Enter Review

artist: Russian Circles date: 01/15/2008 category: compact discs
Russian Circles: Enter
Release Date: May 16, 2006
Genres: Post Rock, Experimental Rock
Label: Flameshovel
Number Of Tracks: 6
Russian Circles are a heavy rock instrumental trio from Chicago, and "Enter" is their debut long-player.
 Sound: 10
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 10
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 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (2) 5 comments vote for this album:
overall: 10
Enter Featured review by: UG Team, on january 15, 2008
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Russian Circles are a three piece instrumental band from Chicago. Enter is their first 'proper' release, yet if you poke your head around any online post rock den, you will find countless people singing their praises. They have a perfectly good reason to. Their sound is a totally equal balance between the three instruments: guitar, bass guitar and drums that creates a true post rock journey. Despite the lengths of the tracks reaching nine minutes, they very rarely repeat ideas and because of this Enter's 6 tracks feel more like paths of music than songs. There are moments of metal ferocity ('Death Rides A Horse') and moments of delicate and sombre soundscaping ('Micah') yet there is a conscious intensity in the music throughout. You can tell that the music has spawned from extensive jams by the highly progressive nature of the tracks, but it is astounding to think about how these jams managed to be so consistent in quality whilst flowing naturally within and between songs.

Each third of Russian Circles gives a difference texture to the band. Drummer Dave Turncrantz supplies huge levels of energy and precision, guitarist Mike Sullivan adds texture and flavour using as many methods as you'd care to name and the recently departed bassist Colin DeKuiper simultaneously locks in with both Turncrantz and Sullivan and provides the band with it's melodic cornerstone and timbre. The music isn't melodic in the traditional sense yet you always find yourself comfortable in the chemistry between bass and guitar in the band. There are several sections on this album that you will not get out of your head for several months, yet they are not the sort to be hummed along to. The performance of each member technically is stellar. Watching them live I was very impressed by the Turncrantz's energy and consistency and the Sullivan's ability to set every changing mood immediately, as well as Colin's set-long presence in 'the pocket', despite the band not being groove based at all. // 10

Lyrics: Since the band is instrumental, there is nothing to talk about here. The 10 given is simply to maintain the average score from all three ratings. // 10

Overall Impression: From the most basic description of Russian Circles (energetic post rock with an injection of metal), they could be linked to several other bands such as Isis, Red Sparowes and fellow Chicago residents Pelican. However, upon listening to Enter the difference is very noticeable. This album has quickly become one of my favourite post rock albums and the potential of a new album on the horizon for 2008 is exciting, despite the sad departure of Colin DeKuiper. The sound the band creates is very much recognisable to someone who has heard it yet the different melodies will evoke different emotions in everybody. I would very much recommend that everybody interested in music of any kind would at least try to find out for themselves. // 10

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overall: 9
Enter Reviewed by: sweetpeasuzie, on april 09, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Orchestral-rock is a well rounded description of the Russian Circles music on their debut album Enter. Anchored in Chicago's Logan Square, the rock trio of bassist Colin DeKuiper, drummer Dave Turncrantz, and guitarist Mike Sullivan made an all instrumental album for their debut on Flameshovel Records. The synth-like guitar vibrations and whipping rhythms are like Beethoven's opuses doused in hard rock patinas. Sonically, the music has lustrous chord shuttles. Aurally the music is very stimulating and exciting. The chord sequences are melodic with a chamber-pop essence and flaming with a symphonic metal soar. Tracks like Carpe and Micah calibrate intense chord rotations and dynamic tempo shifts. The dark tones and blazing textures have a narrative quality treading slowly and building up into allegro steps. Death Rides A Horse has a haunting aura with intricate chord progressions that dazzle and intensify the rhythmic pulleys. Chord textures are opulent with cinematic panoplies swiveling and coiling. The title track has a Goth-metal theatrical flair in the rhythmic movements widening and contracting consecutively. The soft instrumentation for You Already Did features steely rhythms and towering soundscapes. The final track New Macabre entangles epic guitar effects with polyphonic rhythms. The transitions build up to critical mass and then disperse into a shower of sonic shards. The music is exciting and captivates you in it's vivid artistry and melodic sensibilities. Enter is prog-rock loaded with orchestral-rock stipples and melodic rock overtones. // 10

Lyrics: There are no lyrics in the songs but the music chords make a narrative impression on the listener, like the sonic gages and lyricism of Death Rides A Horse. The chord movements and haunting tones are descriptive of a story being told. The music's motions move from escalating to decelerating making an imprint on the listener the way words do. As an instrumental, listeners are encouraged to put their own words and emotions into the music, sort of making the songs their own. // 7

Overall Impression: Russian Circles remind me of orchestral-rock, prog-rock, ambient/chamber-pop, and Goth-metal. From guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen and Joe Satriani to modern bands like Galactic Cowboys, Moonspell, and Lacuna Coil, Russian Circles possess a gamut of influences. They are contemporaries of Malmsteen and Satriani, like a hard rock sounding Beethoven. The music is stimulating and cinematic and transcends all music genres. Everyone would like Russian Circles music. It's that universally mixed. // 10

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