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Out of the Coma

Comus

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Album Review

Forty-two years. That's how long it has taken Comus to follow up their long legendary First Utterance debut, and you cannot even ask if the wait was worthwhile. A less than stellar second album, back in 1974, followed by a 35-year silence essentially rendered the hiatus redundant, and falling into Out of the Coma today is akin to rediscovering a priceless manuscript that should have been in our hands decades back. Yes, priceless. No matter that the album features just three new songs (all of them familiar from the band's current live show); no matter, either, that the rest of the disc is consumed by "Malgaard Suite," a rough live sketch of a song that would have made the next album, had the original band only stayed the course. This is Comus as we remember them and, more importantly, as we want to remember them: a folk noir nightmare that yelps, screams, fiddles, and tears at your ears with all the passion and originality that marked the first album to begin with. Less a follow-up, then, than a continuation; the three new songs scratch an itch that an album's worth of music inflamed all those years ago, while the 15-minute snatch of a hitherto forgotten suite bridges the years with a raw beauty, with its scratchy concert sound quality only adding to the sense of occasion. Of course, this is an album for the fans, not the neophytes, and yes, it is as much of a period piece as its predecessor. But that is what we wanted from Comus, and that is what they have delivered. Let the rite begin again!

Biography

Formed: 1967 in Kent, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '00s

Taking their name from a character in a John Milton poem, Comus was a short-lived but powerful folk-rock band that seems to have made an attempt to mix elements of King Crimson with the influences of Pentangle, Fairport Convention and other more traditional folk outfits. The result was a sometimes unnerving mix of ethereal and dark tones. The cover of their debut, First Utterance (1971), bears a striking and likely deliberate resemblance to the cover of In The Court of the Crimson King. After a period...
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Out of the Coma, Comus
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