe even beyond the pale, into the wild. I cannot stop listening to "Out of the coma", it's just too enjoyable and I fear I could go on forever ranting about it's brilliance. Comus may not be the easiest of bands to listen to but the reward is so much greater.

I am reluctant giving the album five stars but then again it is a magnificent record, in some ways surpassing First utterance. How weird is that? But hey, "weird" is the trademark of Comus anyway. One of the key ingredients that make the album so great is that the vibrant, youthful inspiration of 1971 has matured into the elderly grace and knowledge of life and the ugly side of being. That makes Out of the coma so worthy an album it is rare in the true sense of the word. Ah, why not? It is a flawless album. Here's to Comus á la 2012, you are worthy of the five star rating. Here you go.

GruvanDahlman | 5/5 |

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