Payment of Existence


I have to admit it; I have become allergic to the term Progressive Metal. This […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
June 5, 2008
Communic - Payment of Existence album cover

I have to admit it; I have become allergic to the term Progressive Metal. This allergic reaction hides the danger of being prejudiced against an album without even listening. Fortunately, the knowledge of my health problem has protected all the albums that came with the label Progressive in the accompanying promo sheet.
This is exactly what happened with COMMUNIC's third album entitled Payment Of Existence that will be released through Nuclear Blast records in the late of May. No, I wasn't prejudiced against this album but I was negatively prepared when the time has come to write this review. Before I started describing my thoughts let me tell one thing (that I might have said it before); putting labels on music is just a way to describe the music and nothing more. There I said it so it's time to deal with the album itself.
COMMUNIC was formed in 2003 as a side project by  Oddleif Stensland and Tor Atle Andersen who were bandmates in SCARIOT. They started making fuss around their name with their debut Conspiracy In Mind that was produced by Jacob Hansen and their second release  Waves Of Visual Decay.
The album kicks in with a surprise; On Ancient Ground is based on a SLAYER-esque guitar riff delivering a solid rhythm section that definitely brings to mind the late works of BRAINSTORM. I think the term Progressive was added to point out the band's rich sound that needs time to grow in you. On thing that blew me from the very beginning was Stensland's impressive vocals; this gentleman has a powerful mid pitch voice and shares the same singing attitude with Matt Barlow,  Andy B. Franck or even Coburn Pharr. Just listen to the vocal catchy melodic lines in The Abandoned One and you will get my saying. The flawless production delivers an excellent and atmospheric clean guitar intro in Becoming Of Man that slowly builds the tension. Here the keyboards spice things up while the guitar solo comes to the spotlight to reveal the band's musicianship. One interesting and along the way exciting fact is I did not notice that every song lasted 8 minutes in average. This means that in this album is more that interesting and offers and wide music territory to explore. Among the highlights I should mention the guitar driven Raven's Cry with the excellent bass guitar sound, the melodic vocal harmonies and the tempo changes that brought to my mind the early ICED EARTH. The album closes with the heavy Thrashy in moments Stone Carved Eyes that lasts 9 minutes and will make you press the replay button many times!
The bottom line is that I was impressed by this band that made me wonder -for one more time- why all the Northern European countries keep producing such great bands. Does the long lasting winter have something to do? But why we are not getting Metal bands from Antarctica?

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Payment of Existence" Track-listing:

On Ancient Ground
The Abandoned One
Becoming Of Man
Payment Of Existence
Through The Labyrinth Of Years
Raven's Cry
Unpredictables Of Life
Stone Carved Eyes

Communic Lineup:

Oddleif Stensland - Guitars,  Vocals
Erik Mortensen - Bass
Tor Atle Andersen - Drums

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