It’s something that has grown rare these days, being able to call a band really original, if you don’t count the old veterans who in the days of yore had left their imprint on the creation of the respective styles. Norwegian COMMUNIC definitely are part of this category, because they have put together their very own niche and one year after their already great debut “Conspiracy In Mind” follow it up with their second effort “Waves Of Visual Decay” and what should I say – the trio from Kristiansand has created another masterpiece that should definitely establish them in the forefront of progressive Metal.
Progressive Metal or progressive Metal? Yes, I deliberately used the term progressive for their Metal, because most people will almost automatically connect Progressive Metal with DREAM THEATER and COMMUNIC are miles away from the Americans, despite technically sharing a genre. Instead of concentrating on very break-y and technical songs with very limited accessibility, the gentlemen around mastermind Oddleif Stensland operate in a grey zone between cornerstones such as NEVERMORE, SOILWORK and Progressive Metal, but without standing too close to any of these bands, rather having found their own sound somewhere in the middle, which also is of very high quality on top of that.
Trying to really describe COMMUNIC’s style is more of a challenge, because due to the many facets of their layered compositions, all of them have so many twists and turns (despite staying very catchy) that I could almost review each song separately… Now what makes the Norwegians so unique is that they use many breaks and signature changes, but combine them with incredibly catchy melodies and dynamics, which make even the more complex songs very accessible and energetic. Everything is garnished by Oddleif’s characteristic voice, which can’t hide parallels to a certain Warrell Dane, but to call him a clone, as some people have done in the past, is completely unjustified.
The Norwegians manage to cover the whole spectrum from emotional and slow to really heavy and back within single songs, without losing track of time and flow. Here we have a calm verse and cracking chorus, there it is the other way around and Oddleif gives his voice so many different hues and emotions that you could almost call him a chameleon. As hard as it is to pick out single tracks, I have to mention “Under A Luminous Sky”, “Watching It All Disappear” and the incredible “Fooled By The Serpent”, which’s chorus you will sing, hum or whistle for days, guaranteed! And with “At Dewy Prime” they even re-did an old INGERMANLAND song, which shows that even back then they’ve had their own sound, more of that!
A really big album, which will very probably be in my Top 10 of the year, surely not for everyone, but if you are open towards it, it will carry you away until you concede defeat and just give in! (Online August 3, 2006)