Communic - Payment Of Existence
30 May 2008

01. On Ancient Ground
02. The Abandoned One
03. Becoming Of Man
04. Payment Of Existence
05. Through The Labyrinth Of Years
06. Raven's Cry
07. Unpredictables Of Life
08. Stone Carved Eyes

Norwegian progressive metallers Communic return with album number three, "Payment Of Existence" and provide another solid portion of technical and thoughtful heavy metal. Comparisons can be made between Communic and Nevermore, but more so for the similarity between vocal styles and sounds of Warrel Dane and Communic singer and guitar wielder Oddleif Stensland. Both have an emotional tinge and a clean voice, but also a slight American whine that for different people could either add to the emotion or make it grate over time. Nevertheless Oddleif and his two other band members are talented individuals and do what they do well.

The music could be described as progressive, but is heavier and more technical than traditional progressive bands. You could even go as far as to say the band mix quite a few U.S. power metal elements in here when the stretches of double bass drums and wailing chorus' rear their heads such as in "Through The Labyrinth Of Years". The album catches the listener from the word go as the opening track "On Ancient Ground" is a chunk of solid, tight, technical metal from the deepest depths of southern Norway, albeit with a slightly unimaginative guitar riff, but the power and the confidence of which it is played gets the job done regardless.

Even the shortest song the album throws up is edging on six minutes, indeed "Payment Of Existence" is not afraid to let songs wander on and on, and we are left with an album lasting over an hour with no definitive stand-out tracks or points. Each song on the album has its own story and brings something a little different, whether it be a really chunky or catchy riff and double bass madness, or an emotively sang and memorable chorus, each song has something about it to set it apart from the others but none set themselves as something amazing or outstanding from the rest of the album.

Communic have presented a very professional and well-constructed album, but consisting of over and hour of progressive and mostly up-tempo material, it is a difficult pill to swallow initially, but over time the layers peel back and can be appreciated much more than the original wall of splattering guitar as it originally sounds. "Payment Of Existence" has more depth to it than the average album and this is helped along by the vocals that sound great, but are more demanding to listen to than average singers and by the end of this opus you may feel slightly emotionally drained and warn out as if you sang the whole thing yourself. Do not be put off though, "Payment Of Existence" is a very good album bursting with quality and imagination, it just may have a little too much going on and a little too little variation.

Band profile: Communic
Album: Payment Of Existence


Written on 02.06.2008 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More reviews by Baz Anderson ››


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White Winter Sun - 02.06.2008 at 22:00  
Good review Barry.

This new album is really well executed, even if I found that the vocal performance and the whole frame are less rich and differentiated than in their previous works.
But this "Payment Of Existence" is certainly more powerful than "Consipiracy In Mind" and "Waves Of Visual Decay" and remains a really good album.
BloodTears - 03.06.2008 at 11:18  
I want this album. I wonder if it is really that good...
enumaelis - 03.06.2008 at 14:24  
Not better than waves of visual decay, but it's good
Dark Blood - 03.06.2008 at 15:14  
Gotta have this one now! I love visual decay
Raziel X - 04.06.2008 at 02:42  
It has much variation, it just really needs loads of listens to get into. My fav track is most probably Payment of existence, and Raven's Cry is just magical, I am going to buy this!
Passenger - 28.06.2008 at 11:52  
Not at the level of their previous albums, but not a bad release either.
Rusher - 16.07.2008 at 21:05  
Am I the only one who thinks that this album is better than their previous ones!?

Jason W. - 22.08.2008 at 23:52  
I definitely am with you on this review...particularly your mention of the not so original guitar riff. The album is an enjoyable listen throughout, but so much of the time I found myself asking: "where did I hear that riff from before?" They have a lot of strength and determination behind their music which almost makes up for it all though! A great disc to put on when I need something different but it hasn't changed me much.

EDIT: Actually, I have been playing one track several times in the past few days, that being "Unpredictables Of Life." I'd kind of been lulled into a numb feeling by listening to the album all the way through so many times that I missed the song so deep into the album. Great track on its own, really
Oracle - 07.09.2008 at 06:47  
We heard a song from the album yesterday at a shop and it was pretty good! definitely will be getting this album
mipasma - 17.02.2009 at 21:30  
Highly recommended !!! Go as fast as possible to the nearest music store to get this album !!! Because this album is amazing....must have for every true metal fan.No fillers....just HAMMERS !!
Kuroboshi - 09.06.2011 at 09:16  
The one problem I can find with this album is that every song is too awesome! Every single track stands out by themselves, which makes it hard to listen to in one stretch..

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