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Comus - First Utterance CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.16 | 548 ratings

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5 stars The highly-acclaimed and strikingly unusual debut album from original Brit folk-rockers Comus.

1. "Diana" (4:37) Wickedly odd and creepy. Great instrumental performances. (9/10)

2. "The Herald" (12:12) eerie with that prominent saw but covered with gorgeous vocal harmonies and woven support from the acoustic instruments. At 3:45 everything fades away and a new solo acoustic guitar-driven "song" arises. Beautiful Steve Hackett/Anthony Phillips play. At the end of the seventh minute violin joins in, guitar backs off, and flutes and female vocalise join into a new etheric weave. At the very end of the eighth minute another, new section arises from the void--this one with "saw," viola, oboe, and occasional strums from the 12-string. At 9:30 these instruments rejoin the form and sound of the opening enabling the female-led choir to recommence their story singing. An interesting and masterful song. (23/25)

3. "Drip Drip" (10:54) lots of note-bending from the Dobro-like sound of the initial guitar gradually plays into a multiple guitar-based song with plenty of heaviness in the drama--especially augmented by the wild and inventive lead vocals (from Roger Wootton) and percussion play. Eerie, almost scary, yet mesmerizing and inescapably ensnaring--at least, the first third. The middle section gets tedious and boring, but then there is a quick shift into a kind of Tex-Mex border song. At 8:40 there is another shift into a section in which a deranged-sounding creep sings frantically about his love for some ... one. Weird and unsettlingly . . . violent. Powerful, too. How does one rate such an odd and disturbing song that is undeniably an expression of genius? (17.5/20)

4. "Song To Comus" (7:30) sounding like a song from Rumpelstiltskin, this is another highly unusual yet purely ingenious song composition rendered so powerfully! I may not like or enjoy all of this music--it is not really the type of music you walk around humming or singing aloud (it has more of the effect of DAEVID ALLEN's GONG music in that it is entertaining and comprehensible for its creativity and for the author/composer's intent)--but I truly and fully appreciate the genius expressed here. And I understand and appreciate the necessity of the band members to collectively buy into their leader/songwriter's vision and mood in order to be able to execute such an undeniably powerful musical experience. (14/15)

5. "The Bite" (5:26) a more "normal" song, this one still packs a wallop; it is powerful in the conviction of each and every one it's performers' contributions. The band is so tight! (9/10)

6. "Bitten" (2:15) droning, zooming, bug-like guitars and strings congealing into a menacing cloud before a single creature emerges in the lead. The other members of the swarm are cowed, listening, before bursting into the explosive rush of the final mission. Weird but, as above, ingenious and so expressive. (4.5/5)

7. "The Prisoner" (6:14) the most sedate song on the album is still quite edgy. The sudden Jeckle-Hyde transformation at the 2:20 mark is remarkable. What a performer is this Roger Wootton! The female background vocalists remain committed to being supportive--no matter their leader's mood or temperament. (9.75/10)

Total Time: 49:08

Five stars; a minor masterpiece of folk-oriented progressive rock music and one of the true, standout, singular creations of the genres.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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