When it comes to intrumental Post-Metal, there are two kinds of bands (in my humble opinion): those that paint landscapes and those that like fireworks.
Painting landscapes means very long songs, a lot of detail in layering and structures and every song has a certain feel and atmosphere to it. However, they sometimes also tend to be kind of boring, when there is no real “point” to a song. The songs go by and by the end of it, you just wonder and think to yourself “Was this an interlude or a real song?”
The fireworks always have a slow start, like the fuse of a firework, then, as the body of the firework comes closer, everything gets louder until everything explodes into bright colors or a loud bang (depending on your musical taste). The downside of those bands is that there is no real change concerning the structure of the songs – climax is everything to those bands.
Both have in common that their pace is rather slow. Painting takes time, as well as waiting for a firework to blow up. Midtempo is comparable to Speed-Metal when it comes to Post-Rock/Metal/something bands (as I said, my humble opinion).
The obvious question is – what are Russian Circles? Their songs fall into both categories. On the one hand, they have those “landscape” songs in their discography and, on the other hand, of course “firework” songs too. What makes Russian Circles special, though, is the fact that their songs would work with a vocalist too and they aren’t slow all the time. Sometimes, there are actual Metal songs. The word that comes to my mind would be “kinetic”. The duo “Hunter Moon” and “Arluck” (the first teaser of the album) is a perfect example in that case, once the drumming starts, you want to move.
“Sinia” is a good example for a Russian Circles “firework” song. Slow beginning, getting bigger chord by chord and at the end it is a force of nature levelling a deep valley.
“Quartered” is my favorite and marks a perfect ending. It is a sludgy, heavy song. It reminds me of ISIS at their Celestial phase (a band that reminds me of ISIS can’t be bad).
The whole album is a lot heavier than its predecessor and that is a good thing. Everything sounds like it has weight to it. I recommend this album to anyone who wants to nod their head to beautiful heavy music and likes being moved without being told to do so by singer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
8 / 10
As usual, we added the favorite track(s) to our Transcended Review Playlist.