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Payment of Existence
June 2008
Released: 2008, Nuclear Blast Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

The Norwegian power force, Communic, has always been capable of delivering their goods in a great way, and the band´s 3rd full-length effort, titled PAYMENT OF EXISTENCE, is no exception. People have always been comparing Communic to Nevermore, and I guess they have got their reasons to do so. I also belong to that league of people who can definitely find enough cause to make all of those comparisons to Nevermore, but a plain Nevermore copy band Communic isn´t - and will never be.

While listening through PAYMENT OF EXISTENCE, over and over again, it´s sufficient to say these Norwegians still know how to write bombastic, ear-capturing songs: Great melodies, catchy choruses, etc. are where they are still very good at - and it´s very hard to make any hard or constructive criticism about them or their songs simply because they do their thing very well and convincing enough that should make a metal newbie form a band in a sheer excitement.

"On Ancient Ground", which has the privilege of opening PAYMENT OF EXISTENCE, already reeks of many great things to come on the album. Its kinda Slayer-ish thrash riffs hit hard on a listener´s face right from the beginning, while an eerie chorus part, repeating the word "Sacrifice...", all make you want to sell your soul to the gods of heavy metal, or at least to Communic anyway. "The Abandoned One" follows up next, which sounds almost theatrical - and yes, it´s a heavy fucker as well. It´s Oddlief Stensland’s voice what naturally makes some cold shivers run down my neck. Man, there´s so much sheer emotion and power behind his voice so that it´s almost impossible to resist the enjoyment of his voice. Communic basically rely heavily on utterly melancholic and melodic sections on PAYMENT OF EXISTENCE that are supported by Oddlief´s sharp and heavy riffs, giving him obviously some credit as a quite gifted guitar virtuoso. Even if the songs are relatively lengthy (the shortest track, "Through the Labyrinth of Years", clocking in at 5:46 minute mark) on PAYMENT OF EXISTENCE, they serve their purpose well, offering all those rich and atmospheric elements for the fans of the band that they actually expect to hear from their own heroes. Also, such songs as "Raven´s Cry" as well as "Unpredictables of Life", are also two fine proofs of this trio´s skills to write bombastic songs, which they, in fact, have trademarked for themselves on their two previous albums already.

I fail to see how - if you have liked Communic´s two previous albums, you can dislike this one. Yes, it´s a grower - and damn, a very good grower it is, too.
Track Listing

01. On Ancient Ground
02. The Abandoned One
03. Becoming of Man
04. Payment of Existence
05. Through the Labyrinth of Years
06. Raven´s Cry
07. Unpredictables of Life
08. Stone Carved Eyes


Oddleif Stensland - Vocals & guitars
Erik Mortensen - Bass
Tor Atle Gabrielsen-Andersen - Drums

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