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COMEDY OF ERRORS

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Comedy Of Errors biography
Formed in Glasgow, Scotland in 1984 - Disbanded around 1990 - Reformed in 2011

Comedy Of Errors were formed in January 1984 with Joe Cairney (vocals), Jim Johnston (keyboards), John MacPhee (drums), Mike Barnard (guitars) & Steve Stewart, soon replaced by Mark Spalding (bass).

Their first recording was a demo called "Ever be the Prize", and was recorded at a studio in Blanefield (Scotland) in 1985. They recorded a number of songs with Rog Patterson (of "Twice Bitten" fame) as producer, which were then further refined with the assistance of Mike Bentley and Niall Mathewson (Pallas). These were released as a "mini album" in 1986, strongly influenced by Pallas or Abel Ganz style.

In 1987 when Mike Barnard left the band, Barry Henderson joined the band on bass while Mark Spalding played guitars. This line-up recorded the demo tape called "24 Hours" in November 1987 at Evenload Studios in East Kilbride. This was later combined with the mini album to form the band's only CD release under the french MSI label. Unfortunately, the quality of this release is very poor, being a direct transfer from vinyl, rather than master tapes. This is compounded by the fact that "The Student Prince Part One" has been omitted and replaced by an inferior version of a track from earlier on the disc.

A change of direction was heralded in 1989 with the arrival of new lead vocalist John Cowden, replacing Joe Cairney who went on to join the Fire Brigade. The demo tape "Hold On" was recorded at Evenload Studios (East Kilbride) in May '89. The band were playing more standard rock songs, which were more suited to the new vocalist. They played regularly around Scotland, and then quietly disappeared from view.

: : : Yves Le Perchec : : :

Remarkably though, the story does not end there, and in 2011 Comedy of Errors reformed. As the band's official website succinctly puts it:

"One man however kept faith in the original concept, dropped out of the prog scene completely, stayed in his room, kept writing new material and revising songs and waited.and waited.His name I don't recall but that's not important right now. Suffice to say it was hoped these mini-rock symphonies would, at some point in the future, see the light of day and find an appreciative audience. And so it was, thanks to those who kept faith in the music, the new incarnation of COMEDY OF ERRORS came to release their debut album ' DISOBEY ', a difficult birth, a long time in the maki...
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COMEDY OF ERRORS discography


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COMEDY OF ERRORS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 295 ratings
Disobey
2011
4.03 | 532 ratings
Fanfare & Fantasy
2013
3.93 | 295 ratings
Spirit
2015
3.71 | 136 ratings
House Of The Mind
2017
4.01 | 54 ratings
Time Machine
2022
4.08 | 64 ratings
Threnody for a Dead Queen
2023

COMEDY OF ERRORS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COMEDY OF ERRORS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

COMEDY OF ERRORS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.40 | 44 ratings
Comedy Of Errors
1988

COMEDY OF ERRORS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 4 ratings
Ever Be The Prize
1985
3.67 | 6 ratings
Mini Album
1986
5.00 | 2 ratings
24 Hours
1987
2.00 | 1 ratings
Hold On
1989

COMEDY OF ERRORS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Time Machine by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.01 | 54 ratings

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Time Machine
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars It was only when reviewing Comedy Of Errors most recent album, the excellent 'Threnody of a Dead Queen', that I realised I had missed out on the two prior to that one and given how the four I have heard since the reunion have all been superb I knew I had to rectify that immediately, if not sooner. 'Time Machine' was released in 2022, their fifth of recent years, containing five new songs (two of which are more than 12 minutes in length) plus a live recording of "Disobey" from their appearance at RosFest in 2016. I am convinced the only reason these guys are not more well- known or appreciated within the prog world is due to geography, as if they were from London as opposed to Glasgow they would surely be operating in a different stratosphere altogether. They continue to provide superb songs in a polished neo prog style which is quite unlike others, yet never lose sight of the need for guitars when the time is right, although they are quite happy to layer on the keyboards as well. As I write this the band are celebrating their 40th anniversary, and two of the founders are still there in Joe Cairney (vocals) and Jim Johnston (keyboards) while Mark Spalding (guitars) joined not long afterwards.

