In my humble opinion, the rock world is split into two camps, the first is the one that knows of Communic and raves about the masterful rock albums they have released and the second camp is full of those simply waiting to fall under the spell of the Norwegian progressive metallers. Formed in 2003 in Kristiansand, this is now the sixth album by this ever consistent rock band that plays utterly compelling progressive metal with that special hint of dark melancholy that the Norwegian rock bands do so well. The band benefits from the continuity that a stable line-up brings as all three original members are still in place with Oddleif Stensland on vocals and guitar with Erik Mortensen on bass and Tor Atle Andersen on drums. I always find it amazing just how powerful and all-encompassing three piece rock bands can be and Communic definitely punches above its weight and a simple listen to the heavy and complex metal would have you believe that there are far more musicians in the band.
Communic always manages to release new, fresh and intense albums due mainly to the very broad range of musical influences within the music, for sure, progressive metal is the key component or end product if you will but the build incorporates power metal, heavy rock and a healthy dose of doom metal. The basic starting point is a relentless battery of drums and throbbing bass lines over which crash massive and earth shattering riffs and all is finished with a truly delicious, melodic and angst filled vocal delivery that sends shivers down your spine. They employ clean vocals with perfect harmonies and the songs are injected with a great melodic sensibility that draws you into the enticing and very heavy metal that the band specialises in so well. There is always an over arching sense of doom or foreboding to the bands material and this is delivered with a glowering menace with typical lyrics to match. I’ve seen that a lot of people compare them with Nevermore and I get the comparison but it is only fleeting as both bands approach the same goal but from different directions.
Communic tend to deliver longer and more caustic songs and the progressive rock fan in me enjoys having a little more substance and length to the material as not all themes can be fully explored in just 3 to 5 minutes. In truth, I find Communic rather unique as there are not so many bands that have a similar sound or delivery and this gives the band the freedom to deliver the rock that they want to produce and enjoy playing so well. They do at least take the progressive metal genre and stretch the confines to make something that is a hybrid of styles and all the more exciting because of the complexity and merging of styles. Oddleif Stensland is a truly remarkable singer with a most expressive and emotion filled delivery and his guitar playing switches from light and intricate to crushing , portentous riffs so easily that you can only sit back and revel in his remarkable skill. The three musicians seem to have some sort of telepathic link and everything about them and their music sounds just so right yet just ever so slightly otherworldly.
I do not know what it is about Norwegian bands but they do revel in music that is left of centre, a little like the spectre at the feast or the outsider who is looking in at the window. Communic specialises in riff heavy dark and gloomy metal that is delivered absolutely perfectly but it still manages to raise your spirits despite the darkness and angst that is so prevalent. If you wanted to pick one song from the album that encapsulated the band then you would probably go for the 10 minute Born Without A Herat that begins with a beautiful acoustic guitar and soft vocal intro that explodes into furious riffs before switching back again to become something of a dark and epic stadium rock anthem of incredible proportions.
Communic is a band that puts every emotion available into the material and what you see is a window into the musicians souls. Hiding From The World is another outstanding and simply incredible thinking man’s metal album that is full of delights just waiting for you to unveil.
Hiding From The World track list
- Plunder Of Thoughts (8:03)
- Hiding From The World (9:25)
- My Temple Of Pride (6:55)
- Face In The Crowd (7:41),
- Born Without A Heart (10:00)
- Scavengers Await (7:19)
- Soon To Be (1:17)
- Forgotten (9:58)