Russian Circles – Station

Source: Absolutepunk.net

rc-sI feel kind of bad for Pelican. Both times that I had the pleasure of seeing them, one of the opening bands blew me away. This isn’t to say Pelican aren’t amazing; they are, but the first concert I was in awe after seeing and hearing Mono for the first time, and the second time around, Russian Circles.

Right on the heels of releasing Enter, Russian Circles were the second act every night of Pelican’s US Tour supporting City of Echoes. After witnessing Russian Circles’ grand performance, something kept boiling in the back of my mind: “How can three guys produce a better heavy sound and composition than half the so-called ‘metal-core’ or ‘screamo’ bands out there?” I said the same of Fall of Troy – the same mindset, just more amazed with Russian Circles by the lack of vocals.

Station is Russian Circles’ latest effort, and it doesn’t disappoint, though some things have changed. If Enter seemed gritty and just a tad bit raw, the sophomore follow-up is downright polished. “Campaign” shows that the band is capable of some harmony, countering songs like “Carpe” or “Enter,” something taken from touring mates Pelican. The creative sound on City of Echoes is still prominent, it just feels a bit more lighter than what one would have come to expect. The same thing goes with Station.

“Harper Lewis” and the following album track would have fit right in place on Enter, while “Verses” once again explores new territory and leads right into “Youngblood,” possibly the heaviest of the album’s tracks, which gradually falls off just to explode in the end. The album’s closer, “Xavii,” blends both old antics and some of that new sunshine that Russian Circles have seeped through the heavy sound fans were built upon.

Station is a another great disc by this out-of-nowhere band. It leads itself into some new direction which is pulled off wonderfully, while keeping in tone to older tracks. It may take some time to get into, or it may end up another record on the shelf to come out every once in while, but something has to be said about a record with three men and no vocals that sounds better than five kids whining about suburban life problems.

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