Comedy Of Errors: Spirit

Glaswegian prog meditation on hope and despair.

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Comedy Of Errors have been going, in one form or another, for three decades, but their fourth album has the freshness and vitality of a debut.

It couldn’t be more prog: the first 10 tracks are part of a larger, 45-minute piece called Spirit, comprising titles such as In Darkness Let Me Dwell and the multipartite Ascension/Et Resurrextit/Auferstehen/Arise In Love Sublime, Arise/Spirit, and is followed by a 10-minute Epilogue. Note the Latinate language with biblical overtones – there’s a choral feel to much of this music, with a concomitant aura of gothic grandeur. Set Your Spirit Free/Goodbye My Love Until We Meet Again is as elegiacal as it is ecclesiastical, while Joe Cairney’s voice is choirboy high. Combine that with the super-technoid playing of bassist John Fitzgerald, guitarists Sam McCulloch and Mark Spalding, and drummer Bruce Levick, underpinning Jim Johnston’s keyboard washes, and the results recall late-70s prog (Going For The One-era Yes, War Of The Worlds). It’s instrumentally impressive, sophisticated symphonic pomp-pop dealing with themes of grief, loss and hope, switching between the solemn, the searing and the celestial, often within the same song.