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Monday, 27 November 2017

Reviews: Communic, Transit Method, Voice, The Dirty Denims (Reviews By Paul)

Communic: Where Echoes Gather (AFM Records)

If you fancy something a little more challenging then Norwegian three-piece Communic will be of interest. The band formed in 2003 and Where Echoes Gather is album number five. For a three-piece their sound is impressive with a progressive style akin to Dream Theater and Queensryche.  Hauntingly heavy at times, the album is split into four sections, with The Pulse Of The Earth Pt.1 and Pt. 2 leading into the title track, again split into two parts before three lengthy tracks make up the middle section of the album with the crushingly heavy Black Flag Of Hate full of huge riffs and massive groove. The Claws Of The Sea Pt.1 and Pt.2 close the release. It’s not an easy listen, demanding several plays to appreciate the time changes, polyrhythmic movements and the intricacy which cascades like a waterfall. Vocalist and guitarist Oddleif Stensland delivers a mighty performance, whilst his support from bassist Erik Mortensen and drummer Tor Atle Andersen is solid from start to finish. If you can invest the time then this is an album that will provide rich rewards. 8/10

Transit Method: We Won’t Get Out of Here Alive (Brutal Panda Records)

Crashing riffs, a psychedelic edge and the raw passion of early Jane’s Addiction all combine in this interesting release by Transit Method, who are a three-piece outfit from Austin, Texas. From the opening smoking tentacles of Snake Wine, past the trippy Cloud Zeppelin to the rampaging Parasight there is a diversity here that demands your attention and repeated plays. At times the band merge into the territory of early Rush circa Fly By Night, with their straightforward rock interspersed with journeys into the land of the progressive, time changes but retaining their cutting edge. Snake Wine sets their stall out with some fine guitar from Matt LoCoco, whose Perry Farrell meets Geddy Lee vocals are quite spectacular whilst there is an underlying funk groove to Beside Moonlight. The more I played this album the deeper immersed I became. The Rush style of Clones was well appreciated and the nine-minute Outlaw By Disguise closing track is just an epic worthy of greatness. This is an essential listen. 9/10

Voice: The Storm (Massacre Records)

Powerful melodic rock from Germany? Well apparently Voice (stupid bloody name) has been around for eons with a couple of albums under their belt since their debut Prediction in 1996. This latest offering is the band’s first release in 14 years. Worth the wait? Probably not. Apart from the uncanny vocal resemblance to Bruce Dickinson that Oliver Glas possesses, the rest of this album is generic hard rock that so many German bands seem able to churn out at will. If you like Grave Digger and the like then you’ll no doubt dig The Storm. It plods a bit in places, dips more and more into the Maiden catalogue as it develops; check out Your Number Is Up or Kingdom Of Heaven as a prime examples. It is rather routine stuff, not offensive in the slightest but nothing to grab you by the cohunes either. Possibly not album of the year. 6/10

The Dirty Denims: Back With a Bang! (Self Released)

Eindhoven four-piece The Dirty Denims play the kind of music you’d expect. It’s rock in the vein of AC/DC, Joan Jett and bands like The Amorettes and Girlschool. Having been around for over ten years they are slick and good at what they deliver. Tracks like Can’t Get Enough Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Don’t Waste My Time and Make Us Look Good are pub rock with a little bit extra. Simple, straightforward and if you saw them at a festival with a beer you’d probably stay and watch. Buying their album may be a push too far but for what they do, yeah, it’s perfectly fine. 6/10

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