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Russian Circles - Guidance CD (album) cover

GUIDANCE

Russian Circles

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.84 | 42 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars From the first minutes of this album I was convinced that this is a return to form for Russian Circles and I was not disappointed! Russian Circles have been a favorite of mine for quite some time. Even if the trio from Chicago haven't been able to deliver a perfect string of records, even their lesser moments are well worth experiencing.

I really liked the opening track Asa which is then perfectly complemented by Vorel. Unlike the intro on Memorial, which felt way too short and it's transition into Deficit felt abrupt, Asa takes it's time and delivers one of the band's best intros which can only be matched by the excellence of Campaign on Station. The transition into Vorel is seamless and the track that we are presented with is another marvelous piece of music that reminds me of Harper Lewis from, yet again, Station. Mota brings us a moment of sheer beauty as the track slowly unravels itself into another mix of melancholy and sheer power.

I'm really liking the fact that these compositions are slightly longer than most of material on Memorial, thus making the track flow feel more natural and the performances seem almost effortless. Africa is a perfect example of just that. The track commences slowly while feeling very structured in it's delivery as we are treated to a beautiful sounding landscape of musical harmony. The composition shifts into minor scale halfway thought the track and transitions in a completely different beast before returning to it's humble beginnings towards the end, what an excellent piece of music!

Just like Mota, Overboard works as another transitional piece that brings the record even more beauty as we slowly transition towards the final two tracks of Guidance. Calla is a heavy composition that introduces itself in the orderly fashion as we are treated to another pleasant landscape filled with electric guitar and hard hitting percussion work. Lisboa finishes the record off nicely with another slow and atmospheric piece which reminds me, yet again(!), of the ending to Station.

The question that I've pondered on, after giving Guidance a few spins, is whether the record is meant as a follow up to Station. The album does indeed feature quite a few callbacks to one of the finest records of 2008 but I wouldn't really say that the connection is entirely justified. The band have undergone quite a few different milestones during the last 8 years and thus have many different influences to draw it's inspiration from. There is definitely an ambition with Guidance to create another coherent record, which is something that Russian Circles have managed to do in the past with Empros and especially Station. Therefore the connection to Station is more in spirit than in execution. Either way, this is another excellent album from Russian Circles that should not be missed by fans of instrumental rock music!

***** star songs: Asa (4:00) Vorel (5:29) Afrika (6:31)

**** star songs: Mota (6:33) Overboard (5:32) Calla (6:23) Lisboa (6:32)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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