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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy, demented, essential, 19 April 2002
By 
P. Bryant (Nottingham, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: First Utterance (Audio CD)
In 1971, when hippies still roamed the earth , many strange records were made, and none stranger than this one. It's a complete one-off. Where to begin. Shall I describe it as an acoustic death metal album? Could be. It's not so much a piece of music as a pagan ritual involving some kind of sacrifice, and Comus are not a band, they're a very small cult. One thing which is sacrificed from the get-go is traditional song structures. Like the Incredible String Band, these melodies stretch out, meander, get lost, find themselves again, always surprising the listener with sudden flights of beauty as the two gorgeous high choirgirl female voices twine together creating lovely dreams which get pulverised by the guy with the goat-like bellow, a dead ringer for Roger Chapman (from Family, a contemporary band) and also strangely called Roger (Wootton).
The album creates its own unique style with acoustic guitars, violin, flute, percussion (as opposed to drums), and its two opposing male female ugly/beautiful lustful/chaste voices. It's demented, exciting, disturbing and really creepy, and very compelling, and it couldn't be sustained at this pitch - when they were allowed to make their second album, a couple of years later, the magic had completely vanished and they were just another second-rate folk band.
In 1971 Comus were completely ignored, and understandably so - too nasty and weird for folkies, too acoustic for anyone else. But great music will always survive, and so Comus crawls like an unstoppable cockroach back to the surface.
This record is for the adventurous.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feral madness or fever dream?, 3 Jan 2010
This review is from: First Utterance (Audio CD)
Not many albums feel genuinely dangerous. This one does.

The band, in their photos, look like psychotics, hippies gone wrong. While some metal bands have cited Comus as an influence, in fact 'First Utterance' leaves a lot of metal for dead in the 'heaviness' stakes - although few metalheads would admit that due to the non-electric instrumentation. The album can't really be compared to anything else. It isn't folk. It isn't rock. It is unique. It makes you want to start jumping round the room and smashing things. It is Dionysian, violent, beautiful, timeless...

Forty years after its release, 'First Utterance' makes most of today's music seem like mechanised sludge by comparison.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unique work of art, 15 Dec 2002
By 
John Milton (huntingdon, cambs. United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: First Utterance (Audio CD)
The vinyl version of this remarkable album was fervently sought after by the few who heard this music at the time of its release - thankfully it can be relatively easily obtained on CD now. This really is a one-off sound that everybody with any interest in music will want to hear. A combination of gothic folk-evil and mystical malevolence that is magnificently constructed upon brilliant musicianship. It is difficult to describe because it is so different to anything else, but once heard, never forgotten. Essential listening.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Damn!, 7 Mar 2003
By 
A. J. Garner (Nuneaton) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: First Utterance (Audio CD)
I completely agree with the other reviewers....and I did buy this album when first released and terrorised various flatmates when a student in Swansea! Sad to say, I thought I was being smart when I sold it for £60 in 1994! I still have a fairly lacklustre cassette recording but will now track down a new copy to intimidate my kids!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the woods and fields, 6 May 2014
By 
feral (Tuxford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: First Utterance (Audio CD)
In the empty years between psychedelia and glam, bands had the opportunity to just be themselves and nobody were just themselves better than Comus. First Utterance has an intensely organic feel to it, as though the songs are from the woods and fields, rather than about them. It's an album that took years to be properly appreciated and understood, and perhaps even now there are layers left to peel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And now for something completely different..., 18 Oct 2013
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This review is from: First Utterance (Audio CD)
Definitely a one-off and still as totally weird as it was when I last heard it, around 1972.
The closest thing that I can compare it to would be a cross between the Incredible String Band & Pavlov's Dog.
Approach with caution, but try it if you are looking for something genuinely original.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest albums EVER, 4 Sep 2002
This review is from: First Utterance (Audio CD)
Many years ago - 1971 I think, a record company were introducing their new signings by staging a tour. They were called the Penny Concerts - entrance fee one penny. So as a student at Fareham with a few friends I made my way to Southampton. There were a number of trully excellent acts, but one really impacted on me - Comus. They were absolutely incredible, I had never heard anything like it before nor have I since. Bizzare and goulish though the style and lyrics were (subsequently when I told one my collecge lecturers about them he desribed them a "miltonian" as in the poet Milton), when combined with the energy and passion with which they performed they were in a class of their own. Needless to say the day after the concert I went staight out and bought it - it is still a much prized possession in my vynal collection. I am thrilled to see that it was re released in 1995 in vynal(unfortunately on an import label)and may now even be avaialble on CD (the hope I had in searching for this item). The name of the band COMUS is in fact the name of the creature the albums songs are about - one evil dude. Amazing, incredible, fantastic - sheer genious - a work of art!!! Oh I do hope I can get a copy of the CD to play loud in my car and terrorise my neighbours. At all cost - buy it!!!
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First Utterance [VINYL]
First Utterance [VINYL] by Comus (Vinyl - 2012)
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