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2012 Prog Folk: Comus vs. Mostly Autumn

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Poll Question: Which do you prefer?
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Logan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: 2012 Prog Folk: Comus vs. Mostly Autumn
    Posted: August 03 2017 at 22:21
A modern album by a classic band vs. a modern album by a modern band.

Two albums released in 2012 that are included in the Prog Folk category. One is the third studio album by a classic Progressive Acid Folk band that hadn't released an album in almost forty years, whose 1971 debut has divided Prog fans more than just about any other album in PA, and whose second album doesn't get nearly the respect I think it deserves from either those who love First Utterance or those who hate Comus because of First Utterance. The other album is by a modern Prog Folk band that has been far more prolific, releasing 12 studio albums since 1999, and very prolifically, 23 live albums since 2001.

Just curious which album appeals more to PA forum users.

For those that don't know both, here are two songs from each album:









I am not voting now, as I haven't listening to more than handful of songs off that Mostly autumn album, but but from what I've heard, Out of the Coma for Me. That said, I do think it could be a better album still. I wish they had re-recorded The Maalgard Suite, as that could have been incredible, and had the live as a bonus track. Additionally, the title track "Out of the Coma" reminds me too much of Spinal Tap's "Back From the Dead" (title wise, anyway). It's a cute title for Comus' comeback album, but then that song title is a a cute comeback title for Spinal Tap too.

"We're back from the dead
Climbing from the coffin
We don't come here often
Or so it is said

We're back from the grave
Recovered from our coma
More body than aroma
It's life that we crave..." (Spinal Tap - Back From The Dead).
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views" (Doctor Who - The Face of Evil, Jan 22, 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2017 at 23:10
I will say that Out of the Coma is my least favourite Comus album. I love the beauty of "The Return", but I think it goes on too long, and doesn't need that whispered part (to make it sound sinister). Also, I don't think the sax quite works, and a bassoon or cello or some other acoustic instrument would have worked better. It just isn't as organic to the music as I would like. Prog without bassoon is like a clown without balloons

Additionally, the songs "Out of the Coma" and "The Sacrifice" I don't altogether like.    Wootton's vocals just get too over-the-top. I feel like at times like I'm hearing a horror pastiche or that this is an album designed for what is thought of the expectations of fans of First Utterance.

I love the music of the suite, but it's such a poor quality live version, and I guess this was done on a fairly tight budget because they didn't re-record it for the album (as said, I would have like the live Maalgard Suite, but as bonus track. Considering that various of my favourite songs they did before were released as bonus tracks, I might have expected a great bonus.

This feel like a project aimed at fans, and is a bit Comus by numbers.

As for Mostly Autumn, this sounds far too slick for my tastes, and reminds me more of Neo-Prog than folk music. Maybe the earlier albums are better from a folk perspective. If they did acoustic albums I might like them more. Vashti Bunyan this is not. Heck, I think Matt Berry comes closer to prog Folk than this, but perhaps I chose the wrong tracks, or they moved away from folk with this album. I'd heard some other Mostly Autumn stuff before that also reminded me more of Neo-Prog than folk music.

Neither album would I recommend to most folk music lovers, not even those who can appreciate folk-rock.
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views" (Doctor Who - The Face of Evil, Jan 22, 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mormegil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 04:41
Originally posted by Logan Logan wrote:



As for Mostly Autumn, this sounds far too slick for my tastes, and reminds me more of Neo-Prog than folk music. Maybe the earlier albums are better from a folk perspective.


This.
Although I voted for MA only because I haven't heard Comus. I guess it's time to visit Amazon again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 04:49
Not even a contest, Comus.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 06:38
I haven't listened to the Comus album, but the Ghost Moon Orchestra is one of the weakest thing released by MA. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 07:25
Comus for sure. MA's album, though not bad, seems to be lacking something, and does not have any memorable melodies on it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wanorak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 09:22
Mostly Autumn. Never could get into Comus.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Man With Hat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 10:33
Comus 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 10:36
I suppose Comus....though I'm not that familiar with MA other than some tracks on you tube.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 12:21
Originally posted by octopus-4 octopus-4 wrote:

I haven't listened to the Comus album, but the Ghost Moon Orchestra is one of the weakest thing released by MA.†


Interesting, it's one of the top five highest rated album of Mostly Autumn at PA with a 3.79 rating. But looking at rateyourmusic it is one the lowest rated albums, and for some reason the ratings at rateyourmusic regularly align more with my thoughts in terms of judging which are the best releases.

Anyway, do you have a particular folk song song that you could recommend to me from the band? A beautiful in a melancholy way song might work. I was thinking of linking to the kind of female folk songs that I love, Vashti Bunyan is a particular favourite of mine, don't know if you her or the folk music you most listen to, but then I already posted The Return, which fits the bill. It doesn't have to sound the same, of course, but something perhaps with a similar feel or mood to that track (I don't know if the youtube vids are accessible to everyone here). I love the way The Return transitions from the first verse to the second -- the change in key and mood. There's nothing that uncommon about it, but it is beautiful to my ears.

I love folk music, it can be so incredibly simple yet so beautiful, and so much more.

Although not a fan, I feel like doing another Mostly Autumn poll. Maybe this would have got more cross audience response. I'm thinking of another classic artists, in this case against Vashti Bunyan who released one album in 1970 which got so few sales that she gave up her career, but then she was re-discovered in 2000 (the internet has helped to revitalize many a career as people have discovered obscure albums and shared them) and gained a cult following. So she recorded an album in 2005 and 2014. I see that Mostly Autumn made an album in 2005, Storms Over Still Water, so that might work. I think that might a better match-up in terms of a modern popular Folk act vs. a classic folk act whose career revived this century. Like Comus, Vashti Bunyan developed a cult following.

I suspect that more Mostly Autumn fans would appreciate Vashti Bunyan than Comus, so there might more of a coming together of the audiences in discussion with that topic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 15:26

Some folky MA songs from their first albums...



This is one of their best. The instrumental coda in particular:





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 15:43
I much prefer MA's early albums: the first 3 are absolute gems and Passengers is excellent as well, but even the GMO is better than most other band's albums.

The only album by them that I didn't like was Dressed in Voices.

I really can't get into Comus.


Edited by Hercules - August 05 2017 at 04:53
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Logan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 16:52
Thanks to you both I can now rank myself as joining the mostly Autumn Fold. I've been listening to the Last Bright Light and really enjoying it.

As for Comus, it's hit and miss for me. I'm not as into First Utterance as I once was. I'm still into "The Herald", I like the bonus tracks on Song to Comus, "Winter is a Coloured Bird" and "All the Colours of Darkness", the songs "Children of the Universe" and "To Keep From Crying" off To Keep From Crying, and "The Return" off Out of the Coma, but I'm not so into the freak/ weird folk stuff or much of the most commercial-sounding stuff when it come to Comus these days. Still, I do listen to all Of Song to Comus pretty regularly still. My tastes have mellowed, and these days I'm not so into weird, dissonant, atonal music.

Edited by Logan - August 04 2017 at 16:55
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They donít alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit the views" (Doctor Who - The Face of Evil, Jan 22, 1977).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2017 at 05:03
Try The Night Sky off For All We Shared.

For me, it's the most beautiful piece of atmospheric prog folk ever recorded. And nothing whatsoever like Pink Floyd.
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