without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Communic surely made a big step forward with their second record. Their compositions are more complex, more thought out and more majestic. The band also sounds a lot less than Nevermore as they did on their debut record even if these influences are still too much present to call this album unique. The production and the artwork are though once again outstanding.
"Under A Luminous Sky" is a great and mysterious introduction to a progressive album but the band's technical thrash riffs kick already in and give the song a fairly interesting drive. The vocals remind of Nevermore but in the higher parts also of King Diamond or Judas Priest. This shows just the great vocal range of the singer and proves me that he could do much better than he actually does by copying the style of other well known singers. The guitar work sounds a little bit like Tool in this track and is quite interesting.
The problem I still have with the band beside the fact that they didn't find their own style and copy too many other artists is that their songs lack of warmth, accessibility and catchiness. They are technically brilliant but heavy to digest and often way too long in my humble opinion. As on the last album, the band convinces when they take a deep breath and put calmer passages in their songs. These are the moments when they sound emotional, authentic and human. I really like the calm and melodic first minutes of the diversified "Frozen Asleep In The Park" or the enjoyable half-ballad "Watching It All Disappear" but the band always decides way too often to return to a mid tempo pace with thrash riffs and Warrel Dane reminiscences.
The calm moments are though way more present on this record as one the first one and the band seems to recognize its talent and skills and they mostly employ them in an adequate way. From that point of view the title track "Waves Of Visual Decay" is the most complete and perfect track the band has ever done and the highlight of this record but one must also mention the quite diversified closer "At Dewy Pride" that mixes in a great way the harder and softer side of a band and would be an ideal choice to represent the sound of the Norwegian group. The last songs sound very promising to me for the band's future since I have not yet listened to their last records but they definitely seem to keep on progressing.
In the end, this record is more human, more emotional and also more diversified than the first album. It's not a masterpiece but the band is on a quite good way to get into the circle of the big progressive metal bands. I begin to open myself to them and appreciate them more than before. I would judge this record as a big step forward for them and consider it as a very good progressive metal record.
Since their formation in 2003, Communic has been producing a mind boggling form of music that has stunned almost anybody who listens to it. I describe Communic as heavy metal gone progressive minus the over the top frills that can make prog. metal so annoying at times. Similar to Nevermore, but not in drop A.
Communic's first release, Conspiracy In Mind, is a progressive metal masterpiece, with it's wide range of vocals, driving bass, mind blowing drumming and memorable riffing. Waves of Visual Decay follows this trend that Communic set with it's earlier release, but more refined.
This time around, there are no real ballads on Waves, but soft parts in almost every song (Under a Luminous Sky and My Bleeding Victim barred from this) that build up into what i would call an epic chorus-climax that just fills your ears with pure power, and fades away with some techinically proficient riffing from Oddleif himself.
Going into the elements of the music, i must start with the astounding production of this album. Nothing seems to overpower eachother, it all fits into eachother seemlessly, while the sound of the entire album is crisp and clear, with everything audible (yes, the basslines are there, and KILLER at that!). The production is amazing, no questions asked! Moving on...
The guitar and bass blend in a way rarely heard anymore in music, they do not fight for dominance with eachother, nor drown eachother out, they mix in a compositonal gem that is almost beyond words to describe. On top of that, the dual harmonies between the guitar and bass offer a soaring lead with a driving rhythm that will make most shake their heads in joy.
The drumming is outstanding. The ever-progressing rythmic patterns with the sometimes abrupt tempo-changes adds a flair to the album, giving it more density, more power and gives Communic's brand of progressive metal a kick that alot of other bands in the same genre just simply lack.
Overall, this album is incredible! Weather you want fast and heavy (Under A Luminious Sky, My Bleeding Victim) or far out and abstract (At Dewy Prime, Waves Of Visual Decay) Waves is sure to satisfy your desires!
I reccomend this album to anybody who is a fan of Nevermore or progressive metal in general.
If you heard this band’s debut, Conspiracy in Mind, were pleasantly surprised and expected more of the same for the follow-up, you are in for what is the aural equivalent of early christmas presents, that long overdue birthday treat, diwali sweets, onam sadhya, a thanksgiving turkey, huge chocolate easter eggs and a playboy playmate all falling into your lap at the same time. And the funny thing is, your pants will probably be ruined in both scenarios.
There have been several coughs of ‘Nevermore clones’ for some time now, and I ought to address that. On the basis of Conspiracy in Mind alone, that label might have some truth. The bands do bridge the same genres – power and thrash metal, and the hybrid churns out trademarks like steamroller chugging riffs that slam into one another without a pause for breath, huge choruses that get great mileage without using the saccharine power metal formula – it’s all very recognisable. Plus, guitarist/vocalist Oddlief Stensland’s dissonant vocal style and his voice in general sound remniscient of Warrel Dane’s delivery, so there is a cause for comparison.
