|19th of August, 2022
Three years after the awesome album that was Blood Year, Russian Circles are back with their new album Gnosis.
Once more, Russian Circles returned to THE producer of everything that is awesome and heavy, Kurt Ballou, to produce the album. The difference this time is, instead of jamming on fragmented ideas, the songs were written completely by single members of the band before going into the studio. Songs like the tender “Bloom” or the Sigur Rós like interlude “Ó Braonáin” are surely going to surprise some long-time fans.
“Conduit” and “Betrayal” were heavy harbingers for Gnosis: blast-beats, heavy rhythms and a heaven-sent guitar sound. “Conduit” sounds like a spiritual brother to “Quartered” from Blood Year, which was a favourite of mine back then. This guitar sound is something that really stands out for me on this record. Not to say that the predecessors sounded weak, but I really feel that there is even more punch on this record. Just listen to the opener “Tupilak” around the 4 minute mark and you will know what I mean.
The title track and “Bloom” are my favorite songs from this album. “Gnosis” is a Russian Circles Masterclass-Post-Metal song. Everything falls perfectly into place here: the slow build-up, the atmosphere and the cathartic finale. “Bloom” is indeed the flower at the end of this album. You can really see a flower evolving before your inner eye in the course of this song.
Just like the cover, this album adds another layer on top of the great legacy that Russian Circles already have. While it may be a bit early to say so, I still promise you that it will be nearly impossible to find a better Post-Metal release this year.