When the band are concentrating on instrumental passages, such as "The Past of Future Days" one wonders just why they bother with vocals as they can tell a complete musical tale without them, here bringing in some lush acoustic guitar and a feeling of classic Oldfield. However, start at the beginning with the Eighties Neo blast of "The Knight Returns" with crunching guitars and over the top keyboards and it is clear why they use vocals as in Joe they have one of the finest singers around, effortlessly rising above the powering music beneath. This one track is more than worth the price of entry alone, as anyone who loves Classic Neo Prog (yes, it's a thing) is going to have a massive smile on their face from beginning to end. I know I did, and the harpsichord sampler is wonderfully over the top and just right. I would have been more than happy with just the new songs, but the live take on "Disobey" is wonderful and was obviously their opening cut from the set as we get cheers as band members walk onto the stage during the keyboard introduction. Bear in mind that while many know this as the opening cut of their comeback album it was actually originally recorded all the way back in 1985! Their 3 CD set, 'Oh! The Innocence - The Early Years', is well worth tracking down.

Comedy of Errors continue to deliver wonderful music and all their albums are well worthy of investigation. This is wonderfully constructed music from a band who are still delivering the goods and anyone who enjoys Neo Prog with the rough edges smoothed away and polished to a high gloss finish with get a great deal from this.

 Threnody for a Dead Queen by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 64 ratings

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Threnody for a Dead Queen
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by BBKron

4 stars This is the 6th album from Scottish progressive rock band Comedy of Errors since re-forming in 2010, and follows their very strong 2022 release, The Time Machine. But this one takes a very different approach, with wonderful results. Threnody For a Dead Queen is a much more gentle, mostly instrumental, enveloping soundscape of an album, taking its time to let ambient recurrent sounds and themes slowly develop and build into richly textured musical events. They are in no hurry to get anywhere here, as the journey is the whole point, and the songs all fit together as a conceptual whole. You can tell they had a very clear concept for what the sound and feel for this album would be, and they executed it perfectly. Three long pieces (12-15 minutes each) provide the bulk of the album, with other shorter interludes and connecting pieces between. A very soothing and relaxing album, but one that is never dull, always interesting, with slow dramatic builds and beautiful soundscapes. Vocals are used sparingly, but quite effectively, such as in the final 3 minutes of title track. This is the type of album that you just need to immerse yourself in and just let it flow all around you for a richly rewarding experience. Best Tracks: Threnody for a Dead Queen, Summer Lies Beyond, The Seventh Seal, Jane. Rating: 4 stars
 Threnody for a Dead Queen by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 64 ratings

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Threnody for a Dead Queen
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars In many ways I find it wonderfully strange that Comedy of Errors reformed and released a new album on CD in 2011, since when this has been their sixth, as to me they have always belonged to an earlier time. I am not sure exactly when they broke up, but it was before I was introduced to them in 1991/92, and still if anyone mentions their name I immediately think of the original tape version of "The Student Prince - Part 1" and Mark Colton (Credo) raving over them time and again. Since returning with the excellent 'Disobey' their line-up has been incredibly stable and there are few other bands who have managed to keep up with their output since then (a notable exception being Galahad and their offshoots), with IQ releasing just two albums during the same period, Pendragon two, and Credo just one (although I see from a FB post today that Mark and Mike Varty are in the studio).

In CofE we have the excitement and drive of a new band combined with the experience of a very old one (singer Joe Cairney and keyboard player Jim Johnstone both played on the 1985 'Ever Be The Prize' cassette while guitarist Mark Spalding joined soon afterwards). That they continue to perform exciting neo prog as if they have never been away, is simply wonderful, and yet again we have a great album displaying everything that is good about the genre, and them in particular. It opens with two epics, and another further along, so there are three songs more than 12 minutes in length while the other five are all four minutes or less. Some of these are instrumentals which allow the band to bounce along and have some fun, mostly acting as nice cleansers which give a pace and dynamic to the album. It is to the longer pieces to which fans will naturally be attracted as, like everything on the album, they are highly polished and wonderfully inviting. I don't believe Joe has ever really been given the credit for being such an amazing singer, and I am sure that if CofE had been formed in London instead of Glasgow then they would be much more of a household name. They are no longer using a second guitarist, and what we have now are the same quartet (with drummer Bruce Levick) who recorded 'Disobey', along with bassist John Fitzgerald who joined in time for the next one, 2013's 'Fanfare & Fantasy'.

