Damn, has it already been 7 years since their last release The Bottom Deep? It took them such a long time, due to family increase of both Oddleif and Tor-Atle and I can totally understand that, because what’s more important then your own flesh and blood! I still remember that their debut album back in 2005, Conspiracy in Mind was a regular friend, spinning round after round in my cd player. Progressive metal optima forma; heavy, a bit complicated and with a great vocalist. The releases after their debut just didn’t reach the same level, or was it perhaps me getting a bit sated?
A big part of the songs on Where Echoes Gather have already been written a few years ago, but perhaps that is the reason for the high quality. The songs captivate me from start to finish and this is Communic’s most progressive album to date. Oddleif’s singing style still has a lot of similarities with Warrel Dane’s and like on all the other albums also the music still has similarities to his band Nevermore and of course his earlier band Sanctuary. The mix of thrashy riffs, powermetal parts, tempo changes, progressive twists and a lot of melody also see to that. Still you can hear from a far distance that it is Communic and not Nevermore.
When I started listening, the band convinced me already after 48 seconds, the unique slowed down riff did it. After that I experienced a roller coaster of tempo changes, emotional parts, heavy riffing and so on and so on. Before you know it, the fifth track starts, or should I say the third, because the first four are just 2 songs divided in part 1 and 2. Then my personal favorite ‘Moondance’ starts, an almost 9 minutes long epic track, starting soft with emotional singing of Oddleif. It is as if Warrel Dane is singing a Fates Warning track. After that the riff monster ‘Where History Lives’ follows. Besides the original riffs, the song has some fine singing lines with great melodies. Chopping riffs combined with obstinate drumming make ‘Black Flag of Hate’ also one of my favorite tracks. The diptych ‘The Claws of The Sea’ is the perfect ending of this new Communic come-back album.
I like their proggy late eigthies and thrash influenced metal and perhaps some will find it a bit old fashioned, but not me. The new album is the best since their debut and fans of the band and also fans of Nevermore and Sanctuary can order this one without hesitation. The digipak has some bonus material (see below).
01. The Pulse of the Earth (Part 1 - The Magnetic Center)
02. The Pulse of the Earth (Part 2 - Impact Of The Wave)
03. Where Echoes Gather (Part 1 - Beneath The Giant)
04. Where Echoes Gather (Part 2 - The Underground Swine)
06. Where History Lives
07. Black Flag Of Hate
08. The Claws Of The Sea (Part 1 - Journey Into The Source)
09. The Claws Of The Sea (Part 2 - The First Moment)
Bonus on Digipak:
10. Watching It All Disappear (Live In Studio 2017)
11. At Dewy Prime (Live In Studio 2017)
12. Waves Of Visual Decay (Acoustic Live Version - 10th Anniversary Concert)
Playing Time: 53:00 (normal cd)
Oddleif Stensland - guitars/vocals
Erik Mortensen - bass
Tor-Atle Andersen - drums