Where Echoes Gather
Norway’s Communic have also returned after a lengthy stint with their first effort since the poorly received The Bottom Deep and have returned with a suitably solid release here. I’m at most reminded of Nevermore, which is a good feeling. I don’t find that the choruses are quite as strong as those that Warrel Dane belts, but they’re certainly not bad and the overall offering feels like it has just as much firepower as a prime-era Nevermore recording. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect from these gents, as I have not heard them in quite a bit. Where Echoes Gather really could have offered anything, though I am certainly glad that it did not, relegating to a familiar style of heavy progressive metal that fans will surely appreciate. What I liked most about the album, is that it is actually heavy. When I think of prog, I don’t usually think of fast-paced drumming and massive distortion, as is offered on this recording. It contains the right amount of chunk and thrash to get me excited. You can actually headbang to it! Not that you can’t fiercely bash your head around to other prog-metal albums, but I find them very few and far between in this genre. I think some of the great artists on InsideOut are forgetting that this is a progressive metal genre and not a progressive rock genre. I’ve actually grown a little tired of some of their stuff recently, because it just doesn’t feel like metal. It’s not terrible, I’m just not getting that kind of heavy metal edge that I feel the genre should offer, despite what kind of musical approach has been injected inside of it. In the same sentence, I should add that prog fans are not being left out of this soup; because while the disc is thunderous, it is also quite brainy and features dozens of tapestries for the mind to explore. You’ll find that in countless numbers, as well as the bonus cuts. It’s really quite a trip!
As for those bonuses, we’re given three new tracks including the nearly ten-minute long “At Dewy Prime.” These are absolutely not cast-offs, including the aforementioned, which is one of my favorite cuts on the disc. Perhaps the song is a bit unmastered and doesn’t have the clarity of the tracks on the main part of the album, but I have to insert a “shame on you” moment for the band or label’s decision not to include this magnum opus onto the rest of the disc. Sure, it starts out a little slow – but it’s a beast if you’ll give it a chance. It also contains a very strong chorus number, which has me wondering why in the hell it was thrown to the side. If your copy doesn’t have this song, go check it out on YouTube or something. You need to hear this one, especially considering how much work was put into it – and request it live too. If the label doesn’t want to offer it regularly, then let the band know that it is a valid song and should actually be performed in front of people. Definitely give this album a shot, even if you’re a bit on the fence after the band’s last one, which I haven’t personally heard and cannot coment on. The material here is strong enough to erase those misgivings and that oddly includes the bonus content, which is rare but not unheard of.
(12 Tracks, 73:00)
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