Monday, April 05, 2010

Russian Circles: Geneva

Russian Circles: Geneva
Year: 2009
Click here for the artist's site

Russian Circles, a three piece band from Chicago, released a really great debut a few years ago.  They struck a nice balance of thunderous, instrumental post-metal with atmosphere and building tension.  Their second release left me a little cold, being too much atmosphere and not enough thunder.

Geneva, the band's latest effort, however, manages to strike the perfect balance between the two extremes.  Stand up and take note.  If you haven't heard of Russian Circles before now, I recommend you pay attention.
Geneva will readily appeal to many different types of music fans.  All instrumental, there are no lyrics to distract from the real focus here: the music and the aural landscapes created.  Layers upon layers of carefully crafted sound sometimes gently, other times violently pile on top of each other until the tracks climax.

You want power?  Look no further than the monstrous title track "Geneva" with is fuzzy, thumping bass line that permeates throughout.  How about some mellow, beautiful ambience?  Head to track 4, "Hexed All" and just chill out.  How about some energetic, fast post-rock?  My personal favorite "Malko" will fill that desire nicely. Want it all in one package?  The 10+ minute closer, "Philos" is for you.

The guitars come at you from every angle.  For me, though, the real star here is the rhythm section.  The bass is powerful, in your face, yet restrained when the moment calls for it.  The drums are fabulous, with brilliant, rapid and intricate rhythms that avoid the too-often overused double bass.  Russian Circles just seems to be firing on all cylinders here.

Final Verdict: 4/5

Geneva is a great album, and an excellent example of American post-rock/post-metal.  Lush instrumental soundscapes with varied and fascinating textures help to elevate Geneva above many of their post-rock contemporaries.  With yet another really solid release, keep and eye on these guys.


  1. It kinda puts me in mind of music Pink Floyd might be writing had they grown up in the 80s instead of the 50s. I particularly like the sound of Malko and Melee, and while I'm such a lyrics person, I think I could really take to this.

    YourZ (Mark)

  2. I can definitely see that Mark. If you enjoyed this album, I highly recommend their other two. The first one, Enter is a bit more on the post-metal side, and the second, Station is a much more mellow one. Great stuff all around.