Comus - First Utterance
I was captivated by it and transported to another place. I was transported to a place of dark, brooding menace. A misty, gloomy, godless forest, on a moonless night. The roots jutting out from the soil were like the clammy, lifeless fingers of the dead grasping for your ankles. The depressive mist pulled my spirit down to the level where continuing to live seemed like a worthless struggle. This is the sort of place of which you have a primeval, visceral fear. Walk into that forest and you will lose your soul. Yet you must go through. You have to move on. Warily you tread, with fear and loathing, because you know within the forest you will encounter that which you fear the most. You will come face to face with your deepest dread and do not know if you have the courage and the strength to face it down and emerge back into the light.
Changed by it? Certainly. The eerie, cackling vocals wither your soul deep inside you. Emotions are challenged and slowly dismembered. The violence of the acoustic instruments offers no comfort in familiarity as the melody slips from soothing guitars like the babbling brook into a discordant and atonal brutality of menace and self-loathing. You do not want to stay but there is something which draws you inexorably to the heart of the music. You hear the tales of the characters - the girl raped and murdered, her body slaked with blood. The Christian pilgrim whose faith is unable to sustain him through the terror. This is an ancient evil. Something which predates rational man. You are taken back to a time when fear of the evil lurking outside the familiarity of your immediate environment was a constant companion. As you listen to the final track of the album, you feel the relief of having emerged through the fear.
But you are different. The listening has changed you. You are no longer the same person. Music is no longer a safe place to be. Music no longer transports you elsewhere to a place you want to be. It has taken you to a place where no-one wants to go. You do not want to go back there. But you know you will. The music has drawn you into the darkest depths of your own psyche and shown you the savagery which lies within you. Comus is not an entity distinct from you any more. Comus is you. Comus lies within you. In listening to Comus you have become infected with the primeval violence which lives within all of us. You actually liked it. You shouldn't but you did. You liked being terrified. You liked being confronted with almost subliminal thoughts drawn from your own nightmares, and then shown how to enjoy those thoughts. You enjoyed listening to the rape and the murder and the desecration. You are part of the rape, murder and desecration and you liked it.
You will never be the same again. Something horrifying lurks within you, always has. It's just that now you know it. The filth has become part of you, and you have become part of the filth.
And never again will music always be enlightening and lifting of your spirit.
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on 2011-04-17 CharlesMartel Said:
An unusual twist to folk music, this is one of the creepiest albums of all time.