This is exciting, vibrant, and if somehow you have missed out on Comedy of Errors and their albums so far then now is the time to rectify that as they continue to release wonderful works.

 Threnody for a Dead Queen by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 64 ratings

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Threnody for a Dead Queen
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars Comedy Of Errors known in 1988, 4 years after their debut; disbanding then restarting with Joe Cairney, Mark Spalding and Jim Johnston remaining at the helm, in a sort of Aragon, Marillion, Pendragon, Galahad, IQ, Pallas or Abel Ganz; in short, this 7th album falls into the terminology of melodic neo-prog with a melancholy tendency with proven new age detours.

'Summer Lies Beyond' intro new age, evangelistic, melancholic, slow linear tempo contemplating the sea; vocals from Joe and a towering orchestral drift on IQ and Pendragon in spades, synths and guitar on the up; intimate hovering break before the final crescendo. 'Seventh Seal' changes, more dynamic between a Magellan and an overboosted Yes, with predominance of Jim's synths; the almost orchestral second half with ethereal vocals and stratospheric guitar parts. 'We Are Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On' oriental instrumental interlude, coming from limbo, delicate and relaxing then 'Jane (Came Out of the Blue)' with its 70's love flower for the romantic pop ballad embellished with a beautiful bucolic, consensual solo then 'Through the Veil' closes this triptych with a title similar to 'We Are'; interlude with pad accompanying the mesmerizing church lament tune. 'Threnody for a Dead Queen' and the last of three long sequels for a repetitive journey in which the rhythm seems maintained at its basic momentum; oriental piano, plaintive guitar; you have to wait 5 minutes to have a fat synth that cuts the procession; the Japanese air is not far away, amazing I find Kitaro, Apsaras and Kitajima of course; end at 9 minutes? before the soaring solo guitar and Yessian religious voices. 'And Our Little Life Is Rounded with a Sleep' comes to close this lyrical flight with an enjoyable intimate climate eyeing Sigur Ros and Vangelis. 'Funeral Dance' as a second chance, Mozart, Chopin or Purcell tick the box; baroque at all costs and wink for the fans with the 'Prélude' of their first album; folkloric, bucolic and festive Olfieldian bucolic finish.

Comedy Of Errors never ceases to surprise by offering a sound full of keyboards surfing on the new age at times; a fresh and singular ambient melodic prog rock, innovative that changes from neo, more contemplative, soft and airy, bewitching.

 Threnody for a Dead Queen by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 64 ratings

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Threnody for a Dead Queen
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This veteran Scottish prog band has been consistently dishing out quality releases at a steady pace since kicking off their recording career with "Disobey" in 2011. All of their previous five studio albums have met with critical favour, having a clear knack for consistently attractive progressive rock, with not only first-rate musicianship but a stellar vocalist to boot in Joe Cairney. Their line-up has also been quite anchored, only recently parting ways with bassist John Fitzgerald. So, dual guitarists Mark Spalding and Sam McCulloch, drummer Bruce Levick and keyboardist/composer Jim Johnston maintain their form, simply because they excel at their craft. In fact, they have elevated their considerable skills by having the audacity to start off this new 2023 release with two consecutive mini epics, thus putting to rest any misunderstanding (or mistake, Mr. Collins!) that they can only perform less than 5-minute neo-prog hummable ditties. The title of the album is "Threnody (Elegy) for a Dead Queen", perhaps a coincidence only with the recent passing of the British monarch.

