Review || Russian Circles - "Blood Year"

Post rock is a diverse music genre that has always fascinated me. It's impressive how many thoughts, chills and emotional rollercoasters this music can offer you within just one song. It undoubtedly provides endless possibilities. Russian Circles is one of the most popular bands in the post movement with their unique sound that dominates the scene these days. The Chicago trio is about to release their 7th full length album titled “Blood Year”, on August 2nd via Sargent House records, almost three years after “Guidance”. If you like Russian Circles and their heavy/atmospheric sound you will probably appreciate and love their whole new material.

The tracklisting on “Blood Year” begins with “Hunter Moon”, a calm, soft and nostalgic two-minute song that makes it feel like a eulogy marks the calm before the stormy “Arluck” drops. Dave Turncrantz starts with a characteristic drum beat break before Brian Cook's beasty bass sound and Mike Sullivan's melancholic guitar lead riff join forces, offering various dark emotions. “Milano” follows; an almost seven minute heavy track that reminds me a lot of “Deficit” on the “Memorial” album and proves one more time that the band has no trouble breaking into a blurry black metal atmosphere. It is followed by the song that I personally consider as the best of  the album, the macabre “Kohokia”, another remarkable piece of darkness and dirty sound. The crescendo comes at the 4-minute mark and makes me feel like I'm reaching the emotional peak I was waiting for. The second part of the record begins with the transitional “Ghost on High” and its dreamy guitar loop tones that sound like the perfect prelude to get into the anthem song “Sinaia”. It starts soft and slow with a reverbed tremolo picking, then more blackened style elements are thrown into the  dramatic composition before the climax hits again. Russian Circles close the “Blood Year” record in the most unconventional way; unlike the encore in their previous albums, “Quartered” is an angry, vengeful and direct track. 

"Blood Year" is a masterpiece full of sorrow, melancholy and dark outbreaks that shows once again the power of  communication through musicianship that Russian Circles serves us generously via their art. It's already an indication that after six albums these three talented guys can still surprise us with their amazing work.

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