COMMUNIC - Where Echoes Gather
November 14, 2017, a year ago
Norwegian progressive metal band Communic stand far above the rest of the pack within the genre. On its fifth full-length album, Where Echoes Gather (its first in six years), its nine conceptually-driven tracks possess a seamless mixture of prog, power and thrash metal. Soaring harmonized guitar hooks, incredibly-haunting vocals from Oddleif Stensland and a galloping, rhythmic thrust from bassist Erik Mortensen and drummer Tor Atle Andersen is what the band does best. In the past, Communic were often compared to Nevermore, yet the comparisons are less present here, as Communic has its own distinctive flavor.
Opening track “The Pulse Of The Earth” is split into two parts, as well as the follow-up track “Where Echoes Gather.” The former immediately impresses with its intricate riffing and pounding tom fills, while the latter shows enough variety in the songwriting with its transitional riffs, main guitar melodies and soaring vocal harmonies. The proggy Rush-like elements and Maiden-esque harmonized, galloping melodies mix well on “Where Echoes Gather” Parts 1 and 2. “Moondance” has an ominous appeal with Queensryche-esque qualities, while “Where History Lives” evokes a massively-memorable melodic segment at the 4:04 mark in which they channel their inner Rush. “Black Flag of Hate” is their most furious and thrashy track on the album while the two-part closer “The Claws Of The Sea” slowly builds to a climatic ending. With a 54-minute runtime, most of the tracks on Where Echoes Gather are on the longish side. However, the production is killer, consisting of a pristine sound, yet gritty enough that it doesn’t lose its edginess. Although Where Echoes Gather isn’t perfect, there aren’t too many faults. It may have taken six years for new material, but thank God Communic is back!