(Time for another SYNN REPORT. Today, Andy looks back at the discography of Norway’s Communic, and on Monday we’ll have his review of the band’s brand new album, “The Bottom Deep”.)
Hailing from Kristiansand, Norway, yet bucking the common trends one associates with Norwegian music – no rotten, corpse-painted fury or leather-clad, aggressive sleaze to be found here – prog-metal 3-piece Communic pursue a huge, multi-faceted sound that takes in recognisable elements from a multiplicity of metal sub-genres, swallowing up thrashy rhythms, soaring vocals, labyrinthine song structures, adaptable string-work and elaborate, eloquent drumming, melting them down to their constituents in order to re-forge them anew into a whole far greater than the mere sum of the parts.
Each of the three members is a vital component in crafting the complex and convoluted mini-epics which make up Communic’s various records; Tor Atle Andersen’s drums are a sheer delight to experience, over and over again playing subtle rhythmic shifts off against pounding artillery fire, Erik Mortensen’s flowing, liquid bass lines adding both depth and power in equal measure, while frontman Oddleif Stensland draws from a seemingly bottomless well of scything riffs and piercing, emotional solos. The way these three individuals play off one another is mesmerising, creating a vast soundscape of progressive instrumentalism one second, locking into a devastating metallic groove the next. The breadth of their sound and the sheer array of sonic textures they are able to conjure is a testament both to their striking individual personalities and to their collective focus and the musical identity they have built.
For all their soaring, epic compositions, the band are careful to maintain a strong foundation of armour-plated riffs which make their layered, expansive sound a legitimately heavy concern. At times soft and soothing, at others hard and pounding, these Norwegian progsters have perfected a precise balance between melancholy clarity and crushing power that serves as a perfect foil to their dark, often wilfully complex, subject matter. (more after the jump, including tracks to stream from each album . . .) Continue reading »