Communic - Waves Of Visual Decay - Nuclear Blast 2006
7 Songs
Running Time: 57:56

The hammering chord progression that kicks off "Under A Luminous Sky" soon breaks into midpaced Power Metal gallop, the stellar production belying the fact that Norway's Communic are but three strong in the member department. Guitarist/Vocalist Oddleif Stensland's delivery is shaded by early Warrel Dane-isms, but his phrasing recalls more the classic power bands that ruled the early/middle 80s. Being a guitarist primarily has no doubt given this singer-de-facto his own sense of timing, and it works to the band's advantage. Communic has that rare gift bestowed upon few musical entities, in that the term "genre" holds no constricting grip on the creative forces at work within the band. The sound slamming from the speakers is most definitely Metal, but don't try to label the music any farther than that. "Frozen Asleep In The Park" could fit easily alongside Metal Church's "Anthem To The Estranged" with its tale of drug addiction, homelessness, and the astounding ability of the wealthy to look the other way. It's here that Stensland first truly unleashes his inner scream, soaring into the Halfordsphere one moment, then barking out a Mustaine-influenced couplet the next. Subdued, fluid fingerpicking begins the longing "Watching It All Disappear", the bass of Erik Mortensen equally as comfortable flowing along with the Queensryche-ian arrangement of the verses as he's been at staying on point during the frenetic arrrangements of the heavier material found on the two previous songs. Take the riffery of Death Angel's monumental Act III, send it to a music theory class or two, then time-warp the whole thing into 2006, and you'll have a fair aural image of the stellar power/thrash hybrid that is "Fooled By The Serpent". Damned if there's not a bit of MANOWAR in the vocal pattern of the title track, but rest assured, wimps and poseurs; you'll find nary a loincloth or pair of assless chaps within the ranks of Communic. Musically, "Waves Of Visual Decay" takes the progressive power the band is known for, marrying it to the slightest touch of doom metal ala Candlemass sans the monk's robe. Tor Alte Andersen's mastery of the drumkit is unquestionable, especially in the pounding aggression of "My Bleeding Victim". Andersen's rhythms alternately wind themselves around a tune's main structure and push Stensland's off-kilter riff patterns to the brink, yet never lose sight of the musical blueprint for the song. Ending with the melodic power of "At Dewy Prime", Communic return to Nevermore for at least passing inspiration, vocal harmonies and well-placed leadwork blending with robust rhythms to put a final, classy stamp on Communic 2006.

The sound of Communic may come across as scattered when reading the above comparisons, but the sheer virtuosity contained within weaves the whole tangled web into something not only credible, but downright vital. If there's any justice in the world, Waves Of Visual Decay may well be someday mentioned alongside The Warning and Dead Heart In A Dead World as undeniable classics in the realm of power-based metal.

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