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Russian Circles - Empros CD (album) cover


Russian Circles


Post Rock/Math rock

3.88 | 89 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Adding A Heart To A Deserving Machine

Russian Circles have always been a band with a more human approach to Math-Rock. Their musicianship never sounds stale or compromised while being apart of a very mechanic genre. Empros triumphs with glorious dynamics and apocalyptic soundscapes. Be prepared to be crushed and preserved with this release.

Empros embodies a musical direction that has been thriving more and more after each previous Russian Circles album. The guitars are devastatingly heavy, the bass will shatter your sense of calm, and the drums are smooth yet unrelenting. This batch of metal soaked math-rock never feels disjointed or unsatisfactory. The songs are a balance between darkness and light, and therefor immerse you into a cryptically gorgeous album. Enter the bastion of Empros and leave with nothing but a well-deserved rush.

309: The album's opener provides the perfect introduction into the band's perfected direction. The song erupts into an incredibly dark jam, it continues to reappear throughout the song after each of the more personable section. For a while the guitar provides an unfathomably thick backdrop, while the bass and drums pass off leading with hi-hat grooves and upfront bass lines or the familiar crushing passages. After the madness shortly dies off the bass leads the song into an awesome finale.

Mladek: Seeing a more melodic side of Empros, Mladek begins with a clean, catchy guitar riff and Dave Turncrantz blessing the guitars' furrow with a fantastic wave of chops that are both flashy and rock solid. The guitarist, Mike Sullivan, switches back and forth from clean to a distorted tone as the song progresses. The song finishes with a revision of the initial theme, fantastic and strong.

Schipol: The sullen tune that really gives Empros a human touch, Schipol is a beautiful voyage that escorts you to a equally beautiful cataclysm. Dominated with a acoustic guitar surrounded with a conflicted electric guitar, sparse drumming, and soft bass to provide the serene tune with additional depth. Russian Circles provide an anticipated performance that is heartfelt and completely violent. A highlight of their career.

Atackla: With a similar embrace as Schipol, Atackla doesn't really catch my attention as much as the previous song. Though it catches air for takeoff much quicker than Schipol. The drum ushers in a darker tone and the guitars really are breathtaking. The atmosphere is perfectly constructed and built upon well.

Batu and Praise Be Man: Batu emerges like a proud phoenix. The band leaves ashes in it's trail. It really amazes me how well Russian Circles mixes metal, post-rock and mathy tendencies. The song paints a pictures of a honorable death. The feeling of weakening and a dissolving power becomes tangible every time i hear this song. It's unbelievable. The ash left leaves the listener with an airy reminder of the destruction. Thought the ending may seem too long, the idea is flawless. Effortlessly, Praise Be Man begins the end of Empros. Drone effects are heard at the beginning and end, along with another acoustic guitar passage. The vocals from the bassist, Brian Cook, fit perfectly and are quite good.

Empros is an impressive album just because of the story the music tells, something that is very rare with a instrumental band.

Horizons | 4/5 |


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