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Communic: Payment of Existence

On Communic's third release, Payment of Existence, the Norwegian progressive/power metal band finds themselves on Locomotive Records after being with Nuclear Blast for their first two CD's. Well, the label change hasn't altered things much at all, as Payment of Existence sees the band doing what they do best, which is deliver dark, complex heavy metal that draws from progressive, power, and thrash metal, with influences from Fates Warning to Nevermore. The production of Jacob Hansen is powerful and crisp, perfectly delivering the crushing yet melodic guitar work, powerful vocals, and dynamic rhythms of Communic.

If you thought that the band would have a hard time topping Waves of Visual Decay, and even their debut Conspiracy In Mind, well, wait till you give this one a spin. Most of the tunes are in the 7-8 minute range, very dramatic in scope, with lots of textured, crunchy guitar riffs and wild drum patterns, plus the arrangements are always melodic and memorable. Hard to pick favorites on a eight song CD filled with winners, but you can't miss the killer title track, the doomy power metal behemoth "Through The Labyrinth Of Years", the atmospheric & progressive "Raven's Cry" (which has some poignant vocals, lovely keys, and rippling bass lines), and the near 10-minute prog-metal epic "Stone Carved Eyes". The latter contains some absolutely stellar arrangements, with plenty of complex interplay, but most importantly tons of melody.

Multi-faceted, dramatic, progressive, heavy, textured, and melodic, Payment of Existence is all this and then some. There's no reason why Communic, after the world hears this release, shouldn't find themselves in the upper echelon of the heavy metal universe. The sooner they get over here to the US for some live shows the better. Outstanding stuff!

Track Listing
1. On Ancient Ground 8:44
2. The Abandoned One 8:45
3. Becoming Of Man 7:54
4. Payment Of Existence 7:31
5. Through The Labyrinth Of Years 5:46
6. Raven's Cry 8:18
7. Unpredictables Of Life 6:39
8. Stone Carved Eyes 9:11

Added: October 8th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Communic Website
Hits: 4057
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Communic: Payment of Existence
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2008-10-08 17:14:17
My Score:

Communic, the majestic Prog/Power Metal trio from Norway (Yeah..the land of guitar god Ronni LeTekro! Just had to add have released their 3rd disc entitled, Payment Of Existence (Locomotive Records). This 8 track CD clocks in at over 1 hour of music with the shortest song being over 5-1/2 minutes long. For fans of this great band, there has been a lot of baited breath awaiting Communic's new material. I have been a fan for quite some time and was thrilled to have found this CD for review on my desk.

It's always fun to pop in that CD that you just can't wait to hear isn't it?! Payment of Existence opens with the evil & brooding, "On Ancient Ground" with the heavy groove of thunder thrown into your face. And then those glorious vocals of vocalist/guitarist Oddleif Stensland kick in. What a great voice, searing, haunting and powerful. The power, melody and Communic's progressive nature are all intact, as you would hope. Bassist Erik Mortensen and drummer Tor Atle Andersen round out the trio that is Communic and their breed of Doom Metal is clear and sharp from excellent production from returning producer, Jacob Hansen. Even the artwork on Payment of Existence is eerily amazing and sets the visual tone for this Power Metal experience.

But there is usually some sort of downside. As usual, the songs are long and expansive which is normally a welcome thing, but this time around Communic seem to lose a little bit of their way in some songs. The point sometimes seems to be lost within the cross-genres of their Metal and hybrid precision of their musical chops. 8 & 9 minute songs are a bit forced and unfocused and a little boring at times. It still sounds like Communic, but just a bit off.

Fans of Communic will dig Payment of Existence, it's just not on pace with their amazing first CD, Conspiracy In Mind. A bit long winded and a little bit too much of a departure from the normal Communic formula, but Payment of Existence is still a pretty solid record. This is not the record that I was hoping for, but has still found a home on my iPod. All and all it's a good listen but I was just wanting more.

» Reader Comments:

Communic: Payment of Existence
Posted by Jonathan Swank on 2008-10-06 23:05:31
My Score:

I am glad to see such a positive review of this band here. Thanks to Pete Pardo. These guys have a very genuine quality, lacking in so much of the metal out there today. This is not Nevermore. Stop comparing them. This is not thrash metal. This is only minimally prog, but it is very heavy metal and it is very moving metal! I have enjoyed all three of this band's releases, and it is truly a shame that they can't get distro in the US. This is intelligent metal, but not devoid of passion or emtion. This band should be lauded, not demoted for their efforts. Theses same pages have seen much praise for the new Evergrey - Torn release, which while very solid, doesn't provide the passion, diversity or intesity of communic. Wave of Visual Decay was an incredible release, and I think this new one is every bit as convincing.

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