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Album Review

On their previous album, Geneva, Russian Circles had a quiet conversation on the nature of patience in music with a collection of songs that quietly and calmly built themselves up with layers of melody. On Empros, however, the band has escalated from conversation to argument, combining the precision of their last album with the metal fury of some of their earlier work. The album opener, “309,” gets to work almost immediately, unleashing a suffocating wall of snarling guitars that seems to embody the stark, unforgiving cold of the winters in their native Chicago before eventually dissolving into the uplifting second track, “Mlàdek.” This kind of musical drift continues throughout the album, with each song giving way to the next, allowing the disc to unfold in movements rather than tracks. Perhaps to match the more aggressive musical aesthetic of Empros, Russian Circles have also adopted a more aggressive production style, taking on a rawer and more open sound that allows the mid-range of the guitars to scrape and growl their way out of the speakers, and gives the drums an overdriven openness that makes every song sound like it’s happening in some kind of abandoned factory. As an album, Empros shows Russian Circles bringing together everything they’ve done before into one complete package, compiling the lessons of albums past into one singular vision, and bringing it all together for a new vision of their future.

Customer Reviews


As always epic!


a heavier release for these guys, which I think is a great contrast compared to some of the ethereal/spacey songs on Geneva
Brian Cook's bass has gone insane on this album! Love the new effects pedals
My only complaint is that this album is too short

3 guys doing the work of 5.

these guys are great. to me, each album represents russian circles individually. meaning that each album is its own unique work. some albums are more melodic while others are more driven. and this album is driven. other reviewers are noting that this is their heaviest album to date, and i would definitely agree. however, i disagree that this being the heaviest is potentially a bad thing. i absolutely love it. i wholly accept "enter" and "geneva" as the more drawn out, more melodic albums. "station", and now "empros" fill in the heavier aspects of russian circles. i love when these dudes are in the pocket and beating down on a tough, heavy rhythm. it's incredible. but their genius comes with how they bookend the heavier moments with softer melancholy. they know how to use dynamics to their advantage and allow a song to flow. some of their most creative moments come in the more delicate minutes of play. in my opinion, this album fits nicely into their overall repertoire. personally, i've created a master playlist with all of russian circles' songs in my own preferred order and all of the songs off of "empros" fit nicely into the mix. if you are a fan, you're gonna buy this album anyway so you don't need me to convince you. but don't wait. just buy it now.
on and ending note, if i had to give a complaint i'd say this album is too short. never have 44 minutes gone by so fast. i find myself wishing for one more 7 minute "youngblood" type track. but when it's over i simply start it over again. keep up the great work guys. take your time when it comes to writing your albums, don't ever rush anything. and know that you have many loyal fans out here. see you on 11/28/11.


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
Empros, Russian Circles
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Customer Ratings