The Deus Ex-Machina as a Forgotten Genius (Andy Warhol Sucks)

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France's relationship with le rock & roll has historically been as thorny and complex as its relationship with the country that spawned it: the U.S.A. Either incapable or unwilling to accept rock's most common tenets as unquestionable gospel, the French have more often not broken with trends and rocked out in rather unique and idiosyncratic fashion. Into this long and bold tradition step French psychotic progressive metal act Comity and their hair-raising, extensively titled LP The Deus Ex-Machina as a Forgotten Genius (Andy Warhol Sucks). Immediately chucking any sort of rock songwriting rule book out the window, the group's amazingly thick, sludgy, and quick-paced post-death metal combines the often baffling, controlled chaos of a Dillinger Escape Plan with the continent-sized sonic adventures (tracks average ten minutes in length) of an Isis or Old Man Gloom. In fact, the latter's extreme oscillations between hard and soft sounds are as good a start as any, for comparison's sake. Anyway, add to this a peculiar affinity for impenetrable song titles like "A Track to Forget What Has Been Forgotten (Introduce Yourself to Me/Us Please Call 355.6185214)" and "Alleluia Versus Amen (As Eros Kills)," and the die is cast for a truly challenging listening experience. Too challenging, perhaps, as the album will likely require at least two-dozen plays and a hell of a lot of patience before its contents can be properly assimilated or rendered at all coherent. And, truth is, even the group's initially welcome about-faces from complete metal Armageddon to altogether mellow passages gets a little tiresome around the half-hour mark. Still, there are countless stunning moments of both fury and beauty to be found in the likes of "Her Own King Theory (What the Fuck Is Miscommunication?)," "Farewell to a Crimson King in a Crimson Way..." (King Crimson being a particularly apropos band to name-check here), and hardcore-tinged closer "Variation on the Same Mistake." Therefore, bring an open mind and a notebook, and be ready for a shocking assault on the senses.

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