Published on November 22nd, 2020 | by Justin G.
Communic: Hiding From The World (AFM, 2020)
Norwegian heavy/progressive metal band Communic helps close out the year with a new album, their sixth to date, titled Hiding From The World. It’s been three years since they released Where Echoes Gather, an album that I revisit somewhat regularly, so I had high hopes for this follow-up album.
Hiding From The World seems like the perfect title to go with this strange year, but according to the band it doesn’t refer to lockdowns and quarantines. Communic will probably never shake their comparisons to Nevermore (the Travis Smith cover art only reinforces it), but that’s not a bad thing. There’s a Nevermore-shaped void in the world, and Communic’s brand of dark, heavy, grooving progressive metal helps fill that void. They’ve also crafted their own unique sound over the years, and Hiding From The World is a great progression in that sound.
The songs on Hiding From The World tend to be longer, running 7-10 minutes, and the overall atmosphere reflects the songs’ emotional nature: from introspective and melancholy to pure anger. Oddlief Stensland’s powerful vocal melodies are such a great match for his intricate riffing and the complex, relentless rhythms Tor Andersen and Erik Mortensen lay down. Highlights here are the epic “My Temple Of Pride” and the fierce/moody contrast that is “Face In The Crowd,” and it’s also hard to deny the sheer progressive majesty of the 10-minute “Born Without A Heart.”
In a lot of ways, Hiding From The World is the perfect reflection of our state of mind these days, and as such makes a satiasfying answer to the chaos around us. Communic always seems to find that perfect balance between heaviness, technicality, melody and atmosphere. If dark, heavy progressive metal is your thing, this is exactly the kind of album you need to hear. It goes without saying that fans of Sanctuary and Nevermore will love Hiding From The World, but it’s also going to appeal to fans of Evergrey, Jag Panzer and Witherfall.
Summary: Dark, aggressive prog metal that continues to scratch that Nevermore itch.