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Album Review

The relationship between the calm before the storm and the storm itself is a crucial element of post-rock. The patience and restraint to allow the music to build slowly and organically is an incredible virtue within the genre, and it's a virtue that Russian Circles have been growing into over the course of their career. On Geneva, their third full-length outing, we find a band that has matured as songwriters. With a larger, more atmospheric set of tools at their disposal, the band crafts songs that are more about buildup than release. Instead of down the usual "build, build, build, destroy" route that's so common, the songs grow organically, with changes unfolding so naturally that the big finish is more of a logical conclusion than an explosion. Brian Cook's (of Botch and These Arms Are Snakes) impact on this record is more apparent than it was on Station. His gritty, fuzzed-out bass provides a dynamic contrast to the lighter moments, providing a bit of sonic dirt for the more ethereal guitar parts to play in. This influence might also have something to do with Russian Circles' further tempering of their metal tendencies. While Geneva has its heavier moments (like "Fathom" and "Geneva"), they're not as out-and-out metal as their past work, more reminiscent of Pelican's later work or the sludgy harmony of Zozobra. Given their past work, it would be easy for Russian Circles to simply play it quiet for a while and then absolutely bowl over the listener with huge, metal riffing. As the record goes on, that patience and restraint starts to reveal itself more and more. On the sprawling, eight-minute epic, "When the Mountain Comes to Muhammad," the band allows the song to build slowly and easily, reigning the song in and allowing it to fold in on itself, growing slightly larger and larger without ever getting completely out of control. Geneva is an album that builds like an old building being demolished, starting out with an explosion and ending with the dust clearing to reveal a changed landscape that's ready for something new, as if the band is symbolically clearing away their old sound in favor of something new and exciting. If you weren't already on the Russian Circles bandwagon, this is the perfect opportunity to jump on.

Customer Reviews

Een aangename verrassing

Als de Explosions in the sky, Godspeed your Black Emperor! en Mogwai op uw iPod staat is dit zeker een aanrader.
Voor mij was deze in 2009 verschenen cd een aangename verrassing.
Toeren volgend voorjaar(2010) voor de eerste keer in Europa.
De Sound is moeilijk te omschrijven,van instrumental metal tot post-rock.
Niet verschieten als je net daarom op een Russian Circles concert zo'n vreemd allegaartje van publiek zal tegenkomen.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The post-rock/experimental trio Russian Circles feature Mike Sullivan (guitar), Colin DeKuiper (bass), and Dave Turncrantz (drums). Prior to Russian Circles, Sullivan and DeKuiper were members of the eclectic instrumental act Dakota/Dakota, while Turncrantz produced an emo-punk ruckus with Riddle of Steel. The instrumental group formed in 2005 in Chicago, and together they create a complex clamor of sprawling guitars, propulsive drumming, and heavy basslines. That same year, Russian Circles self-released...
Full bio

Top Albums and Songs by Russian Circles

Geneva, Russian Circles
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Contemporaries