With Waves of Visual Decay however, Communic have stepped out of that shadow and become a much better band for it. There are still strong roots from where they came from, but the sound is now much vaster, and instead of having several cool parts fitted together to make a song, every section here dovetails brilliantly into the next, and before you know it, a nine-minute song has whisked past. Like, for the title track of Conspiracy in Mind (and quite a few other songs from that album), I couldn’t wait for the awesome chorus to come around and blow me away. On this album, I’m not waiting for anything because practically every damn second is kicking my ass in a big way.
There are a few things that add up to make this dramatic fleshing out of sound. For one, the understated keyboards manage to creep into the whole experience. Keyboards in metal usually feel like icing, liberally applied over the solid part of the song (unless we’re talking about Jordan Rudess, in which case it feels like “What the hell is going on here?!”), but here they come across as a subtle crust, never getting in the way but boosting the overall ambience whenever used.
And the guitar tone has just become divine – fat, full and still mean as hell. Listening to stuff like the title track and At Dewy Prime, you can see how much of a difference this makes when compared to older songs attempting the same style, like They Feed on our Fear.
As far as individual performances go, this is flawless in my opinion. Oddleif steals the show, his voice now a proficient instrument of its own. He shifts from soulful to aggressive, bottom end to a soaring scream in the blink of an eye. While the lyrics may be occasionally awkward, I really can’t care because for one, they do enough to get the theme across, and two, their most important job is setting up those brilliant vocal lines. The guitars are sublime, some of the best rhythm playing I’ve heard in a while, and while there’s no OTT wankery, the solos are far from slouchy. The rhythm section, made up of Erik Mortensen and Tor Atle Andersen are superbly locked in like a single organic unit, and though there are several great aggressive flourishes, I have to commend them more for knowing when to hold back and lay down the groove for the song instead of trying to grandstand over it. Great musical sense.
In general, Waves of Visual Decay is an album that gets better with every listen. It’s not quite easy listening for everyone at first, as the average song length is around 8 minutes. However, as you start getting familiar with the songs and picking up new stuff on each repeat spin, it starts soaking into your consciousness and running through it in your mind almost becomes an addiction. Just to give you an idea, My Bleeding Victim is the shortest song on the album at 6 and a half minutes, and probably the weakest. That’s a purely comparitive analysis though – on most artists’ records, it’d be a highlight for sure. But the fact that they can stack so many long, complex songs back to back and keep the listener’s interest at a peak most of the time is a glowing testament to this band’s ability.
If you're still going to make the common comparison, ironically enough, it's Communic that feels more like a Great Dane, all majestic and powerful, while current Nevermore is akin to a savage pitbull, ready to bite your ass off at a moment's notice. Nevermore have had the time to develop their sound into what it is today, and doing an outstanding job for the most part, but if Communic keep growing in this fashion and (inshallah) at this pace, it has to be just a matter of time before far more people sit up and take notice. As for me, I’ll just do all I can to spread the word. Buy this album.
Brand new band with balls! This record is really something special. Second full-length for “Communic” and the band is doing a wonderful job writing long songs that perfectly unite US power and progressive metal!
I’ve read so many reviews saying that this band is a solid “Nevermore” clone and I got to tell you I was almost convinced. Although I’m not a huge “Nevermore” fan I decided to buy the new record by “Communic”.
In the first listening session I got to admit I felt like I was listening to a Warrel Dane wannabe with the music of the band sounding very close to that of “Nevermore”. However, things dramatically changed from the second listen on. Every time I listen to the record now my view on it and my feelings toward it grow stronger, my joy while listening to it becomes larger and my satisfaction for a well-purchased album rises to higher levels! This band is not a “Nevermore” clone. I can now tell you this for sure!
Power-prog for “Communic” means a great combination of heavy riffage, accompanied by double bass drumming and strong bass work, along with amazing melodic passages, incredible solos and beautiful as well as memorable choruses that stay with the listener long after the album has finished. Also, evident is an all around epic feeling which is enhanced by the discrete usage of keyboards that nicely complement parts of songs.
Among the things that I love about this band and I have to say this because I really don’t see it happening anymore is the fact that the album has only 7 songs. 5 songs exceed the eight-minute duration while the remaining 2 are well above the six-minute barrier. Remember the nice times when most albums did not have more than 8 or 9 quality based songs? I sure do and you know what? “Communic” follows this pattern and very successfully I must say!
The album provides equal doses of aggressive power metal and melodic lines. Some of the songs start up strong and are built on a number of changing riffs and their variations. Harmonious passages are then introduced to fulfill the songs and change the mood. Songs such as the opener “Under a Luminous Sky” best illustrate the aforementioned format. Other songs start on a melodic base and are slowly built into strong and powerful choruses. “Watching it All Disappear” a song which has some of the elements that are traced in ballads is a good example of this second style. Either way these arrangements work remarkably for “Communic” and perfectly match the band’s writing style.
The only song writer and thus mastermind behind the band is Oddlief, who exceptionally manages to perform heavy riffs, melodic solos and on top of that sing the most amazing harmonies you can think of.
Oh yes, his guitar playing is of the highest quality. Both his riffage and solos are exceptional and are arranged in such ways that perfectly serve the songs. Oddlief’s voice is very strong and varies according to the musical context. You will definitely enjoy both the low and high notes of his performance. It does remind me of Warrel Dane’s voice, but only at moments and I have to say that if one carefully listens to it, they will see that this young man’s style is different. Even more importantly the Oddlief has not yet reached his full potential and this is something that surely brings a smile to my face.
