Waves Of Visual Decay
A sound sophomore effort leaves some room for improvement
It's evitable that bands be compared to their peers based on style and sound of their albums. For Norwegian trio Communic (who are vocalist/guitarist Oddleif Stensland, bassist Erik Mortensen and drummer Tor Atle Andersen), the Nevermore comparisons flew thick and fast when they released their debut album in 2005 titled Conspiracy in Mind. The band formed a couple of years before around ex-Scariot members Stensland and Andersen before Mortensen completed the line-up. Fifteen months since the release of their debut long player, the trio have returned with their sophomore release,Waves Of Visual Decay, which continues on from where their debut left off.
Things are definitely off to a flying start with the excellent opener, Under A Luminous Sky, which brings an awesome, dynamic journey of at times Forbidden inspired modern metal mixed with a good dose of the expected Nevermore influences as well. Even Stensland's vocals have are a distinct mix of Nevermore's Warrel Dane with the traits of Forbidden's Russ Anderson! From here on in, the Nevermore influences come to the forefront more, starting with the slower, more melodic Frozen Asleep In The Park which delivers plenty of frenzied lead guitar work and unexpected time changes around a massive Nevermore like chorus. The first of two ballads is the even slower and more melodic Watching It All Disappear which displays a good mix of dynamics that build towards the finale before gently easing the listener back down once again.
One of the album's highlights comes via a barrage of double kick and a riff-a-rama of guitar work in the form of Fooled By The Serpent before the album's title track, the slow and dark ballad Waves Of Visual Decay, meanders to the point of going nowhere fast. My Bleeding Victim turns up the tempo several notches via some excellent guitar parts that give the song plenty of character and much needed life after the previous track, although having said that, the chorus the song's Achilles Heal. The final track, At Dewy Prime, starts off strong before dropping in and out of aggressive versus clean passages throughout which has worked effectively in the past on this album, but on the whole, this song just isn't as strong as some of the other material and somewhat of a disappointing climax to the album.
The one thing that works against this album is the fact that this 58 minute album contains only 7 tracks, and some tracks suffer for their length and could well do with some editing. At times, Waves Of Visual Decay feels long and drawn out and when any album slides into that pit, the enjoyment factor drops a few notches as well. Still, there's much to praise on here and fans of Nevermore will appreciate where Communic are coming from once again. There is still some room for improvement but right now, these Norwegians are generally on a good wicket.
(Nuclear Blast Records/Riot! Distribution)