Communic - Payment of Existence
Nuclear Blast
Progressive Metal
8 songs (62:42)
Release year: 2008
Communic, Nuclear Blast
Reviewed by Thomas

Ah, the mighty Norwegian prog metallers, Communic are back with their latest album Payment of Existence. The band has gotten a lot of praise in the past, and they seem to be following the same successful formula. With their mighty music Communic are again out to take you on an epic journey trough mysterious grounds and twisting, turning labyrinths.

The riffs here is as alway powerful and thrashing. They establish a firm fundament and strengthen Oddleif Steinsland's mighty vocals. On the opener On Ancient Ground, the riffing is pretty simple. However, they create a great atmosphere along with the pounding drums. The vocal attack by Oddleif is as strong as ever, and it assures you that Communic has not gone lost nor evolved their sound very much. It took me many spins getting into this album, and to simply keep the songs apart. The tempo is pretty similar troughout the whole record, and it was difficult to find highlights. However, after many listens I was able to pick up the details attached by every instrument which make this album so damn consistent and tight. The polyrythmic shifts by the drums, and the melodic little guitar thrills plays a great part here. The interaction is flawless and together they create unbelelievable hooks and spread them out trough the whole record. The Abandoned One contains some of this as well as beautiful melodies.

Communic are somewhat different than the other progressive metal bands coming out of Norway these days. Where Jorn-Viggo Lofstad focuses on mind-boggling solos, and Nils K. Rue (both Pagan's Mind) wails on with his high-pitched voice, Oddleif Steinsland focuses on the massive riffs and more aggressive vocals. The sound is also different from their colleagues. Communic has a much "angrier" and in-your-face sound than say, Pagan's Mind or Circus Maximus. This is much more similar to Angel Dust and Nevermore only firmer.

Becoming of Man and the rifftastic title-track keeps the Communic-machinery stomping along, never loosing intensity. I really find it exciting to listen to this. I remember reading somewhere that earlier band members complained on Steinsland's vocals. Claiming he was no more than a mediocre vocalist. Let me tell you something my good sir. The man carries this on his shoulders. He cuts his way through every line both with his guitar and his voice and Tor Atle Andersen provides an excellent backbone as always. They know eachother's work and how to back each other up in a constructive way. Just listen to the extrordinary Raven's Cry. What would that opening melody be without the great rhyhtmic work? And what would the seemingly simple drumming be without the magnificent riffs?

This album oozes with quality. There is no doubt about that. The musicians are all incredibly skilled. However, this could be more creative. As I mentioned earlier, this demands a great deal of attention to get into. To be honest, I was on the brink of disappointment when I first listened to this. The songs are all very consistent and tight, but could use more variety. This is never really technically breathtaking, or has parts which leaves your mouth open in awe. On the other hand, Communic provides us with a firm and rock solid performance, never letting up their massive sound, powerful melodies, and mighty atmosphere. If you have the patience and take your time you shall not be disappointed.

Killing Songs :
The Abandoned One, Payment of Existence, Raven's Cry, Stone Carved Eyes
Thomas quoted 88 / 100
Other albums by Communic that we have reviewed:
Communic - The Bottom Deep reviewed by Khelek and quoted 85 / 100
Communic - Waves of Visual Decay reviewed by Adam and quoted 84 / 100
Communic - Conspiracy in Mind reviewed by Cody and quoted 70 / 100
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