Underworld, London, UK - 21/5
The Bottom Deep
Written by: EW on 20/02/2012 23:20:26
Over the years Norwegians Communic have flown under the radar of grand public perception with their brand of progressive power/heavy metal never quite gaining what I would personally perceive to be justified acclaim for a sound that has always all of passionate, technically accomplished and catchy. A rare feat to reach such a triplet, you might concur. Perhaps one reason though, historically at least, has been Communic's over-whelming similarity to Nevermore, not just musically in the complex rhythms and difficult-to-pigeonhole sound, but in Oddleif Stensland powerful, Warrel Dane-esque pipes. For such a uniquely brilliant band you would not be wrong in thinking there is only room for one, but on "The Bottom Deep" we see more of a true Communic identity than at any time I've witnessed on the three previous records. Perhaps the Americans self-implosion has lit a fire under their Scandinavian cousins…
Communic's brand of long (6-8 mins) complex structures has always been one to benefit from the exposure of repeated listens as the intertwining vocal and guitar melodies in the likes of "Voyage of Discovery" and "In Silence With My Scars" possess infinitely more intrigue and guile than what is peddled out by most power/heavy metal bands, devoid as they are of anything of interest to say. Never overtly fast or 'heavy', there are multiple layers to be worked through in Stensland's playing, from tight technical shredding, thrashing rhythmic chords to delicate clean tones which segue into a resultant pattern of ever-changing songs and the heart of Communic's easily-identifiable sound.
From the moment "Wayward Soul" kicks in the modern beefy production of all Nuclear Blast records is there to kick your face in, resulting in the single guitar/bass/drums trio sound a lot larger than it actually is. Longer-term fans of Communic will view the record as not having deviated too greatly from past efforts with the natural increase in complexity and finesse that comes with ever more ability and self-improvement. Seven months after release and "The Bottom Deep" is far more than a one-listen wonder and is a highly recommended release to all fans of challenging metal records, or simply Nevermore fans yearning the loss of the once great band. Are Communic capable replacements? You bet they are.
Download: Denial, Voyage of Discovery, My Fallen
For The Fans Of: Nevermore, Symphony X
Original release date: 22.07.2011
Nuclear Blast Records