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Russian Circles - Enter CD (album) cover


Russian Circles


Post Rock/Math rock

4.06 | 211 ratings

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4 stars Russian Circles are a post-rock band that isn't afraid to pack in the energy. Their debut album, "Enter", proves just how heavy the often "slow-and-whispy" post-rock genre can really get. Russian Circles provide a surprisingly thick-sounding, layered instrumental attack given their status as a three-piece outfit. This is due to guitarist Sullivan's ability to loop and layer guitar licks and effects, a trick that bassist DeKuiper joins in on occasionally. And as odd as that may sound, the band never fails to keep a song rocking. This album lacks the slow build-ups common to bands like GY!BE and Mono, opting instead to focus on making songs flow dynamically through several sections. A great deal of this band's "heaviness" is due to the skill of the drummer, who plays very dynamically and provides fills, tempo and time signature changes at all the right moments. Their style is very melodic and majestic, yet undoubtably dark and a little sinister.

The albums opens with the crushing "Carpe", a nine-minute journey into heavy instrumental rock, and a worthy introduction to the band. The song flows nicely into the more placid and emotional "Micah", a song that seems to suffer from random bursts of outrage amid a sea of swelling guitar chords, before ending quietly and giving way to the heaviest track on the album, "Death Rides a Horse". The guitar work on this song will impress most metal fans, but may turn off fans of more tranquil music. Still, it is done tastefully and dynamically, and the bass guitar shines as well. The title track plays a bit more like other post-rock bands, taking a full two minutes before getting started, and continuing to build tension, and back off again before coming to a crescendo, yet the drums continue to drive the song at a very quick pace. The last two tracks are also very good, but the six-song, 44 minute album only leaves me wanting more. The album's flaw, however, is that in places it may seem to the average prog listener that they might be "too metal" for post-rock, or that they are too much like non-prog rock but without vocals. These are valid points, but I think they definitely belong here for the variety of reasons I have pointed out in this review. I have never heard anything quite like this.

All in all, a very very strong debut from this brilliant new band. A strong candidate for 4 stars if I ever heard one. I hope to hear more from them in the future!

GoldenSpiral | 4/5 |


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