July 31, 2019 Russian Circles – Blood Year (Album Review)
Finding direction amongst the chaos of existence is a struggle for most that undertake the labyrinth that is life. It can take much experimentation and failure to reach personal acceptance or true discovery. That in mind, the notable Rock band Russian Circles seems to have landed in a more specific direction with their newest album, Blood Year, set for release on Friday, August 2nd via Sargent House.
Out of Chicago, Illinois, Russian Circles have been the pinnacle of instrumental Rock music for fifteen years now. Releasing their debut album Enter back in 2006, they immediately engaged listeners with songs that continuously flowed into one another without interruption. Since then, touring the US and Europe, finding broader success along the way, the band has managed to still consistently compose quality music. Comprised as a trio, consisting of Brian Cook on bass, Dave Turncrantz on drums, and Mike Sullivan on guitar, together the trinity create a distinctive instrumental sound second to none. Now with their seventh overall studio album they offer something considerably more restrictive in its spectrum of execution, but all the more to the point of achieving a more forward, poignant collection of songs.
Seven tracks in total, “Hunter Moon” is a flowing introduction that trickles in with gentle baritone guitar strumming overlaid with simmering notes. This is before “Arluck,” which is comprised of a kicking set of drum work that drives it forward as rumbling guitars dual in both sides of the headset, delving into elaborate fret-board work in the latter half of the track. Then there is “Milano,” which carries a certain darkness with a bass-line that is gorgeous as it dances in the shadows of the riffing guitar, peering out from the shadows momentarily. This is all while “Ghost on High” comes in as a fortifying, melodic track with delicate pacing as “Sinaia” hums and flows like a current in a river.
Overall, much of the guitar tone is overlaid with a lucid dissonance through Blood Year. This is while the high hats are crisp and the kick drum bursts forth from enclaves of frequencies. Making for moody, angst-vibed album, still, it does not shy away from slower or mellower moments. Like all Russian Circles previous work, entirely instrumental, the rhythms and melodies fare incredibly well in keeping attention and remaining intriguing. Possessing a distinguished sound and approach to their craft, Russian Circles yet again capture the imagination with Blood Year. A welcomed addition to their catalog, Cryptic Rock gives it 3.5 out of 5 stars.