COMITY – You Left Us Here (2009)

Comity - You Left Us Here What comes to mind when you think of the French? My guess it that it’s probably anything but metal (though there are a few notable groups to have arisen from this region of the world, chief among them being Deathspell Omega, Blut Aus Nord, plus, you know, all things Neige). And if for some reason, metal is the answer, I’m almost certain that you’re not thinking of Comity, a criminally unknown group who’ve released two blisteringly elaborate albums that mix Isis-style guitar heights with the unabashed thrill of grindcore. It’s been three years since the band released As Everything Is A Tragedy (a single song broken up into 99 tracks – imagine if The Dillinger Escape Plan reworked Cephalic Carnage’s Halls of Amenti – that’s kind of what it sounds like). I was a little dismayed to discover that their new album, You Left Us Here, is only a one song EP, but even though it clocks in at under twenty minutes, in true Comity fashion, it’s a damn interesting (if all too brief) ride.

Forsaking the grindcore aspect almost entirely, the band work here more with tone and texture, as opposed to speed. The album, from a purely musical standpoint, is reminiscent of Kayo Dot in many ways – Comity here show the same love for wringing the life out of sustained tones, making them writhe and spasm violently before jumping ship from one to the other when you least expect it. On top of (and working against) this unusual progression the demon-rat growling of lead singer Thomas, who pushes against the music until it gives way and caves into something new.

That pretty much sums up what the band do on You Left Us Here. Parts of me did miss some of the elements of the band’s earlier styles (though their are a few grind segments here, as well as some post-metal atmosphere in a few places, as well), but overall, the album works great for what it is. It’d be great to hear a whole album done in this style, but if all that ever comes of it is the one EP, then so be it. If nothing else, it’d make the title all the more apt.

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