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Communic - Conspiracy in Mind  CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.21 | 19 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Subtle? As a flying mallet!

Norwegian metal band Communic came together in 2003, two of the three members (Oddleif Stensland and Tor Atle Andersen) arriving from the band Scariot. They brought in bassist Erik Mortensen who had worked with Stensland's in a previous band and the line up was complete. It was another year after forming the band before they started work on their debut, having secured a recording contract to facilitate its release. This, their debut, finally saw the light of day early in 2005.

Since instrumentally the band is restricted to guitar and vocals on top of the bass/drum powerhouse, it is reasonable to assume that the room for diversity is somewhat restricted. Although there is an admirable depth and power to the music, this proves to be a valid assumption. The music here is heavy with strong melodies and passing hints of prog. The tracks are driven along by rapid drumming and thumping bass, supporting huge guitar riffs but little overt soloing. The vocals are well performed, often multi-tracked or harmonised with lyrics suitable for the metal domain.

To these ears, the most appealing song is the 10 minute "They Feed on Our Fear", a slower power metal number with particularly good singing (why do other bands not ensure they have a vocalist with this much ability, he is as valuable as a virtuoso guitarist?). The track weaves its way through variations in mood, although the changes are subtle rather than dramatic (if the word "subtle" can ever be used in reference to this type of music!).

On the similarly appealing "The Distance" it does sound as if keyboards are being used to fill out the sound, but as far as I can see, these are unaccredited. They are definitely there on "Silence Surrounds" too. Similarly, "Ocean bed" has some effective female(?) backing vocals for which no credit is given.

The tracks are all long, running to between 6 and 10 minutes. As suggested earlier though, there is a one dimensional nature to the sound which is rather at odds with what we tend to seek in these parts, and which renders the album as a whole rather less than the sum of the parts. Heard in isolation, much of what appears here is well performed, with a clear effort having been made in the writing and arranging of the songs. It is though the collective impression of the album as a whole which for me is its weakness. A decent first effort though.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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