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Communic - 'Where Echoes Gather' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/94/e8/14/communic-where-echoes-gather-42-1520110058.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 03, 2018    
 
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This album tries really hard, and it does have some nice moments of difference, but it doesn't kill, and in a busy genre like this, that really matters.

Norwegian Prog Metallers Communic were going well; three albums garnering success and then a pause... and a substantial six year one at that. Why? Put simply, it was because of life, kids and all that. Six years is a long time away, so is 'Where Echoes Gather' the kind of jaw-dropper needed to regain kudos in a packed genre? The honest answer is... sort of.

This is an album of two halves. The first has some really nice moments, like opening track 'The Pulse Of The Earth Part 1: The Magnetic Center' which has some effective underscore guitars playing around some groovy riffing. There is also oddness in the rising verse of 'The Pulse Of The Earth Part 2: Impact Of The Wave' and 'Where Echoes Gather Part 1: Beneath The Giant' drives along on a wholly enjoyable Sword-like guitar line and Oddleif Stensland's always dramatic vocals.

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Now don't be shocked, but the next track has a little bit of seventies Prog in it; not woven in but laid on top for all to see. After 'Where Echoes Gather Part 1...' ends with a touch of overwrought Peter Gabriel era Genesis, 'Where Echoes Gather Part 2: The Underground Swine' goes much further, and amongst the peculiar, burping synths and twitchy verses, there's an odd, woozy Magma feel, and even Amon Duul-esque strange concentration. It works... it really works!

However, the second half of the album doesn't work quite as well. It will for some though, and they'll be right because this conforms to what we understand as Prog Metal. 'Moondance' tries some Pink Floyd airiness and has a Thrash intention in delivery yet ends up going nowhere, while 'Where History Lives' and 'Black Flag Of Hate' have those familiar double-kicks (that paint-splattering drumming so obvious now), and though 'The Claws Of The Sea Part 1: Journey Into The Source' and its follower 'The Claws Of The Sea Part 2: The First Moment' have a Metal sway within a martial feel and winsome nature, it doesn't quite make up.

This album tries really hard, and it does have some nice moments of difference, but it doesn't kill, and in a busy genre like this, that really matters.

Ms. D

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