The highly atmospheric synthesized sheen that introduces the 15 minute + "Summer Lies Beyond" slams the gavel quite emphatically on that debate, a glistening sonic evolution that provides amply amounts of subtle grandeur, gradually incorporating some deft polyrhythmic drum fills, crisscrossing guitar slashes that united with Johnston's extensive ivory arsenal. Cairney settles in on the microphone, spinning his tale. The shimmering effect in the lead guitar instills beauty and elegance to the arrangement which, like any outstanding prog piece, only serves to enhance the variations of all the intertwined themes on display here. Just like the title's significance of the spring's radiant blooming process that just keeps expanding as the sun caresses that planet with its warmth, showing the road towards summer's bliss. Beautiful is the only adjective I can think of. A stunning anthemic opener.

"The Seventh Seal" surely refers to the classic Ingmar Bergman film from 1957, where the Black Plague had devastated mostly Western medieval Europe by killing millions of people, hence challenging the notion of an all- caring divinity. Naturally, this challenging piece will require slightly more vigour in its disposition, a platform for the crusading Johnston's multitude of keyboards to battle with the story line, propelled forward by athletic drums, and a riveting and uncredited bass guitar. No mistake here Mr. Rutherford, this is definitely prog! The piano work alone shows a sense of delicate composure that proves the finesse involved in composing such impactful music. The serene vocal section is, pardon the overt pun, to die for, in battle or in sickness. Does it really matter? A half an hour in, after only 2 tracks, and I am slayed by these Tartan armoured warriors.

Emotional relief comes in the form of three shorter songs, just to confuse the enemy even more with subversive camouflage, beginning with the calm instrumental "We Are Such Stuff as Dreams are Made On", literally a sonic cinema open to interpretation. Vaporous and wistful, it serves only to reset the heartbeat, after all those poor departed souls, slayed by perfidious disease. How about a little ballad, that comes out of the blue? Well, "Jane" is simple elegance, a rolling bass leading the merry troubadours along a majestic ride, enhanced by a shivering guitar flicker, this could have been a classic Strawbs song, as it does incorporate some typical British folk tendencies. The aural sandwich is consummated by another brief orchestral flutter, showcased by strings galore, sultry axe phrasings, a roaming bass curvature and a steady beat. Simply celestial. This trio of pieces work like a charm.

The title track is the third epic offered, and as befits the extravagant title, it's a brooding, somewhat sorrowful yet also hopeful elegy, a musical lament for the deceased. Crystalline rivulets of Oriental sound , authoritatively fragrant and articulate, percolating with percussives, mellotron swaths and lingering on adventurously, I thought perhaps this was a Jade Warrior outtake. When one least expects it, the swerve into song happens at the very end, as a gentle electric guitar phrasing transforms the arrangement into a more conventional symphonic construct, Joe's high-pitched vocals recalling some Closeness to an Edge and massed instrumentation that give this both luxuriance and pathos. The outro guitar rage is absolutely mesmerizing.

Two shorter tracks lock the lid on this gilded coffin. "And Our Little Life is Rounded with A Sleep" has a classical/electronic keyboard slant that would astonish any unsuspecting listener by its cinematographic audacity, a modest nap before the big slumber of "Funeral Dance", a medieval adieu that has a memorial festivity to the impending voyage to Valhalla in the case of the crusading knight (Max von Sydow) in "The Seventh Seal" or perhaps the burial vessel leading to the island of Iona, the perennial Abbey cemetery for mostly Scottish, but also Irish, Norwegian and French kings.

This is an easy choice for election into the top five prog albums of 2023.

5 Regal requiems

 Threnody for a Dead Queen by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 64 ratings

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Threnody for a Dead Queen
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars Back for their sixth studio album release since 2010, Comedy Of Errors' stalwart lineup produces another impeccably engineered collection of smooth prog songs. I would think this album would only serve to increase the quintet's fan base.

