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Comus - First Utterance CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.16 | 646 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Comatose

A strange one this. The music is at times charming and pleasant, and at other times aimless and dull.

Based primarily around acoustic guitar with violin and flute, there is a strong folk feel, the Incredible String Band coming to mind as an influence. The flute and acoustic guitar offers comparisons with Jethro Tull of course, but it is the vocals which really define the album. When Roger Wootton sings, it is as if Roger Chapman (Family) has entered the building. The contrast with the light female vocals which also feature, could not be starker.

"Diana" is an odd piece, which opens with both high pitched vocals and Japanese like chanting with jungle type drums. For me, it is not encouraging! Things settle down though, and "The Herald and "Drip Drip " flow well. These are light pieces, with excellent acoustic guitar.

The album then tends to drift along somewhat, never really getting going. It cries out for a bit of energy. This eventually come through towards the very end of the album on "The prisoner", but by then it's really too late. The absence of audible bass at times is noticeable, and something of a downside. The lyrics are much darker than the music tends to suggest, covering topic such as witchcraft sexual attack, and madness.

In all, I can't say I found an awful lot here to demand repeated listening. "First Utterance" is well performed but ultimately a tedious and lifeless piece. It does occasionally have pleasant guitar interludes, but they are all too infrequent.

The story behind the band is a bit more interesting. They hail from the same area of London, UK as David Bowie, whom they once supported. Their name is apparently taken from a character by epic poet Milton, who tries to persuade passing travellers to drink a potion, which makes them look like wild beasts! After recording one further album, Comus band split up, the current location of any of them apparently being something of a mystery.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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