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Communic: Waves of Visual Decay

Norway's Communic continue the trend they set with 2005's Conspiracy In Mind on their new platter Waves of Visual Decay. Still basing their sound on the complex and classic metal styles of Nevermore and Iced Earth, Communic offer up precision riffing, powerful vocals, intricate rhythms, and epic song structures for an album that pleases on all fronts.

Opening track "Under a Luminous Sky" is a powerful slab of classic sounding metal, deeply rooted in the early 80's thrash scene but with hints of progressive and power metal as well. Haunting melodies and plenty of tasty guitar work from singer/guitarist Oddleig Stensland stand out on "Frozen Asleep in the Park", a song that also features rapid-fire drum bursts from Tor Atle Andersen. This one rocks hard and furious, ultimately paying homage to some of the great thrash bands of the 80's like Testament, Megadeth, and Exodus. One thing you notice very quickly here is the fantastic production of Jacob Hansen, who has also worked wonders with Mercenary and Aborted, and also helmed the band's debut album. The sonic crispness of all the instruments allows Stensland's vocals, a combination of Warrel Dane, Rob Halford, and Tim "Ripper" Owens, to soar into the heavens.

"Watching It All Disappear" is a slower, moodier piece, and will appeal to prog-metal fans who like crunchy riffing, complex drum patterns, keyboards, and intense interplay. Melodic harmony guitars meet keyboards and relentless rhythms on the juggernaut "Fooled By the Serpent", one of the album's fastest and heaviest pieces, complete with plenty of stop/start passages and wicked crunch-o-rama from guitarist Stensland. You can hear hints of Megadeth on the atmospheric and dark title track, while "My Bleeding Victim" is a boiling cauldron of frantic metal riffs and rhythms. The album closer "At Dewy Prime" sees the band cover darker material yet again, but with tons of melody and plenty of superhuman riffs and drum fills, as well as nimble bass patterns from Erik Mortensen.

Conspiracy In Mind was a surprisingly solid debut from Communic, but Waves of Visual Decay is the real deal, a stunning & mature sophomore release from a young band that is growing leaps and bounds very quickly. Along with Scar Symmetry's Pitch Black Progess, Nuclear Blast has another stellar metal release from a hot new band poised to make their mark in a big way.

Track Listing
1) Under a Luminous Sky
2) Frozen Asleep In the Park
3) Watching It All Disappear
4) Fooled by the Serpent
5) Waves of Visual Decay
6) My Bleeding Victim
7) At Dewy Prime

Added: January 29th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Communic Website
Hits: 5673
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Communic: Waves of Visual Decay
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2007-01-29 15:17:10
My Score:

The way I see it is like this, when you listen to Norway's Communic, you should be prepared to be blown away by what is going on in the band. It's Power Metal with a definite inspiration from the greats of the past and the resulting mix comes off like some sort of amalgam of both Fates Warning and Nevermore, making this strong on the Progressive side as well. Waves Of Visual Decay is the bands second release and follows Conspiracy In Mind (2005) which was a rock solid effort of its own for a debut from a band formed only two years earlier. Obviously, the band suffered no "sophomore curse" with the album and you can tell easily from the full Metal assault that you will get as it begins. The three-member group are diverse and technically intriguing at practically every turn and though a small lineup there is nothing small by the way of their sound. The album begins with "Under A Luminous Sky" which is a dramatic opener and features many exciting time signature changes. From this, you find that the band makes use of many peaks and valleys by slowing the tempo only to throttle it again, and again. There are true hints of Nevermore's Warrel Dane on this one then Oddleif shatters glass with a scream that would make Tim "Ripper" Owens proud. There is a clear and rich emotion across their songs and all of them are epics that hold you rather than lag on you as a listener and the emotion runs high during "Frozen Asleep In the Park", a song that laments the pitfalls of addiction. The group is comprised of Oddleif Stensland (vocals/guitar), Tor Atle Andersen (drums), and Erik Mortensen (bass) and the efforts of these three members show a true homage to the famous trios in Metal's past. One can safely say this based on the level of technical ability that they display on every track. Stensland's voice is electric and really shows off a number of different aspects and with the drumming that's pounding away under some truly inspired guitar shredding - there is not much here that will disappoint the discerning Metal fan.

Overall the album is quite heavy and this will appeal to many of the genres demographic. It was recorded in a short three weeks time with Jacob Hansen who some readers might remember from such bands as Mercenary (another group who you should be listening to these days). This is the perfect blending of Progressive Rock's creativity and experiment along with Heavy Metal's brazen power and intensity and shows that with each album they are getting better. If this is a sign of what is to come from this band, I can hardly wait until the next album. If you are a fan of any of the groups compared to in this article there is a good chance that Communic will soon be cited as one of your personal favorites as well.

Communic: Waves of Visual Decay
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-12-03 18:20:13
My Score:

Ahhh, is there anything quite like Norwegian Metal? Doom and gloom, dark and angry. Nope there is nothing like Norwegian Metal!

Enter Communic with their latest effort, Waves of Visual Decay (Nuclear Blast Records) great title huh? Fans of Candlemass, Nevermore, Sanctuary and Soilwork, as well as In Flames will just eat this up.

This CD is a 7 song Metal fest. Covering a few different genres of metal, all with catchy melodies and headbangin' guitar driven hooks, this is a CD that once in your CD player, you will find it difficult to take out! Waves of Visual Decay is a powerful, progressive and moody CD full of emotion. You WILL find yourself listening to this disc over and over again. Finding something that you didn't hear before, it's that type of a record. Check out the shrilling, "Frozen Asleep In The Park", for a thrill ride. Bombastic, evil and heavy, can you ask for more from a metal band?!!

The progressiveness of Communic is their true strength. They bring the metal, full force, but they are experimental as well. "Fooled By The Serpent" is a good example of what Communic is all about. Slow and brooding, then full on, then back again. You are never quite sure where they are going, but the ride with them is well worth it! The thing that sets Communic apart from other bands of this genre is their catchy vocal melodies. They are always present. And like a virus that you can't get rid of, they are in your head. Very infectious.

Yes, yes, there's something going on over there in Norwegian/Scandinavian Metal scene. I wish that the Americans could take a page from them and be more creative. Communic have delivered a great metal disc here with Waves of Visual Decay, not to mention probably the best CD title of the year. Communic have continued to fuse Power Metal with Doom and Thrash Metal, and along with their catchy vocals, have begun to climb up the ladder of the modern Metal world. The world will have to take notice, I have!

» Reader Comments:

Communic: Waves of Visual Decay
Posted by Hugh Dark on 2007-02-03 07:34:52
My Score:

This band should be pissed at Nuclear Blast as the label has done nothing to get this record out there. As for the band, back off on the Nevermore influence and don't extend your recording contract without a few guarentees written in.

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