1. "Summer Lies Beyond" (15:27) checks all the requisites for a solid if mellow NeoProg classic. I like its spaciousness and ALAN PARSONS PROJECT I Robot-era sound, but dislike some of the engineering choices that leave it feeling a bit stark and remote. Still, the final five minutes and finish may make up for any sonic deficiencies. (27/30)

2. "The Seventh Seal" (14:10) I do not like the effects used on Joe Cairney's voice. Though his Geddy Lee vocal similarities are here matched by the song's RUSH-like musical sound palette, there is also a STYX/ALAN PARSONS PROJECT syrupyness to it as well--especially the longer the song goes on. Actually, this could very well have been a cutting floor outtake from one of the BUGGLES or ART IN AMERICA albums. (26/30)

3. "We Are Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On (3:02) a pleasant, dreamy, atmospheric instrumental that suffers from some of the same engineering choices I've already noted. (It sounds like a 1980s New Age piece.) (4.375/5)

4. "Jane (Came Out of the Blue)" (4:00) Joe's voice is a little pitchy over this rather simplistic, pop-oriented construct. This is simply not up to par with modern prog song standards--more like a demo for an OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS piece. (8/10)

5. "Through the Veil" (3:33) a fairly obvious attempt at a replication of STEVEN WILSON's "Perfect Life" only left as a one-dimensional instrumental. The violin isn't even a violin! It's a sound generated from a cheap computer keyboard! (4.125/5)

6. "Threnody for a Dead Queen" (12:28) a nicely hypnotic three-minute electronic intro that reminds me a lot of something TANGERINE DREAM or TORTOISE might have done for a movie soundtrack is augmented in the fourth minute by bass and drums, propelling the main theme forward though causing no shift in direction or pacing, but then everybody seems to fade into the ether leaving only a weave of keyboard generated (sequenced?) tuned percussives mixed with space atmospherics. What strikes me as odd is that a threnody is defined as a "wailing ode, song, hymn, or poem of mourning composed and performed as a memorial to a dead person" and yet nothing in this song feels sad or funereal, and there aren't even any voices, lyrics, or singing until the tenth minute! The vocal point that joins the party in the tenth minute feels totally as if it came out of one of JON ANDERSON's spiritually-expressive solo albums. While I like the music--and song--I always find myself a bit confused as I try to match the music with the title. (22/25)

7. "And Our Little Life Is Rounded with a Sleep" (3:09) another instrumental filler. At least this one has multiple motifs worked into its three minutes--and the sound feels cleaner, better engineered. (8.6667/10)

8. "Funeral Dance" (3:09) an oddly ironic electronic attempt at an ancient/mediĉval sound. It sounds okay but would never fly at a Renaissance Faire. Maybe it would work at an Emerson, Lake and Palmer tribute band competition. And, to knock it all off, this seems to have come from a performance before a live audience! Go figure! (8.25/10)

Total Time 58:58

I've not felt as engaged and attached to any previous Comedy Of Errors release as I have with this one, and yet the engineering and production choices as well as the repeated use of half-baked instrumental fillers between the epics leaves me with a sour taste. It's similar to my reaction to Andrew Marshall's WILLOWGLASS releases: I love the sounds and ideas of the songs but feel as if they could have all been further developed and polished As a matter of fact, the album as a whole feels more like three fully-worked out (but perhaps not-fully-polished) epics with a bunch of partially-realized ideas included for the expressed purpose of reaching the proper length for a CD release.

C+/3.5 stars; an enticing-sounding album of prog lite that feels under-realized and/or prematurely released, which, ultimately, I find to be rather disappointing--especially from veterans--(veterans whose skills I know to be far superior to this).

 Threnody for a Dead Queen by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 64 ratings

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Threnody for a Dead Queen
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by KansasForEver

5 stars The virtues of containment or more exactly of the global pandemic of 2019....until today. For what ? because this new COMEDY OF ERRORS opus was born largely thanks to Covid 19, the musicians of the Scottish group having had time to prepare the material to compose and record two discs at that time... This one displays a little less than an hour for eight titles which is very reasonable, with three pieces of more than twelve minutes each, the other five counting between three and four minutes.

