Four years ago I had reviewed the EP “Beyond Equator” by Norwegian INGERMANLAND, which had a pretty unique sound, which reminded me a bit of NEVERMORE, but altogether had a big own touch. After that I didn’t hear anything from them anymore and I had thought the band lost and I was not that far off, because the guys had shed this name, since 2003 they are working under the new moniker COMMUNIC, consisting of the two former INGERMANLAND members Oddleif Stensland (vocals/guitars, also ex SCARIOT) and Erik Mortensen (bass), plus ex SCARIOT drummer Tor Atle Andersen.
This fact was unknown to me, though, when I had first popped in “Conspiracy In Mind“, COMMUNIC’s debut, and was blown away from the get-go. The riff/drum thunderstorm of the opening title track kicks off an album, which hopefully will be the stepping stone for a big career, for what this trio fires off here is absolutely top-notch! The first track alone excels with damn heavy guitars, grandiose melodies, great dynamics, tremendous power and Oddleif’s wilful, expressive and variable voice, I can only say one word: Wow! But it continues on with “History Reversed“, from the super catchy and very harmonic beginning up to the a bit heavier chorus or “They Feed On Our Fear“, which in the second half really lets loose, before they pull all stops.
“Communication Sublime“ is an incredible track, which combines heavy riff thunder, super catchy guitars and a world class vocal performance, that will let you sit in front of your speaker slack-jawed, letting you fumble for the CD player to replay the song right away. “Ocean Bed“ sets new standards in terms of intensity and the eleven-minute “Silence Surrounds“ is a Prog/Power Metal epos of big variety and dynamics, setting a more than worthy final point.
In the past COMMUNIC (just like I did with INGERMANLAND) have been compared with NEVERMORE and SANCTUARY and partly these parallels also are understandable, yet to mark the Norwegians off as a copy of the Seattle-based band would be a big mistake, as COMMUNIC without a doubt are a class of their own and do not have to fear any comparisons, because they do not only excel musically, no, the vocal performance is extraordinary and they weave together complex rhythms, catchy melodies and more than remarkable heaviness with a great eases, which also is more than just underlined by the damn powerful production.
I really wish that “Conspiracy in Mind“ had reached me earlier, because without a doubt it would have been a hot contender for the top 10 of the year. If you like your Metal powerful, heavy, complex, catchy and dynamic, COMMUNIC should be high, high on your list, we should still hear a lot of this band! (Online February 5, 2006)