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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

A complete masterpiece

An absolutely inspiring record. If you write this is the muse you could be waiting for. Dreamy at points. Driving at others. Easily the score for your thoughts.

The Long Awaited Album

This album doesn't really compare to Stations or Enter in the wow factor. Geneva, although still strong in the drum department, is lacking some what on the guitar; missing the interesting tap squences and chunky progressions. Despite the lack of much unique guitar work in the album Russian threw in a new asspect of big bass lines, violin, chelo, and piano, which is an interesting new sound to their music. As a whole the album is a lot more lax and marture, and not as fast pace and hard hitting as the other albums. All in all buy the whole album, because its great, but songs from least favorite to best are Philos, When the Mountain Come to Muhammad, Hexed All, Geneva, Fathom, Melee, Malko.

Great job Russian Circles on another awesome album!

Russian Circles certainly does not disappoint with this new album. Their style is slightly changed, with bigger bass lines, similar, and other added aspects, however, they are still the same great band at heart. Awesome album to sit down and listen to all the way through. Every track is easy to listen to start to finish.

Also, if you enjoy this band, I would also highly recommend checking out Pelican as well.


Formed: 2004 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Chicago-based instrumental post-rock/metal trio Russian Circles create a complex clamor of sprawling guitars, propulsive drumming, and heavy basslines. They were founded in late 2004 by guitarist Mike Sullivan and bassist Colin DeKuiper, with drummer Dave Turncrantz joining soon afterwards. 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. In 2005, Russian Circles self-released...
Full Bio
Geneva, Russian Circles
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Customer Ratings