Comedy Of Errors -
Threnody For A Dead Queen

(CD 2023, 59:00, COE Music COE006)

The tracks:
  1- Summer Lies Beyond(15:27)
  2- The Seventh Seal(14:10)
  3- We Are Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made On(3:02)
  4- Jane (Came Out Of The Blue)(4:00)
  5- Through The Veil(3:33)
  6- Threnody For A Dead Queen(12:28)
  7- And Our Little Life Is Rounded With A Sleep(3:09)
  8- Funeral Dance(3:09)

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We didn't have to wait too long for the sixth studio album of Comedy Of Errors. Threnody For A Dead Queen was released less than a year after the album Time Machine (2022, see review) had seen the light. The first conclusion could be that this album contains some leftovers of it's predecessor. But everyone who thinks that will be in for a surprise. In an interview that I read, the band stated that they only had pieces of music, - atmospheres, etc ready for use. The vast majority of the songs had to be composed from scratch. This brings me to the conclusion that Threnody For A Dead Queen is a full-fledged album.
Another misconception with regards to the album is the title. You easily could think that the album title refers to the passing of the British Queen Elizabeth (2022). This however is pure coincidence and the album title was already in place before Queen Elizabeth died.
With this in the back of our head we can start listening to the album and everything will land on its feet.

First I'd like to give the band a huge compliment for the artwork of the album. It is “simple”, has relations with the lyrics but above all it speaks. The artwork is done by Hew Montgomery. Everyone who is into progressive rock for a certain while immediately will recognize this name. Hew Montgomery was back in the eighties one of the “founding fathers“ of the Scottish band Abel Ganz. Beside that Comedy Of Errors members are playing with Hew Montgomery on the Grand Tour albums.

This brings me to the line-up of the band. For those who are not familiar with the band, Comedy Of Errors is: Joe Cairney (vocals), John Fitzgerald (bass), Jim Johnston (keyboards, backing vocals), Bruce Levick (drums, percussion) and Mark Spalding (guitar, backing vocals).

The framework of Threnody For A Dead Queen has been outlined and we now can get into it deeper.
The album is divided into two parts, the long ones and the short ones. Three tracks clock between 12 and 15 minutes, the other tracks are all 3 up to 4 minutes long and are the cement between the stones.
The first epic track Summer Lies Beyond is a mid-tempo track with a little dark atmosphere. The track is drawn out in the typical Comedy of Errors manner. Most fans will really like this opening track.
The second epic track is called The Seventh Seal and is my favorite track by far. It is probably one of my all-time favorite tracks of the band. There is a main role for the keyboards and the guitar. They both play original anchors that are repeated in the track. I really like that approach. To me this is neo progressive rock at his best.
In tracks like these the whole band excels to a higher level. The rhythm section is as steady as a rock and Joe's voice slips through the song. To me the lyrics, which have the theme “”death or grim reaper”, are more or less sung poems. This track has much tension, so many's really a great track.
The last epic track is the title track Threnody For A Dead Queen. The long intro had to me some trance effect. A repeating pattern goes on and on. The track is mainly an instrumental track. Only at the end there is singing. At first I thought that Jon Anderson (former Yes) stood behind the microphone. But of course it was Joe who did the vocals. At the end we are treated with a great guitar solo. Mark Spalding is in my opinion a great guitar player who is very much underrated.

The five shorter tracks are connecting pieces to the longer ones. They are cinematic, atmospheric on the dark side of the spectrum and therefore interesting. On the other hand I get the critics of all who state that these parts are more or less leftovers of the former album. Whatever side you choose, they fit perfectly in the concept of this album.

This all said brings me to the conclusion of this remarkable Comedy Of Errors album. Personally this was an album in which had to grow. First time I played it, it didn't get me. So I put it away and after a couple of weeks I did a second try. It was obvious that my mood had changed, because the album brought me in higher spheres.
The album grew to be one of my favorite Comedy Of Errors albums. I especially come back to it in my personal “darker” time. I am one of those people who plays darker albums in darker times. I have an internal mechanism that darker music lifts me up when I am a little down. Don't ask me why, I am not a psychologist but a simple mechanical engineer.

****+ Aad Bannink (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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