Published on December 16th, 2017 | by Justin G.
Communic: Where Echoes Gather (AFM)
I have to admit I forgot all about Communic. I guess that’s what happens when a band spends six years between albums, but there was a time when the Norwegian band was one of the more exciting names in progressive metal. They’re back with a new album to close out 2017. It’s called Where Echoes Gather, and it finds the trio in fine form once again.
Where Echoes Gather is Communic’s fifth album, and it doesn’t stray too far from the basic “super-technical Nevermore” sound they displayed on Waves of Visual Decay and Payment of Existence. If anything, the technical elements have been dialed way up, making this an absolute jaw-dropper for fans of intricate riffs and complex rhythms. The general heaviness and of course Oddleif Stensland’s vocals make it hard to avoid the Nevermore comparison, but that’s not a bad thing. That versatile, evocative vocal style is such a powerful contrast to the technicality of the musicianship, though the production somehow manages to bring them together perfectly.
Where Echoes Gather isn’t a concept album, but six of the nine songs come in thematic pairs – The Pulse of the Earth, Where Echoes Gather and The Claws of the Sea – which gives it a more epic feel. The “unpaired” tracks have plenty of impact on their own though, whether it’s the subtle beauty of “Where History Lives” or the cathartic anger of the anti-ISIS anthem “Black Flag of Hate.” There’s a cohesive atmosphere throughout the album, so regardless of the subject matter, each song feels connected.
If you’re going to disappear for six years, your comeback album needs to be special enough to remind fans what they’ve been missing. Communic more than accomplishes this with Where Echoes Gather. It’s both a classic Communic album and a noticeable step forward for the band. It’s certainly an album that fans of their earlier work will love, and is memorable enough to win over a new generation of fans of aggressive, progressive heavy metal.
Edition Notes: The CD release of Where Echoes Gather comes in a digipack and includes three bonus tracks – two live in the studio versions and an acoustic live version of “Waves of Visual Decay.”
Summary: Welcome back, Communic!