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Communic
Conspiracy in Mind
May 2005
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Madman

Communic are a new band from Norway, rising from the ashes of the band Ingermanland. Guitarist/vocalist Oddleif Stensland (who is also in the band Scariot, whom I’ve never heard) and bassist Erik Mortensen formed Communic after putting previous band Ingermanland to sleep after two demo releases. The duo then went forward and enlisted drummer Tor Atle Andersen from Scariot to make Communic a full-fledged band. Now in 2005 Communic have released CONSPIRACY IN MIND through Nuclear Blast records.



Communic’s style is one that isn’t all that easy to nail down as it’s a mix of prog, trad, thrash and modern groove metal that doesn’t rely on one style over another but melds them all quite nicely. It’s not too dissimilar from a band like Nevermore, but one thing that has to be said right now is that unlike many would have you believe, Communic aren’t aping Nevermore’s sound. Communic are still able to carry their own identity while still sounding rather similar to a band that, prior to now, had no peers in their easily identifiable sound. The main difference I find between Communic and Nevermore are the overall vibe and atmosphere of either band’s music. While Nevermore, even at their most aggressive, sound hopeless and spiteful; Communic have a way of sounding more triumphant and hopeful, even more aggressive when they wish to.



While the guitar sound on the album sounds extremely similar to the last few Nevermore releases the overall riff contruction and choice is of a different beast, a bit more straight and not as “chugging” (if that makes any sense). Although it can’t be denied that various parts and sections do sound like Nevermore, hell the opening riff of the album sounds like something off of Nevermore’s ENEMIES OF REALITY and Oddleif’s vocals have a tendency to slide over to something that resembles Warrel Dane. This is definitely one of those albums where if you listen to it once or twice you’re going to say this sounds like a clone but if you give it a few more listens and let the songs weave their magic, you’ll quickly find that Communic are doing more than just following someone else down an already paved road.



Starting off with title track, “Conspiracy in Mind”, the song opens with a nice chugging riff that contains a somewhat interesting drum build up. Eventually we get into some “groove metal” stop/start riffage that might instantly turn off some before transitioning, not so smoothly I might add, into a melodic chorus that has an interesting melody, although Oddleif doesn’t sound too confident in his voice here, a little shaky. While I feel the title track will give many an instant impression of Nevermore, the second track, “History Reversed”, is instantly a beast of its own. Starting off slowly and with a very strong melody over a semi-melodic chugging riff the song morphs and changes between soft guitar melodies and heavy, rolling, melodic riffs. “They Feed on Our Fear” is a slow, lurching number; melodic and soft to begin before gaining some heavier riffs and at around the 4 minute mark we start to see some more speed (although I feel the transition is rather abrupt). I love the riff at 5:50, with its grouped notes. “Communication Sublime” has been my favourite since my first listen, that verse riff that begins at 54 seconds is just the beginning of a string of awesome riffs that continue for the rest of the song; moving from rolling thrashing riffs to stop/start riffs, not to mention that wonderful guitar melody that comes overtop of the break riff between the verse and the pre-chorus. The vocal for the chorus is also constructed wonderfully.



CONSPIRACY IN MIND is a solid debut album and like many debuts it has its flaws but the great moments outweigh the bad. There’s definitely room for the band to grow and I can see Communic growing into a band that’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue by the time their second and third albums are released, just as long as they don’t screw it up like so many others have.
Track Listing

1. Conspiracy in Mind
2. History Reversed
3. They Feed on Our Fear
4. Communication Sublime
5. The Distance
6. Ocean Bed
7. Silence Surrounds

Lineup

Oddleif Stensland - guitars/vocals
Erik Mortensen – bass
Tor Atle Andersen - drums


Next review: » Communic - Conspiracy in Mind
Previous review: » Common Dead - Interim Flesh

Communic
Conspiracy in Mind
September 2005
Released: 2005, Nuclear Blast
Rating: 2.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Communic is a brand new debuting band from the land of deep fjords and oil, Norway. The band was founded by Oddleif and Tor, last in line to join the band was Erik on bass and the line up set. The newspapers gave their first 3-track demo some raving reviews and the same year, 2004, Oddleif and Tor left their ordinary band Scarion in order to focus on Communic. During the summer the same year they signed with Nuclear Blast and the making of the debut album started immediately. They spent three weeks in Denmark in September ‘04 with the producer Jacob Hansen and after those three weeks debut album CONSPIRACY IN MIND was done.



The guys took help from Peter Jensen (ex-Sinphonia) with the keyboard play and the essence of Peter’s appearance is to bring more atmosphere and depth to the music.



Contrary to what the bio proclaims, the band’s music style I’d say is thrash metal with dark progressive influences and nothing more. To make it easier to grasp for you readers I can draw musical parallels with the Nevermore.



This Norwegian trio has managed to put 7 tracks on the debut and the playing time is about 60 minutes. The material feels strong the whole album through and the guys show that they are very talented in both the musical as well as the instrumental department. Communic lines up an album jammed with strong melodies with plenty of long progressive parts in the songs in between the thrash elements.



Besides me hardly hearing any of Peter’s keyboards, I think that both guitar and drums are far too high in the mix. The production sounds like a pretty below standard piece of work.



The guys handle their instruments with great talent but the one that stands out a bit from the rest is Oddleif on guitar. But contrary to how great his guitars sound, he NOT a star on vocals I think. He doesn’t have any depth and hardly any vocal range and if that wasn’t enough he’s constantly drowned in the drums and guitars. Maybe he should focus on handling the guitar instead of doing both things at once.



It’s going to be quite interesting to hear what these Norwegian are going to do next, but please before you do anything else hire a singer!. Besides the poor vocal effort the music is great and it’s performed with great fun and if they take in another vocalist I’m sure that they can go far.





Killer tracks “Conspiracy in mind”, “They feed on our fear”.
Track Listing

Conspiracy in mind
History reversed
They feed on our fear
Communication sublime
The distance
Ocean bed
Silence surrounds

Lineup

Oddleif Stensland – guitar, lead vocals
Erik Mortensen – bass
Tor Atle Andersen – drums


Next review: » Communic - Payment of Existence
Previous review: » Common Dead - Interim Flesh





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