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Communic - Payment of Existence CD (album) cover



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Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Depravation, destruction and decay; it's all good stuff

"Payment of existence" is Norwegian metallers Communic's third album, and their latest release at time of writing. While de facto leader Oddleif Stensland is currently writing new material, it seems likely that we will need to wait until after 2009 for any further releases. The line up is once again unchanged, but as the playing of the trio has been admirably tight since their first album this release is simply a natural development of their sound rather than marked improvement of it.

The heavy introductory riff to "On Ancient Ground" tells us that this is very much business as usual; if anything things seem even heavier this time around. The lyrics are suitably tinged with pagan and satanic references and refrains of "Sacrifice", the sleeve illustration suggesting that depravation, destruction and decay provide the loose concept for the album.

"Becoming of Man" is the first to lighten things slightly, the chiming guitar supporting a fine vocal arrangement. The track works its way though slight variations in tempo and mood, but is generally slower that the other songs, further emphasising its power. "Raven's Cry" and "Through the Labyrinth of Years" appear to include keyboards to swell the sound, but once again, if this is the case they remain unaccredited.

Overall, the prog aspects of Communic are muted to say the least. While they deliver extended songs, most are between 6 and 10 minutes long, this has more to do with the band's ability to fully develop their material rather than through the introduction of genuine prog tenets. They do however make a mighty sound, and their vocal capabilities are far superior to many other bands who follow a similar path. At the risk of sounding like a stuck record, I do wish they would diversify their sound a bit more, and also that they would include more genuine solos in their instrumental passages. These however are personal aspirations, and this remains a well made and most enjoyable album.

Report this review (#204834)
Posted Monday, March 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars To me, Communic are a little like a poor man's Iced Earth, they have that epic power/progressive sound with that slight element of thrash metal in their music, but unlike Iced Earth i just think this band is missing something, they can really be destined for massive things, they have the ability they just dont know how to use that ability well, now dont get me wrong i really really enjoyed this album and there is some fantastic playing and some great songs, it just didnt do as much as i hoped it would, tracks like the first one ON ANTIENT GROUND just sounded too much like their influences its almost like playing a game of spot the influence, there really is nothing original, just the same played to death formula of lets stretch this song way beyond the length thats needed and fill it with about five different verces, though having said that songs like THROUGH THE LABYRINTH OF YEARS was a highly enjoyable song with some very catchy parts, other highlights are BECOMING OF MAN and RAVEN'S CRY. I dont really need to mention anything about production as with all power/prog albums the sound is great and everything can be heard very clearly i just wish the songs were just a smidge better is all;

On Ancient Ground - 8/10 The Abandoned One - 8/10 Becoming of Man - 9/10 Payment of Existence - 9/10 Through the Labyrinth of Years - 9/10 Ravens Cry - 9/10 Unpredictables of Life - 8/10 Stone Carved Eyes - 8/10

My Conclusion? A little dissipointed but hey, thats just my opinion, i would still recomend it as its a decent release.

Report this review (#282546)
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album has done something which is very rare...and bands really shouldn't do this.

Now I've know these guys for a while now, and I don't have their first 2 album,s but I've heard songs from each, and I really like them.When I saw this album in a CD shop, I had to get it, just to kind of at leat own something from these guys.

I sat down ready to listen away, and then regretted it. For half an hour I was thinking, "Oh my God, this is just boring. And not that good." By the 4th song, I kind of wanted to turn it off, but only one album has actually made me turn a CD off before I finished it before (Metallica's Death Magnetic, that final instrumental was just boring as hell). Then track 5 came on and I went "This is actually a really good song"...and then it got better as each track went on.

That's really not a nice thing to do to someone. Torture them slightly for half and hour, and then pamper them the next. Sadly thats what happened. The first 4 songs are just not that great, in fact, very tedious at times, and quite annoying. Then the last 4 are so good that it kind of makes you regret thinking such bad thoughts about the band beforehand.

Now these guys are progressive metal...kind of...sort off. Well its hard to even really label these guys. Their unqiue...yet you can hear their influences clearly, yet also make them their own sound. It's great what they do, but hard when you want to describe them. I always thought they sounded like Nevermore at times, but that's mainly because of the vocals. To be honest, their just a metal band, with no real sub genre, although they do have lengthy tracks, and I mean all of their songs are over 5 minutes and can even reach the 10 minute mark. The guys can oddly enough pull it off. How they do it, I don't know, it just seems to work.

The album also seems to be a concept album, dealing with themes of existentionalism (for the first 4 songs, it really suits the mood), creation, existence, religion, time and purpose of life.

Now for the first half an hour, you will start to look like the girl on the cover...but don't worry...soon you'll like this ...> :D

It's also good to see a band from Norway, where the members don't have silly black metal nicknames (if i had a black metal nickname it would be Ygg, cause its Norwegian for the wicked one...ooooohhhh)

Now if you do buy this album, does get good. I mean really good.

1. On Ancient Ground - I have to admit, this main riff is kick ass. The song builds up pretty well at times, but the chorus is annoying. The song is cheesy at times, and the words "ancicent" "ground" and "SACRIFICE!" are said about a billion times, and they don't get better with repitition. Although...that is one good riff. 8/10

2. The Abandoned One - I like the Metallica esque chugging in the main riff. Nice enough chorus, but it's quite lifeless really, and it only makes the song more boring. 7/10

3. Becoming Of Man - The dramaticism is pretty cool. The lyrics and concept are pretty interesting. The song isn't that bad, and can be pretty cool at times, but it's still a bit bland now and then. 7/10

4. Payment Of Existence - Some of the changes are very random and don't make sense. Some kick ass riffs, and some ok moments, I guess. Pretty forgetfull.

5. Through The Labryinth Of Years - THE CHANGEAROUND!!! The song is really good. The chorus is really kick ass, especially the bridge after it. I love the melodic feel to it too. 10/10

6. Raven's Cry - I really didn't expect antything from this song, cause the title seemed a bit clichéd. But it just really turns into something pretty amazing. The intro is really cool, and the chorus kicks alot of ass. I love how the song changes from quite a slow song into a very kick ass metal song. The instrumental section also is really impressive, cause it really shows what these guys are capable of. Great arrangement, and some really kick ass vocals, especially in the chorus. 10/10

7. Unpredicabilities Of Life - Best song on the album in my opinion. The main riff is really kick ass. The chorus is amazing and the build up throughout the song really is killer. The vocals are also amazing, especially in the chorus. 10/10

8. Stone Carved Eyes - Wow! That intro is one hell of a way to start a song. Great chorus and a great arrangement keeping you on your feet. It's also not that repetitive, so it intrigues you more.

CONCLUSION: If this was an e.p...and the last 4 songs where on it, I would give it 4 or even a 5. But because the first half is very week, 3 will have to do (the first half would get a 2 at the most). I was gonna sell this album...but now I might keep it...just for those last 4 songs.

Report this review (#481285)
Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Payment of Existence from 2008 is their third release so far and is keeping the same attitude and manner of composing with previous album. Still fairly solid album, maybe in places little more unintresting as Waves but still tight in musicinship. Again long pieces, with forte ones On Ancient Ground or Through the Labyrinth of Years, they remind me in places of Nevermore, specially on guitar department. Not a fantastic album but I still like it and I found it good towards great, so 3.5 stars for Payment of Existence. Waves remain their best album so far. A good band that worth to be discovered by prog/power metal listners, there is some fantastic instrumental sections.
Report this review (#983011)
Posted Friday, June 21, 2013 | Review Permalink

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