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Comus - First Utterance CD (album) cover

FIRST UTTERANCE

Comus

 

Prog Folk

4.16 | 548 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I think to be able to put this album into some sort of context we need to look at what inspired it, and when. "First Utterance" was inspired by a John Milton play that was given in 1634 at Ludlow Castle in honour of one John Egerton the Earl of Bridgewater who had just been elevated to Lord President of Wales. It was a time of celebration. One can imagine from the lyrics here what this play / musical must have looked like. The story was set in the wild wood where pagan sorcerer King Comus ruled.There was no censorship back then and you know from the nursery rhymes from that era that shielding people from gory and disgusting things wasn't priority number one. So this is a concept piece that deals with rape, murder, sacrifice and mental illness. "Dark Side Of The Moon" and "Crime Of The Century" this is not ! This is as intense and nerve wracking a listen that I have ever experienced. It is both disturbing and revolting. It's like we are given a window into the mind of a pagan who has no morals let alone compassion for others.The cover art by the way is as dark and ugly as the subject matter. I don't think i've ever felt sick after hearing music before like I did during this at times. Having said all those things I have to say that I love the instrumental music on here, and in the liner notes they describe it as an acoustic backdrop that is densley woven. The male and female vocals are fantastic. He sings like a sheep at times and he reminded me right away of the singer on that SPLIT ENZ debut with that warble in his voice.

"Diana" has such a cool rhythm to it with that violin, it reminds me of THE PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE. The percussion is a nice touch after 2 minutes. "The Herald" has a haunting intro as acoustic guitar joins in then female vocals. Flute and violin follow. A beautiful sound after 2 1/2 minutes.Great track ! "Drip Drip" has some raw acoustic guitar early but it does settle when the male vocals and percussion comes in. Backing female vocals with flute also arrive. Check out the theatrical vocals after 8 minutes.The violin is back 9 1/2 minutes in along with the vocals.

"Song To Comus" opens with strummed guitar as flute then male vocals join in. Female vocals too then it turns a little frenzied after 2 minutes before settling right down again as contrasts continue. "The Bite" is led by flute, acoustic guitar and violin early on.The tempo picks up and male vocals join in. I really like the flute in this uptempo track. "Bitten" is a short and fairly dissonant piece. "The Prisoner" has these intricate sounds as vocals arrive just before a minute. Percussion before 3 minutes as it picks up while the vocals continue. A calm before 4 minutes then it kicks back in.

This truly is a one of a kind album that was made without taking into consideration that people have boundries that they don't want to cross. Consider my boundries breached.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |

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