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Comus - First Utterance CD (album) cover

FIRST UTTERANCE

Comus

 

Prog Folk

4.16 | 548 ratings

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ExittheLemming
Prog Reviewer
4 stars A Wedding band for the marriage of Heaven and Hell.....

God this is creepy...One of the most genuinely sinister records I have ever heard which does not stoop to conquer good taste with the usual shock horror costumery made threadbare by Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, NIN et al.

The latter are but ENTERTAINERS and Comus just might have been...complicated fisher folk. (Art as therapy? or vice versa?)

There are no electronic noises, sample CDs or outboard gizmos pressed into service here to create this febrile and miasmic atmosphere. Just the six outpatients listed on the cover who appear to imitate a pagan sacrificial rite using only their hands and mouths on various acoustic 'prey' they managed to stalk back to the recording studio.

Much of it sounds improvised, but the eerie chanted vocals and bestial utterances throughout do appear to follow some type of predetermined order of sorts. Instrumental phrases and motifs seem to fly unexpectedly out of the mix from 'nowhere' and have a spontaneity that only the possessed or those speaking in tongues exhibit. You will carry these little sequences around in your head for days afterwards, all the while struggling to remember the source of such unknown and unholy pleasures.

Drip Drip is almost unbearable in its intensity and foreboding but we are transfixed, and unable to retreat from a hypnotic quest to establish what is it that is being described or acted out here? If you are at all receptive to this, please be aware that after hearing same, there will be forever hence, a little black door slightly ajar in your soul...(damn, wish I'd written the sleeve notes)

The lyrics, to my untrained ears sound somewhat 'primordial' but do betray signs of pre-christian religions and the dionysian tradition of ancient Greece ?. Many of the rhythmic pulses become incredibly frenzied as the pieces develop and dare I hazard, stray into the bounds of the orgiastic? (Yes, I'm blushing)

Even these moments are rendered less than wholesome, as the effect is not remotely sensuous or sexy, but redolent of predatory animal gratification.

First Utterance is an extremely fascinating record and despite my incredulous ramblings above, contains much great music. It seems spurious to attempt pinning a stylistic label on this album, as descriptions of pastoral, prog folk etc don't even do justice to the innovation displayed here.

(Slayer unplugged with Pan on vocals and Jim Morrison mixing - the drinks)

Only for those with an experimental bent and unlikely to appease the common garden progger but a great record to give your ex-girlfriend.

Strictly a one-off.

ExittheLemming | 4/5 |

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