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Russian Circles

Post Rock/Math rock

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Russian Circles Geneva album cover
2.95 | 61 ratings | 4 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2009

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fathom (4:55)
2. Geneva (5:49)
3. Melee (7:39)
4. Hexed All (4:29)
5. Malko (4:43)
6. When the Mountain Comes to Muhammad (8:00)
7. Philos (10:26)

Total Time 46:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Sullivan / guitars
- Brian Cook / bass
- Dave Turncrantz / drums

- Allison Chesley / cello
- Susan Voelz / violin
- Greg Norman / trumpet, trombone, engineering
- Brandon Curtis / piano, production

Releases information

Artwork: Chris Strong (photo)

2LP Sargent House ‎- SH 030 (2009, US)

CD Suicide Squeeze - S-082 (2009, US)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RUSSIAN CIRCLES Geneva ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (41%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Geneva reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Prog-jester
2 stars Bleak and predictable, devoid of power and beauty, "Geneva" shows RUSSIAN CIRCLES as "just another guitar-oriented Post-Rock band", and there are hundreds of them these days. Their debut was amazing, it was quirky and solid, reminding me of TOOL and CRIMSO sometimes more than of EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY or MOGWAI; it's follow-up was weaker; but this one is their least interesting album to date. It just slips through your ears leaving nothing in your head. Since when Post-Rock has turned into a music for supermarkets? I'd rather prefer them to be carrying on with TOOL ideas than running out of their own ones. Anyway, you may happen to like it, but if you prefer their debut to "Station", just avoid "Geneva"
Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Here, we have a different case. It's pleasant, but void. Atmosphere is not unlike its cover promises, depressive, but also empty. Hell, late 70's classic The Wall is depressive, but I love it because of it. Here, it works repulsive. And in other cases, it's full of nothing. It's a hard thing about post-rock, there is not so elements, parts, things (call it like you want) to start with (or end with), because of ethereal structure. This music is about feelings, like dancing mazurka on glass floor one kilometer above the surface. It's risky and you can just solidly land on the floor, because you're risking of breaking it all down.

3(-), this unfortunately does not work for me.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After two quite impressive releases that showed clear growth from Russian Circles, the band decided to take a slightly different route with their third album. This decision has been met with mix reactions from both the fans and critics due to the album's lack of any real progression compared to the one acknowledged on Station.

Just like the previous release, Geneva continues the band's stray from the metal oriented approach of Enter, with the clear exception of the album's title track, while moving toward the atmospheric post-rock sound. I never considered this in itself to be the reason behind the album's failing. Instead it's the lack of progression mixed with too many directionless mellow parts that keep Geneva from being another excellent album from Russian Circles.

The album's opening track Fathom clearly sets up the mood while not actually being as effective as Station's Campaign, but that's just nitpicking on my part. The title track reminds me a lot of second album's highlight Youngblood while still making enough impact of it's own. Unfortunately this is pretty much where this album sinks into the realm of mellow and atmospheric music. Meele is chill-out moment but instead of functioning as a temporary breezed, the album continues in this same mellow direction with Hexed All, slightly more energetic and very indie rock sounding Malko and continuing the same low-key style throughout the remaining 18 minutes of the album.

The overall result is really not in any means a bad one but Geneva definitely lacks the energy and ambition of the previous releases. The addition of a few orchestrated sections don't really add the needed momentum to the material and instead only make it sound more like lounge music that loses it's post-rock roots. From what I've heard, this album actually brought in many new fans into the realm of Russian Circles but let's hope that the 2011 release Empros will spark a new flare within the band!

***** star songs: Geneva (5:49)

**** star songs: Fathom (4:55) Melee (7:39) Malko (4:43) Philos (10:26)

*** star songs: Hexed All (4:29) When The Mountain Comes To Muhammad (8:00)

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars I tend to agree with the other reviews on this one. It's an okay album, but in it's attempt to garner new followers for the band, it seems to have lost the fire and heart that the previous two albums had. It starts off well enough with the first 2 tracks which have a lot of fire, especially the title track, and one tends to think Russian Circles have released another great post-rock album. The songs all sound good on the surface, but once all is said and done, it's hard to come up with anything here that is very memorable, groundbreaking or unique. Unfortunately, on this album, the band tries too hard to get a portion of the Mogwai followers, and instead ended up with an album full of a lot of surface music with no depth. The songs are mostly dark, but one track, "Hexed All" is extremely soft and pretty, but again, as nice as it is, it doesn't really leave anything behind. "Malko" even starts out with a nice beat that starts to build and up to a certain point, could have been a breakthrough single for the band, but it suddenly gets very dense. The longer tracks, namely "Mountain..." and "Philos" execute a great slow burn with a build up, but again, there is nothing new here. There is a lack of melody and feeling which is sad for what was shaping up to be an excellent band after two great albums. Again, it's not that it's bad, but it's not great either...only average and non essential. 3 stars.

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