Six years seems a long time, but Norway's masters of melancholy prog-metal Communic are back with a new album and new label, Where Echoes Gather on AFM Records. The trio of Oddleif Stensland ( guitar/vocals), Tor Atle Andersen (drums), and Erik Mortensen (bass) continue to deliver one of the biggest 'walls of sound' from a three piece that we've ever heard in the metal genre, their music as always a muscular, complex brew of styles that compares to Nevermore, Sanctuary, Tad Marose, Evergrey, Dream Theater, and Fates Warning. The bands four previous albums have all been stellar, and Where Echoes Gather is no exception, as bits of prog, power metal, and thrash collide for a potent blast for the senses, one epic arrangement after another around every corner the listener experiences.
The two opening mini-suites "The Pulse of the Earth" and "Where Echoes Gather" are mindblowing examples of dark, tumultuous progressive metal, Stensland's guitar riffs inventive and intricate, the rhythms of Andersen and Mortensen acrobatic, and the vocals mysterious yet powerful, but it's the brooding menace that boils below the surface that has always given Communic's music its edge, and it's seeping throughout this album. "Moondance" has some doom elements mixed with an epic Queensryche styled flair, while "Where History Lives" is an absolute crusher of progressive metal and thrash fury, the riffs lethal and the drum work jaw dropping. If that doesn't knock you on the seat of your pants, the machine gun ferocity of "Black Flag of Hate" certainly will, a furious slab of metal that has the might of classic Nevermore but kicked up a notch, Stensland again knocking it out of the park with those superhuman riffs. The band closes out the album with the two-part epic "The Claws of the Sea", as Mortensen's nimble bass underlies some intense guitar & drum exchanges before Stensland's soaring vocals come into play, Communic delivering moody, majestic progressive metal that is unforgettable, the melodies digging their hooks into your very soul and the arrangements pure ear candy for the senses.
The digipack CD offers up a few bonus tracks, including new studio takes on "Watching it all Disappear", "At Dewy Prime", and an acoustic rendition of "Waves of Visual Decay". They are the sweet icing on the otherwise perfect cake, as Where Echoes Gather is ultimately catapulted to one of the strongest metal releases of 2017. Welcome back guys!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
01. The Pulse of the Earth (Part 1 - The Magnetic Center)
02. The Pulse of the Earth (Part 2 - Impact of The Wave)
03. Where Echoes Gather (Part 1 - Beneath The Giant)
04. Where Echoes Gather (Part 2 - The Underground Swine)
06. Where History Lives
07. Black Flag of Hate
08. The Claws Of The Sea (Part 1 - Journey Into The Source)
09. The Claws Of The Sea (Part 2 - The First Moment)
10. Watching It All Disappear (Live In Studio 2017)
11. At Dewy Prime (Live In Studio 2017)
12. Waves Of Visual Decay (Accoustic Live Version - 10th Anniversary Concert)