Norwegian three-piece with something for every kind of metal fan…

Not being completely up to date with my Norwegian Progressive Power/Thrash Metal. I approached Communic's Conspiracy In Mind with a certain trepidation, but here is a band who truly are difficult to classify in to one single Metal genre, with elements of both modern and classic, power, melodic and progressive metal.

Oddleif Stensland, Tot Atle Anderson and Erik Mortenson formed Communic as merely a side-project in March 2003, but the strong praise received for their first demos made it clear that the band had the potential to become a fully-fledged metal monster. And the excellent musicianship of this Norwegian three-piece shines throughout the album; although often moody, emotional and progressive, its great hooks and fantastic melodies lift the music, keeping it engaging and exciting to listen to. Despite only having seven tracks, there is nothing on this album shorter than six minutes, with the closing track 'Silence Surrounds' coming in at an epic eleven minutes. However, each track is so well constructed and varied that listening to the album in full doesn't feel like a chore, with all of the tracks managing to retain their originality and avoid simply blurring into one.

The standout tracks have to be the album's opener (and title track) 'Conspiracy in Mind'; after a fantastic intro it combines crunching riffs with melodic solos, while 'Communication Sublime'– with the album's most memorable melody and probably the most modern metal sound – is just as stunning.

While some metal lovers will be impressed by the huge hooks, aggressive guitars and fast double-kick drumming, the majesty of their melodies and Oddleif Stensland's grand vocals will gently wash over a more laid-back listener. A must for any kind of metal fan.