Comity - A Long, Eternal FallComity have been concocting their complex mixture of chaotic metalcore (the Botch, Converge, and Coalesce sort), sludge, noise, and all things experimental and dissonant since 1996. Of course, a band so complex and difficult to comprehend can only come from one place: France. With four full-lengths already under their belt, Comity’s fifth — A Long, Eternal Fall ­— seeks to continue the unsettling chaos of their preceding albums. Comity are not an accommodating band. We’re thrown into their mad world without pleasantries or even the offer of a cup of tea. Instead, incessant discomfort is the name of their game and participation in said game results in bleeding ears and a rapidly beating heart.

A Long, Eternal Fall opens with the instrumental “I,” a dramatic track that twists and turns, combining deluges of dissonant riff shapes that repel and bounce off one another. Comity disregard humanity’s inherent desire to uncover logical and consistent patterns. Instead, mind-boggling progressions and structures create an uneasy and difficult to pinpoint sound that pervades the album from start to end. The guitars, the core feature in “I,” bend, warp, and screech like air raid sirens. It is a purposely chaotic opener, intensified by the constant barrage of noise emerging from the drums, rising to the bursting point. Although abrupt and rough at times, there is a strangely compelling feeling that pervades this song and the rest of the album. The drumming intensifies this ten-fold. It’s constantly vibrant, aggressive and multi-layered, with drum rolls, fills, and blast beats galore, but it’s measured enough as not to distract from the songs.

Three-tiered vocals scratch through the maelstrom throughout, adding an extra layer of obfuscation. Second track “II” possess a Remission-era Mastodon vibe, consisting of hardcore influenced complexity melded with concrete melodic grooves that appear, then disappear, with rapidity. Animalistic growls, snarls, shouts, bellows, and generally distressed noises weave and layer to add further denseness. In “III” the layered vocals join in disharmony as the song rumbles at a lower range and deeper riffs and drumming patterns begin to suffocate the mix, much to the song’s detriment. The opening tracks merge to form a difficult-to-differentiate, incoherent whole that succeeds in its mission to confuse and complicate.

Comity 2017

As the album progresses more variety occurs. A trickle of atmospheric tenderness emerges during “IV.” It’s a sullen and measured song; it still carries the trademark schizophrenic vitriol but hides it under its trench coat. Sweet math-rock licks and dissonant arpeggios merge to form a repulsive hybrid of post-hardcore and post-black metal. Occasionally, these arpeggios carry more of a melodic feel. The opening of “VI” carries strong traces of early-Mastodon as spiraling, melodic riffs carry a southern twang. Comity inherit the essence of the prehistoric swamp with panache. The guitars in “VI” are similarly as jingly-jangly, sounding somewhat like Johnny Marr if he was stuffed with speed and had an extra hand. Conversely, slower moments of measured sludge also appear. In “IV,” following the intensity of the preceding sections, a breakdown grinds the song to a halt. It sounds like Brian Eno‘s ambient music in comparison. “V,” too, opens with dirty sludge grooves mixed with Botch and early Isis that gets the head nodding, if inconsistently.

A Long, Eternal Fall does not have enough variation for my liking. The constant fluctuation in Comity’s sound is exhausting to follow. Though the second half of the album, particularly the vast and steadily built intensity of the eleven-minute “VII,” contains a lot more hooks, grooves, and melodies to anchor the chaos at the forefront, the first half suffers from directionless and meandering instability. Lengthier songs, perhaps, would suit their sound better. But I get the feeling that Comity want to cause discomfort. Irregularity is how they achieve this. I’ve been battling with this album for a while. Some days I love it, others I hate it. One thing is for certain though: I definitely feel something for it, and I will re-visit the album in the near future with fresher ears.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 5| Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Throatruiner Records |
Releases Worldwide: May 26th, 2017

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  • Reese Burns

    Not huge on the music, but that’s a striking album cover. thats something worth framing.

    • Sean Sky

      I’m gonna frame the band photo

  • rumour_control

    I like what they are trying to do. This is complex, yet intriguing. Will give it a further listen, as well. Really solid review. Sharp imagery. I was perplexed by these two statements, though, as if the variation/fluctuation definitions were obscuring what you are trying to say to me:
    “A Long, Eternal Fall does not have enough variation for my liking. The constant fluctuation in Comity’s sound is exhausting to follow.”

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Maybe constant fluctuation negates variation? Akerblogger?

    • Jeff Manteiga

      Sounds like Akerblogger meant there weren’t enough changes from the constant chaos to add variation to the song structures. No lulls, breakdowns, ambiance or other offshoots from the maelstrom. Just my 2 cents!

      • rumour_control

        Thank you, too (two?), mang!

    • Akerblogger

      Jeff Manteiga is correct. Comity’s schizophrenic sound is non-stop and quite overstimulating. Breaking this up with quieter sections etc would help the album, in my opinion.

      • rumour_control

        Ahhh…that makes sense. I see what you mean. Thank you for the clarification.

      • ssorg

        IV, around 2:30 in, I’d call that a quiet moment. Certainly more quiet you’d get with a band like DsO, who are masters of the “demolish your ears with insanity, then give you a miniature melody to give you some hope, then crush you”… In any case, really digging this!

  • Heldarc

    Ok and now seriously….how is new Suffocation?

    • Akerblogger

      Review is on its way. Stay tuned!

  • But what does Thatguy’s band photometer say?

    • Thatguy

      I think that bands are aware of the Bandphotometer and are putting up shit like this just to make my life difficult. The photo stumps the machine.

      I have already heard the music and I like this. Not too crazy, certainly intense and interesting.

  • Pros:
    – The beginning of the video is seriously disturbing.
    – Clever use of the sound of whistling kettle around 3:25.
    – Shit is intense. Tension is building up nicely.

    – DR (it could sound worse at DR5 though).

    I dont’t get the artwork. What is the meaning of this stream of small, but still hugely oversized (considering that this peak on the photo is probably Everest) human silhouettes on a glacier?

  • Drew Music

    This is some crazy, crazy good shit, like music for when you’re not quite brave enough to listen to Dodecahedron. Well-written review and a seriously intriguing new find, Akerblogger wins today’s round of The Anger Games.

  • rumour_control

    I like this shite. Completely insane, but the intense conviction is potent. Severed thumb up.

  • ssorg

    Wow, feels like some nutso ADHD mix of Drive Like Jehu and Deathspell Omega. Nice review, and one of the more interesting bands this site has introduced me to. With music like this I really feel that familiarity is required to make a fair judgement, so I’m going to sit with this and give it a few (digital) spins.

    • Akerblogger

      Love the Drive Like Jehu reference – spot on comparison.

      • rumour_control

        Indeed. Heard DsO in the surreal swirl, but wouldn’t have pegged DLJ. Spot on.