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Communic
Payment of Existence

Company: Nuclear Blast
Release: 2008
Reviewer: Raising Iron
Genre: Progressive

  • This is textbook Heavy/Progressive metal and how it should be done



  • Waves of Visual Decay was a sonic masterpiece, and that being only their second album, one wondered if Communic could match or even surpass it with their current release, Payment of Existence. The jury may be out for a long time on this one, as Payment of Existence is damn close to being as good as its aforementioned predecessor. That's no easy feat given the perfection of Waves of Visual Decay (personally, it's squeaked into my Top 100 of all-time and is climbing!), but there's no doubting these guys aren't resting on the laurels.

    Things aren't much different this time out, Communic once again mining their melodies for every last crumb of value, ala the Grinch in Whoville, and value is what you get. This is textbook Heavy/Progressive metal and how it should be done. Powerful, highly emotive vocals, a complete instrument unto themselves, complement every composition perfectly. The myriad of riffs are multifaceted in attack without wasting time, the drums fill the open spaces as needed, and the bass supplements the melodies without being overbearing. Strength of song, a trait of Communic that many find so appealing, once again reigns and comes first before any self-whoring wankery.

    Nevermore is the natural comparison, and that's not due only to Oddleif Stensland's eerily similar vocal stylings to Warrel Dane's, but also the complicated and meandering song structures. Although Communic's riffs get quite furious at times, they don't quite approach the odd and intricate style of Nevermore's Jeff Loomis (few can!), but certainly it is another area where similarities abound. But, lest ye think these guys are a rip-off or knock-off, think again, Nevermore is merely a point of reference, as these guys have been writing their own way, on their own terms, ever since singer/guitarist Oddleif and drummer Tor Atle Gabrielsen-Andersen left their former band Scariot behind, and added Erik Mortensen on bass to form this three-piece killing machine. Despite being a trio, they did bring in Kim Olesen from Anubis Gate to handle the keys, but they are very, very, subtle and serve only to add atmosphere in sparse places, so don't let that notion scare you, these guys are all about heavy-as-tanks riffs.

    There really isn't anything to find wrong here, production perfect and the mix crystal clear but far from sterile, yet I hesitate to give it a perfect score. As I said at the top, the jury is still out, only time will tell if this one can trump their masterpiece, Waves of Visual Decay, but it is another fine record from a great bunch of heavy first, emotion second, heavy metal masters.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: COMMUNIC
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Conspiracy MindCommunic
    2005
    Eric Compton7/25/2005
    Payment of ExistenceCommunic
    2008
    Raising Iron11/7/2008
    Waves Of Visual DecayCommunic
    2006
    Eric Compton7/3/2006


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: COMMUNIC
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    The Bottom DeepCommunic
    2011
    Eric Compton1/1/2012


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: COMMUNIC
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


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