Among the qualities that we must recognize in COMEDY OF ERRORS is their consistency, six albums in twelve years and no failures, not all bands can say the same. Your neighbor across the street is going to make itchy hair between your shoulder blades, and retort "no unforgettable peak", which isn't wrong either...Let's start with the beginning of this "Threnody for A Dead Queen " whose title has nothing to do with the recent disappearance of ELIZABETH II...pure chance, with "Summer Lies Beyond" and its fifteen minutes twenty-seven, the longest track of the album (10/ 10), range of evanescent keyboards (samples of strings) like a soundtrack in front of the ocean before the arrival of the guitars and the vocals, a beautiful mid tempo which is more catchy, the voice more withdrawn than on the previous discs of the group, including six strings at their best (Sam McCULLOCH & Mark SPALDING), very nice start with a long piece, what more could you ask for, maybe (even if it's always easier to say it afterwards) the best piece of COMEDY OF ERRORS, historically speaking?

Since I just named the ocean, let's continue with the second epic "The Seventh Seal", more energetic than the first title, Jim JOHNSTON who composes all the music, proves that he is an excellent keyboardist (there was no doubt allowed but he proves it much more than before), he fires all the wood, all the keys I should say, he carries the piece all by himself, embellished with a largely instrumental second half (a real delight for your ears 9/10), reminiscent of ABEL GANZ's first two albums at the dawn of the eighties and which puts the thistle in the spotlight.

A good breath before three short titles, from "We Are Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On" instrumental without drums to "Through the Veil" flooded with strings and instrumental also but with drums via "Jane" mischievous radio ballad that takes you in in the brain from the first listening, hemmed with a well brought guitar solo (8/10 for the trinome), not very progressive will say the grumpy .... Place at the third long piece of the work with the eponymous "Threnody for a Dead Queen", slightly oriental acoustic guitar in introduction accompanied by Jim's piano, an introduction which continues in an adventurous and instrumental vein, even if it turns out to be a bit repetitive at times, frankly impossible to recognize COMEDY OF ERRORS on the first eight minutes (i.e. two thirds) of the piece, surprising and exotic (not peasants!), you will only find vocals here during the last three minutes coupled with a very appropriate solo of six strings (9/10) and you will be able to recognize the mark of the Scottish formation.

The last two short tracks have their charm (8/10), the first very Vangelisian, the second takes us back to the "Prelude, Riff and Fugue" from the album "Disobey" in 2011 with the crowd applauding. Overall an excellent surprise that this album, because original, irreproachable keyboard, not very far from the new age at times even if the whole moves away from the full progressive rock to which we are accustomed.

 Threnody for a Dead Queen by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2023
4.08 | 64 ratings

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Threnody for a Dead Queen
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by Ludwigvan57

5 stars I love this album.

I always look forward to new work from Comedy of Errors with great anticipation and "Threnody for a Dead Queen" does not disappoint.

We know what we're dealing with from the names of some of the tracks on this album; "The Seventh Seal", "We are such stuff as dreams are made of", "Through the veil", "Threnody for a Dead Queen", "and our little life is rounded with a sleep". Seems to me this subject (death) could/should be sad, full of grief or remorse but here, because of the music, it isn't.

Right from the first song "Summer Lies Beyond" it's atmospheric. Wonderful keyboard work and subdued lyrics before opening up allowing expansive guitar and always backed by solid keyboard, leading to surprising tones and a satisfied ending.

"The Seventh Seal" is bold and progresses seamlessly through a montage of sound, thanks to slick keyboard playing. I think we're meant to conjure up Bergman's film of the same name, I certainly did. The pace is excellent throughout while "death is stalking all around". I like this song.

The third track, "We are such stuff as dreams are made of" is a Shakespeare quote. A light, atmospheric instrumental track. Very easy to listen to and float away?.

Track 4, "Jane" is different again from what's gone before. This is a catchy number, instantly popular and memorable long after hearing the album.

"Through the Veil" is next and it's a bit special. Another relatively short instrumental. Intelligent keyboard playing a hypnotic melody which fits perfectly, like a thanksgiving.

Threnody for a Dead Queen is a worthy title track. A long, atmospheric keyboard and drum introduction with a theme that then runs the course of the whole song. The first part is almost otherworldly with its spiritual feeling. After 9 minutes it develops into a powerful full band song of acceptance, always with the original keyboard melody in the background. Listen to this song a few times.