The remaining two members of the band are solid players. The bass work by Erik is good and successfully serves its purpose, which is to create a layer upon which Oddlief’s guitar work can shine. The same stands for the drummer. Tor Atle can surely play his instrument. He becomes in no way the center of attention and this is something I must say I give him credit for. His assumes the supporting role along with the bass player and they effectively create a powerful rhythm section.
Sonically the album rocks big time! The production is extraordinary and the instruments literally shine. The mix, which is awesome gives the proper depth to the album and allows the guitars to play the leading role as they should. The sound of the drums and cymbals are great. Finally, Oddlief’s astonishing vocal performance is captured effectively.
The only drawbacks (if I can call them drawbacks) that I find in this record have to do with the following: I would like to hear Oddlief play more solos on one hand, and on the other hand I would also like to see Tor Atle (drummer) lessen the use of his double bass style, since it does not on very few occasions suit the music. That's about it.
All in all, what the listener gets in this album is a fine mixture of power and progressive influences that “Communic” masterfully blends together to form songs that you will definitely not easily forget. The album is quite an experience and I have to say that I cannot wait to see what this band will accomplish in the future since the sky seems to be the only limit here. With bands like “Communic” around I honestly wonder how certain fans can still spend their time debating for or against bands such as “Trivium”. Recommended to those who choose their music on the basis of quality and that alone.
COMMUNIC : Waves Of Visual Decay : Nuclear Blast
I don't think I read a review of Communic's debut album 'Conspiracy In Mind' without being told that this band are the new Nevermore. Why we would actually want a new Nevermore is beyond me, good as they are but I guess running the risk of jumping aboard the lazy fuck journalism bandwagon, the likeness is there to an extent.
If the debut offering was well received then and justifiably critically acclaimed then 'Waves Of Visual Decay' surely should be marked as a classic ! Yes people, like it was ever likely to be anything but, the follow up is a stunning
offering and one which every self respecting fan of Progressive Metal should be rushing out and ensuring that their copy is in their collection!
From the opening strains of 'Under A Luminous Sky' to the epic crescendo that closes the album 'At Dewy Prime', Communic display an aptitude not only for their respective instruments, but in exactly how to piece together songs that hold power, rawness and emotion, yet always retain that spark of not quick knowing where its going next. Of course they know perfectly well what they are doing as you don't make music this good by accident. Every track has depth and a certain uniqueness about it. Each song is a journey that will soak you in powerful guitars, thunderous drums, heart stopping bass and all sorts of effects that don't distract from the song structures, but only add extra layers and as a result more strength to the whole offering.
Its pretty obvious then that I like this album. And to be honest there is nothing on here that someone with more extreme tastes wouldn't take under their wing either. The guitars are exceptionally heavy and often drift into serious riff outs, bringing to mind some of the finest Thrash bands you can think of. The feet are on the gas when its appropriate, yet are subtly removed when the passage of the song demands it. Each and every track is a journey. A wonderful trip. Its powerful, full of emotion and genuinely a future classic from which many bands will be measured. Even Nevermore.
Norways Communic are one of the most quickly progressing (no pun intended) bands in the underground metal scene. With an aggressive prog sound somewhat similar to Nevermore, "Conspiracy In Mind" was a huge success in many ways.
"Waves of Visual Decay" is another dose of what we've come to expect of this band. Highly polished progressive metal with a huge amount of good guitar work.
Opener "Under A Luminous Sky" is boasted by epic passages as well as sheer heaviness. A big Symphony X-style chorus hook with harmony singing is also there. That's just what makes this band so good. They possess riffage as well as feeling, and it's still undeniably catchy. In that sense the sound has remained virtually unaltered.
The songs in themselves are also in the same shape as on the debut. Riffage and hooks is often intertwined with many other parts, such as clean guitar harmonies and breakdowns. Every song is memorable on it's own, but "Fooled By The Serpent", title track "Waves of Visual Decay" and opener "Under A Luminous Sky" stand out.
"Fooled By The Serpent" is one of the catchiest songs I've ever heard while still staying true to the Communic sound. The riffs in this one are very Nevermore, as some of them border on extreme metal. There's one galopp here that easily would've made it in Blood Red Throne. Still the song has a huge chorus hook. This is what popular metal should sound like. Gothenburg, start taking notes.
The vocals have also improved this time around. Most of the unpolished stuff from the last record vanished, and the feeling in the singers tone is intact. There's also a bit of falsetto going at times. He could easily be a flower metal singer, but instead of irreversably screwing up the music he goes either aggressive or regressive depending on what riff he's singing over. In that sense he resembles Warrel Dane. Not exactly a bad singer to be compared to.
Overall, Communic is one of the best modern bands around. They never fall into the typical stuff that bog many new bands down (overuse of groove, overproduction etc) and they have their own signature sound. If they soldier on in this path, they'll have a bunch of great albums in no time.