Released: 2006, Nuclear Blast
It’s good to be right.
Last year I reviewed Communic’s debut album, CONSPIRACY IN MIND, and I claimed that the band could be incredible with an album or two and I’ll be damned if they haven’t come back with a vengeance.
After the release of CONSPIRACY IN MIND, some very good press, and a nice smattering of live performances the band went into writing mode for the sophomore effort, WAVES OF VISUAL DECAY, which was released in May for the Europe fans but is now just being released in North America. Now with the last album seeing such good press as well as a lot of “Nevermore clone/Jr.” references being bandied about Communic are here to set the record straight. WAVES OF VISUAL DECAY see a much more aggressive Communic, certainly a bit more thrash oriented than previously heard on CONSPIRACY IN MIND. The songs are still long and weave themselves through many varying sections but this is a much heavier release and much harder than what many saw on the debut.
Opening with “Under a Luminous Sky” there isn’t much change initially. Opening with the verse riff before hitting a heavy groove riff sits nicely to ease the song into its first riff. Oddleif (Stensland, Vocals/Guitar) grabs hold quickly though, with a vocal line that I’m sure will reinforce many listeners’ Nevermore comparisons. It’s when Oddleif screams at the end of the verse that Communic firmly plan their feet and the listener is set for the ride of WAVES OF VISUAL DECAY. It may not mean much to others, but I think that’s the point where the album really starts and makes you wake up. The further thrash sections that develop only cement the idea that Communic have progressed within they’re style. Some of the riffs are almost Heathen-like. Even past the 6 minute mark the song continues to progress with an almost schizophrenic quality, a whole section switching tempos and styles within mere seconds. “Frozen Asleep in the Park” follows a bit of the same path as “Under a Luminous Sky” with some strong basic grooves set to lull the listener into sense of familiarity but things only bust wide open later. This particular song sits as one of my favourites on the year, with its lyrical message of a homeless woman being cast aside, not only by society but by her family only to die alone and the music reflects that sense of outrage at such a situation. Especially around the 3 minute mark when the song picks up the speed and the band’s new found thrash edge comes out again to sync up with the vocals, “The sirens sound to wake the silence of the night…”.
The songs on the album constantly progress and continually end up well over 8 minutes in length but this isn’t Opeth we’re talking about here. The songs progress with a sense of purpose and without a note out of place. The songs don’t trail on for no good reason and new sections of music are still bandied about well into the songs length, meaning the band doesn’t just throw out 8 different sections then put them on repeat after 2 minutes, like many bands tend to do.
Communic have done it for me, they wrote the album that I had hoped they would and they didn’t waste time in doing it either.