Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Russian Circles - "Memorial" album review

The label “post rock” is one that is rather dissatisfying when it is levelled at so many artists who create broad guitar based soundscapes. This generalisation will most probably be used to define the sound of Chicago based three-pieceRussian Circles. “Memorial” is their fifth release, and far from feeling formulaic, the album shows a band that have many disparate layers of sound at their disposal.
Opening with the gently lilting ‘Memorium’ which weaves an almost sinister guitar line through fragile layers of keyboard, ‘Deficit’ fills the space with a downpour of guitar, bass and thundering percussion. Chord progressions aggressively propel the tune forward, increasing passion and tension, and leaving nothing in their wake.
“Post rock” can be characterised by a sense of drifting in sound and intensity, whereas the overall sense here is impetus and pushing ever onward. The tension is broken on ’1777′ but the underlying unease remains. The overall ambience could not be described as heavy and dense, as the guitars in particular have a heavy lean towards the treble, but the ethereal is never far from the mix. Again, the intensity builds, ebbs and flows, which holds the concentration and the attentive listener....

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