Monday, June 20, 2016
COMEDY OF ERRORS: "Spirit"
Label: Nineteen73 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
"You're God and you let me down. You're supposed to help. What the hell are you thinking? Can't you let us be what we should be?". Are you there yet? Believe me, one of these days you'll all be there. Shaking your angry little fist to the sky and screaming out to someone who may or may not exist. The Scottish Symphonic Prog-Rock band Comedy of Errors are dealing with themes of grief, loss, and ultimately hope (I thought of it as utter doom and gloom at first though). The grande concept where the cornerstone of the album is a 45 minute unbroken piece taking the form of an emotional journey at once personal and universal, despairing and uplifting.
It's a spiritual and sort of uber religious musical journey where choral and orchestral textures meet symphonic and progressive rock. It's quite obvious that keyboardist and songwriter Jim Johnston are referring at some point to personal experiences. You simply can not write these kind of lyrics without going through the pain of grief and loss. It's in fact the proper meltdown and the language of despair as and I quote, 'you took away the world. everything I had, everything that was dear to me', end quote.
Holy Smoke. The first six of the ten part long "Spirit" (45 minute) - doom, gloom, and random acts of change, darkness, denial, anger, tears, suffering and all those other human emotions of sorrow. "Why take the innocent? Why punish the good? and why make us suffer as only you could". It's not getting any better or more cheerful as the bashing continues: "How can you ever, ever hope to reason why? Why so indestructible? You even let your own son to die". Indeed. Johnston are making his listener stare into the darkness and just when you thought it's all black, the ray of hope appear in the distant. A light shines from heaven from the love is your eyes. Rise again. Oh rise again in everlasting love. To touch you, to hold you, to see you again. Forever you're part of us, still in our lives and your Spirit shines.
It's one of those albums you're not going to forget easily. Wrapped in keyboards and lovely arrangements, it sounds like if Lawrence GOWAN (Styx) did a solo album in the vein of YES. That's the easiest way to describe this grand concept. YES vs. GOWAN - and dare I say it's a nearly a masterpiece? Highly Recommended.