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Communic - Conspiracy Mind - 2005 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing
1. Conspiracy In Mind
2. History Reversed
3. They Need Our Fear
4. Communication Sublime
5. The Distance
6. Ocean Bed
7. Silence Surrounds
Norway seems to be the breeding ground for a whole host of new talent. In the past couple of years I've discovered the marvelous works of Thunderbolt, Guardians Of Time, and Griffin to name a few. The nation is very complex musically, bringing to the metal community the likes of notorious black metal, AOR, and power metal. Now progressive metal gets an introduction courtesy of Communic, a rather abstract band that have their debut record out on powerhouse label Nuclear Blast.

These Norwegians are made up of three members, guitarist/vocalist Oddleif Stensland, Tor Atle Andersen, and keyboardist Peter Jensen. Stensland and Andersen both came from the group Scariot before departing to form Communic. This three piece recorded a demo in April of 2004 and it was well received by the metal press. It didn't take long for the band to find a home, signing with Nuclear Blast in July of 2004 and shortly thereafter began work on their debut record. The group joined forces with "soon to be legendary" producer Jacob Hansen, known for his work with Volbeat, Invocator, and Raunchy.

"Conspiracy Mind" is a unique work that weaves many different genres into an elaborate, progressive tapestry. Just like a colorful tapestry will liven up the dullest of rooms, Communic use many different elements to enhance this sound, almost creating an emotional roller coaster through their use of thrash, prog, and power sensibility. The group focus all of their creative vision on experimentation, never settling for just one pattern, always structuring their songs with plenty of musical flexibility. The band certainly have the ability to thrash with the likes of Overkill or Testament, but the band only stay in that particular mindset for a brief time.

Each cut on this album is filled with the modern thrash vibe, but then the group feel the need to move past that. The group slow the tempo to allow creeping dreamlike sequences to take place. On some songs the group speed up the timing but still keep a slower singing style. At times bands like Nevermore, Twelfth Gate, and Asperity come to mind, but also more experimental acts like Green Carnation are indeed an example of the Communic way of thought. The band combine plenty of different styles into one large melting pot, all set to the very best in modern production. Hansen allows these songs breathing room, calculating the thrash and heavier moments with the most bombastic sound job, but still allowing the slower elements room to shine as well. My only setback is the lenghty songs. Obviously the group is trying to fit plenty of experimention into this material, but too much can be a bad thing. In this case it is, with every song at least six minutes long. Thankfully the group keep the tracks to a minimum, sticking with seven tracks total.

Overall this is an enjoyable record, although a bit moody. Communic are better fit for fans of Opeth, Nevermore, Bio-Mechanical, and Green Carnation. Those of you looking for a good, modern thrash band that adds plenty of other elements should lean heavily towards "Conspiracy Mind". For me personally, there just isn't enough of a steady flow here, with too much happening within each song.


--EC 06.23.05
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.

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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