With its orchestrated cacophonies and unorthodox song structures, Comity’s A Long, Eternal Fall proves to be quite the endurance test.
For nearly 20 years, Comity has continually broken musical boundaries within France’s underground scene as one of the country’s best kept secrets. Their chaotic brand of mathcore takes a page from the progenitors of the genre, such as Botch and Coalesce, while being unafraid to test the limitations of the genre and incorporate other eclectic elements as well. Their discography shows a band in continual evolution, with A Long, Eternal Fall being the apex of almost two decades of meticulous sonic refinement.
Aberrated, bluesy guitar riffs open up the record on “I” and bleed into a cacophonous burst of distorted bass lines and erratic percussion. After this wall of disfigured instrumentation dies down, the band proceed to wreak more aural havoc with “II”. The album’s second track is full of unbridled mathcore carnage and sets the stage for what’s to come. Guitar riffs lurch, spasm and slide in unconventional rhythmic patterns as the rhythm section deals its own equally discombobulating blow. Fierce vocals spearhead the track as it becomes increasingly unhinged and volatile, switching from oddly-timed chaos to melodic-tinged marches at a moment’s notice until its conclusion.
The majority of the tracks on the record are within the five-to-six minute range, meaning the band pack in plenty of twists and turns, and the listener gets subjected to the madness in the process. Tracks such as “III” are bookended by sections of wailing, guitar-generated noise, while the meat of the track is populated by feverishly shape-shifting instrumentation rife with muscular groove, jagged riffs and a healthy dose of dissonance. Tracks like “IV” combine frostbitten black metal stampedes with erratic, yet melodic post-hardcore-esque guitar acrobatics à la Drive Like Jehu, while cuts like “VI” and “VIII” attempt to cram many of the album’s elements into tiny spaces, which yields cataclysmic results.
The album’s penultimate, 12-minute track “VII” proves to be its most ambitious cut. The track begins with a jarring array of melodic, 90s post-hardcore inspired instrumentation that gradually becomes more and more disfigured as the song progresses. Soon the track becomes awash in walls of dissonance and turbulent metallic insanity that is comprised of caustic sludge, melodic angularity and vertigo-inducing rhythmic shifts all wrapped into one. The track breaks for a solo clean guitar exhibition before climaxing with a towering march of leviathanic chords and soaring, noisy leads.
Unfortunately “VII” also proves to be a bit frustrating despite its grandiosity. Roughly two minutes before its official conclusion the song abruptly stops and silence takes hold for a few minutes. Then the remainder of the track is filled with a vocal sample and some meandering slide guitar. The song’s “official” climax was sprawling, hypnotizing and powerful, and for it to just be cut off without warning is just disappointing.
But overall, Comity have got a pretty relentless and mind-boggling album on their hands with A Long, Eternal Fall. Throughout this 47-minute effort, listeners will never know what direction the band will take next, keeping them on the edge of their seats unaware of how ruthless the next sonic beating will be. It’s a ridiculously complex and unpredictable record that will have even the most vetted mathcore fans reaching for the meclizine to stop the dizziness.
Release Date: May 26, 2017
Label: Translation Loss, Throatruiner
Favorite Tracks: “II”, “IV” and “VIII”
For Fans Of: Botch, Coalesce, Cortez and Playing Enemy