Track 7 is another Shakespeare line "and our little life is rounded by a sleep". Lovely introduction but with a more sorrowful theme, harping back to previous tracks. This is like slipping away peacefully, it's lovely.

The album is rounded off with "Funeral dance". Almost like a medieval dance, happy and resigned. I really liked the cheering at the conclusion. It just fitted.

In summary, this is bold, taking on a difficult subject and handling it with care. It was almost transcendental. We are taken on a journey "through the veil" to an ending that is ethereal and yet somehow joyous. Well done Comedy of Errors and especially Jim Johnston for the vision to put the lyrics and music together in such an innovative way. This band just gets better and better.

 Time Machine by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.01 | 54 ratings

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Time Machine
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by roelgrif

5 stars The fifth studio album of Comedy of Errors, called Time Machine, is, just like in the Beethoven symphonies, their very best ... so far. Well, it's the first of their albums I am giving a rating of five stars out of five. Although the album is just 5 tracks long (plus a live bonus track version of their previous highlight Disobey), it offers a wide variety of musical styles, concepts and ideas.

To begin with the first song 'The Knight Returns': after an ultra short intro of just 6 chords on keyboard, the listener is immediately being overwhelmed with a very fast paced up-tempo song containing good vocals on a great drum rhythm in 12/8 measure. After a while a kind of medieval intermezzo brings down the tempo, after which the song turns into a rock ballad, kind of in half time with great solo guitar work. About one and a half minute before the end, the tempo is being doubled again, but this only serves as a passage to the original up-tempo in 12/8, which concludes this very impressive first song.

The second song, "Lost Demigods" is kind of a tribute to a certain classical composer, as it starts with ... yes indeed, the opening motive of Beethoven's fifth. More than just a randomly chosen symphony, I guess. Above a steady rhythm a vocal passage follows with solo verses, alternated by multivocal choruses. At the end of the song a citation of 'Freude schoner Gotterfunken' from Beethoven's 9th symphony occurs.

Now "Wonderland" is, as you would expect, a "wonderful" song, an epic over 15 minutes long. Starting with distantly sounding motives and vocals, after a minute or two the steady rhythm section joins in. Gradually the piece builds up tension, as more theatrical chords enter the scene. We hear a great guitar solo just before the 5 minute mark, and more nice keyboard work after that until the song comes to a stop with a siren-like glissando all the way up as if we were listening to the Rhapsody in Blue intro from Gershwin. This paves the road for some more great drum work after which the glissando comes back, but now all the way down. Accompanied by a snare drum rhythm a new theme enters, followed by the motives from the beginning of this song. Now a Bach-like theme is introduced which is being repeated many times with different instrumentation. Again the piece builds up tension, until the theme (quite unexpectedly) is also being sung by Joe. More symphonic variations on the theme follow until, about 5 minutes before the end, the steady rhythm section from the beginning returns. More verses follow with the Bach-like theme played on different instruments now serving as intermezzo between them. One and a half minute before the end of the song, it's time for the grand apotheosis, with theatrical chords accompanied by drum rolls, until the closing chord, which suprisingly enough again gives room for a very soft echoing of the Bach-like theme on synthesizer.

"The Past of Future Days" is an instrumental piece with an important role for bass, (synthesized) strings and accoustic guitar, multiple times they interact like in a fugue. Sections with and without drums accompaniment alternate.

The title track "Time Machine", an epic over 12 minutes, is a fabulous composition. Starting with slow piano chords serving as accompaniment for the first verses the slow rock ballad builds up tension while more and more instruments join in, even with (synthesized) brass. After a while the piece seems to end, but it turns out just to be a passage to an up-tempo instrumental fragment of the song with great guitar and synthesizer solos. Just like in the previous song, a kind of fugue is being started until suddenly the 'come prima' slow rock ballad tempo returns, which serves as introduction to a fragment sung in French, like a 'chanson'. This starts very soft, but again it builds up rapidly until we hear the rock ballad chords and rhythm again. The last 3 minutes of the song we get great guitar solo work again, sometimes with 2 parallel lines like in the famous Eagles song Hotel California. The song ends with a hymn-like closing verse with accompaniment that seems to fade out, but the opening piano chords form the real and ultimate ending of this magnificent song.

