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Comus - First Utterance CD (album) cover

FIRST UTTERANCE

Comus

 

Prog Folk

4.16 | 547 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Not suitable for the faint hearted...

This morbid album has an odd marriage between idyllic Pastoral English folk and lyrics that will chill you to the marrow of your bone. The slightly unhinged songs focus on brutal murders and dark nightmarish visions.

'Drip Drip' is a Gothic biting satirical piece with some very nasty descriptive lyrics about a dripping decomposing corpse. 'The Bite' has the unfriendly theme of Christian martyrdom, and the band muse about the mentally ill in the disconcerting 'The Prisoner' ending with a repetitive "insane" that fluctuates from left to right speaker till it fades.

'Diana' is a conclusive highlight with a catchy riff and phrase. The vocals are always performed with layered effects and are quite inhuman sounding or may remind some of a bunch of insane murderous rednecks; "Your lovely body soon caked with mud, As I carry you to your grave, my arms your hearse". There is nothing like this album before or since, and perhaps the macabre details in the lyrics were precursors to what some may term grindcore.

'Song To Comus' is a case in point with horrific lyrics given a full impact from Roger Wootton's aggressive vocals such as, ""Hymen hunter, hands of steel, crack you open and your red flesh peel, Pain procurer, eyes of fire pierce your womb and push still higher, Comus rape, Comus break, sweet young virgin's virtue take, Naked flesh, flowing hair, her terror screams they cut the air." The main point of interest is that the nasty lyrics are completely anti-analogous to the lilting flute, acoustic guitar and pastoral music. The lyrics are never as pleasant as the music, that also rages with venomous fire, ranging from slicing violin serrations, ghostly woodwind to soothing acoustic. The album content is full of imagery conjuring grotesque pagan rituals and slaughter. Even the album cover is ghastly depicting perhaps the twisted contorted Pagan God of Comus itself.

Comus effectively took the whimsical Canterbury music of Caravan or Fairport Convention and added gruesome rhyming prose to produce an album of immeasurable dark power. The result is an album that will always gain a strong reaction from listeners. It is an album that I have trouble listening to as it makes my spirit jump and I know that it is not healthy for my soul to hear this. It really is far too disturbing for me personally and I won't be subjecting myself to this celebration of rape and witchcraft again. It is a haunting work well ahead of murder balladeers such as Nick Cave.

After one further album the mystique of Comus was ingrained in prog history; Comus break up!

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |

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