When Norwegian progressive metal band Communic entered the picture in the mid-2000’s, they were the talk of the scene. The band made a lasting impression with their four studio albums Conspiracy In Mind (2005), Waves Of Visual Decay (2006), Payment Of Existence (2008) and The Bottom Deep (2011), which have all been released by Nuclear Blast. Critical acclaim has followed Communic since day one and a devoted worldwide fan base is hotly anticipating the release of the first Communic album in six years.
October 27th, 2017 marks the return of Communic. The band’s 5th album finally sees the light of day, but the road to get to this point was long and winding.
Since 2012/2013 the band was putting new songs together, but when Oddleif’s latest son was born, they decided that they would wait with the recording and the release because it would be difficult to support the album and do tours, as Oddleif wanted to be home with his family the first year or so. In this ‘home’ time Oddleif decided to scrap all the new songs, putting them on hold for later, and went back into his early songwriting archive. Something had haunting him for a long time. There were some ideas and songs that were echoing in his mind, screaming for attention. So together they went back and gave back the life to some hidden gems that had been waiting in the shadows.
As Oddleif said: “I need to get this stuff out before I can continue, I want our fans to hear this stuff – the new stuff can wait, now is the time, it’s now or never”. Some of these ideas are over 20 years old. Most of them date back to before their debut album, and the title chosen for the album, “Where Echoes Gather” became quite obvious as the band kept working on the songs. These old ideas were reworked, mixed with some new ideas, new grooves, new updated inspiring lyrics, and a progressive joyfull touch that made the guys smile while playing and rehearsing on the songs. So, in June 2014 the band entered DUB Studio under guidance of producer Endre Kirkesola to record the drums for the album and everything was on track, or so they thought!. The guitars, bass and vocals were to be recorded at Stoneland Studio, Oddleif’s own studio as soon as the drums were done. Then, while in the studio, recording the drums – Tor Atle, the drummer dropped the news, he was expecting twins, and soon he welcomed two lovely girls into the family picture, and the road got some new bumps.
Another year or so was taken into the ‘break because they knew it was not the right time to release and support a new album. The band had already recorded most of the parts for the upcoming album at this time, and was waiting for the right time to proceed. The band stuck to the plan: ”There is no point in releasing this before we have time to support it”. ”We have been waiting for so long now, we have to wait for the right time”! Late in 2016 the band went into negotiations with AFM, then in early 2017 the band inked the deal, and got the ball rolling again. When all the official matters were taken care of, Oddleif completed the last part of the recordings, the vocals – and sent all the recording tracks off to be mixed. The mixing task was handed over to Eike Freese (Studio 3A/Chameleon Studios Hamburg, Germany) and in June 2017 the mix and mastering was finally done.
One last step of the plan for the album, was that the band wanted to record some special bonus tracks for the fans. So in June, they booked time at Krutt Studio in their home town to re-record a few old songs; performed live in studio, with no overdubs or additional instruments added to the mix, no clicktrack or backingtracks, just the band, as a trio, live in studio to try to capture the moment, the energy, the emotions as the band is known for in their live shows. It was an experiment – and two of the three recorded songs found their way on the album as bonus tracks. The third song was to be saved for a later purpose, probably as a video showing how all off this came together. The last bonus track that made it to the album was an acoustic version of “Waves Of Visual Decay”, that Oddleif and Erik performed live on stage on Communic’s 10th Anniversary concert in 2015. This shows the song in a stripped down version with only acoustic bass and guitar/vocals. ”This is something we will probably never will do again,” said Oddleif, so a cool bonus to close the album.
With Where Echoes Gather, the band impressively confirms and underlines its exceptional status. Communic’s first album for AFM is nothing short of another dark and atmospheric masterpiece, created by the very same three guys who founded the band back then. Communic’s characteristic mixture of prog, power and thrash sounds as fresh and relevant as ever and will amaze the band’s multitude of fans.