In a comparison with the earlier albums, I would say they skipped the 'below average' songs and enlarged the excellent ones into longer epics. On this album I especially like the Bruce's way of drumming. But Joe's vocals are also excellent. All in all this album should enlighten many prog rock fans. Highly recommended, not just for Errors fans!

 Time Machine by COMEDY OF ERRORS album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.01 | 54 ratings

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Time Machine
Comedy Of Errors Neo-Prog

Review by KansasForEver

4 stars Fifth album for the British quintet COMEDY OF ERRORS since their brilliant comeback in 2011 with "Disobey" which relaunched their career more than twenty years after a chaotic debut in the neo-progressive movement of the eighties, more precisely in 1984. am going to tell you their story again since I have already done so in my previous columns for the group and Fred SIMONEAU had conducted an interview with Joe CAIRNEY in July 2017

Five years during which the group from GLASGOW has remained stable in terms of personnel, the same six musicians are present on this "Time Machine" which was entirely composed by keyboardist Jim JOHNSTON as were the previous opuses. The work is quite short forty-five minutes plus the track "Disobey" in the 2016 live version, I would say it's enough and much better than a seventy-eight minute pad of which you don't listen to half ....

"The Knight Returns" which opens the album begins like a good old rock n roll, surprising to say the least, we beat time, we tap our feet, the kind of start you don't expect, very good for start a concert, more progressive in the second half with the guitars (Sam MC CULLOCH and Mark SPALDING) featured (8/10). Change of scenery, change of tempo with very original "Demigods" with a cover of Ludwig VAN B to open the ball, a title where Joe CAIRNEY shares his demi-gods with us (Leonardo DA VINCI, GALILEE, NEWTON, EINSTEIN, SHAKESPEARE... ) a song rather song, a sort of pastiche to remind us that some men of the past were well ahead of their time (7/10).

New sharp turn with the first epic of the album "Wonderland" of the complexioned progressive with a three-minute instrumental approach, quite rock (the two six string players still them), a piece with many breaks and changes of direction, not easy to be continued but that's also the progressive spirit; Jim JOHNSTON only really enters the scene from the seventh minute, protean keyboards, violin samplers, Mellotron pads, moog solo, in short, the complete panoply is out, Joe's voice is modified as if it had been vocoder ? between the tenth and the fourteenth minute, weird...(8/10). A small four-minute instrumental pearl "The Past of Future Days" to breathe, of Hispanic inspiration surrounded by a grandiose mellotron and a beautiful bass (John FITZGERALD) well rounded, strongly original there too (10/10).

Make way for the second epic of the disc with the eponymous title "Time Machine" (10/10), introduced by a soft piano over the first two minutes before a muffled rhythmic pair intervenes then Jim's keyboards in loops for a rise in intensity until the seventh minute and then a new surprise...a break with lyrics in French..."Tomorrow, at dawn, when the countryside whitens, I will leave. You see, I know that you I'll go through the forest, I'll go through the mountain. I can't stay away from you any longer. I'll walk with my eyes fixed on my thoughts, Seeing nothing outside, hearing no sound, Alone, unknown, with my back bent, my hands crossed, Sad, and the day for me will be like night. I will not watch the gold of the falling evening, Nor the sails in the distance descending towards Harfleur, And when I arrive, I will I will put on your grave A bouquet of green holly and flowering heather"

The most fervent and passionate among you will have recognized the famous "Tomorrow at dawn..." taken from the Contemplations of Victor HUGO of 1856, another demi-god (not mentioned in the second piece of the album) for come full circle on this COMEDY OF ERRORS album. I repeat myself but we are in the presence of a record off the beaten track of agreed and too often recited progressive music, for the record it is Jim who recites Victor because much better in French than Joe, confidence of the latter ?:), it is a "tribute" as we sometimes specify, to an exceptional man.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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