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Essential Albums: Comus – First Utterance


Your evil eyes more damning than a demon’s curse

Your lovely body soon caked with mud

As I carry you to your grave my arms your hearse

– “Drip Drip” by Comus

Comus was a once in a lifetime band. With a mind-altering soundscape of enchanting vocals, bongos, flute, violin, guitar, and bass—Comus was able to create music of ritual madness.

I’ve never heard anything that comes even close to their almost forgotten 1971 album, First Utterance. A progressive folk album like no other, filled to the brim with unsettling vocals and topics. First Utterance was also a pioneer, well maybe, the first to do folk like they did—freak folk is what the genre is now called. When the record was first brought to market, it sold very few copies and the band split up after its release. First Utterance is a concept album of sorts, almost all of the tracks on the record detail rape, murder, or mental illness. With such dark topics as these, it is understandable how it remained in the darkness.

“Diana”, the first track on the record, transports the listener into a new world. It sets the mood for the album in a perfect way with chilling poetic lyrics sung by layered vocals and intense violins that bring a stressful and foreboding feel to the song. The rest of the tracks continue to build the world that “Diana” brings to life. I could lay out the details of every song, but I would hate to spoil the fun.

Comus had the ability to create music that could bring their listener into a mythical world filled to the brim with unsettling imagery and themes. First Utterance is an incredible album to start and explore the depths of the folk genre; it has become a cult classic in the obscure parts of the folk world today. I encourage anyone who can brave the disturbing lyrics to listen to this sinister album this Halloween season.

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    adrienneDec 9, 2023 at 11:52 AM

    love this. for sure will check it out.