Station review by Russian Circles

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  • Released: May 6, 2008
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.8 (20 votes)
Russian Circles: Station

Sound — 10
'Station' is a work that has been highly anticipated by the post-rock community, with their debut 'Enter' dazzling many people with it's hypnotic and steady sonic progressions. With such anticipation, the news that Russian Circles had parted ways with founding member and bassist Colin DeKuiper came as quite a blow to some fans. However, the album is upon us and it is clear that this news, while sad, has had absolutely no effect on Russian Circles' ability to write absolutely mind-blowing music. When compared to the entirely unsettling introduction to 'Carpe', from their first album, the way that this album starts with 'Campaign' is not expected. The wall of looped guitars and slowly building drums, reminiscent of post-rock veterans Explosions In The Sky, dwell on optimistic moods, and while 'Enter' also had some similar uplifting passages, this album is on the whole far more positive. The clearly set out evolutions from the beginning to the end of each song is very impressive, with no conformity to the clich 'quiet to loud' build-up structure that so many aspiring post-rock artists feel the need to stick to. That is not to say that they don't know how to build up their atmosphere though, as every song peaks and troughs, from tentative delayed guitar lines right through to no-nonsense rocking out. It is this precision and unwavering vision of where their song is going that makes 'Station' such a beautifully well made album. Despite the songs reaching lengths of almost nine minutes, there is no directionless meandering. The songs end when they come to a natural conclusion, and they never reach the point where it seems that their only real purpose is to make a long song. The absence of a full time bass player (Brian Cook of These Arms Are Snakes handles bass duties) is barely even noticeable, and while I cannot say that the three instruments are any longer of equal importance to the bands sound, the bass is still handled excellently. The bass still goes hand-in-hand with Dave Turncrantz's driving power and Mike Sullivan's masterful loop-driven guitar work.

Lyrics — 10
This album is instrumental, but do not fret as contrary to popular belief you do not need vocals to make a complete line-up.

Overall Impression — 10
'Station' is very clearly still a Russian Circles album, however the way they have refined their art, moved on and still retained their identity is commendable. Although there are songs like 'Youngblood', which would fit perfectly on 'Enter', the real standouts on this album are the true journeys in 'Harper Lewis' and 'Verses', the latter of which is arguably the best song Russian Circles have ever made. Despite now having released only two albums, Russian Circles continue to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with, accepted both in the post-metal and post-rock communities. Quite honestly this album is greatly recommended to absolutely everybody. Even if you are not used to instrumental music, 'Station' is an entire journey of its own, as well as another milestone in the voyage into the deep that is Russian Circles.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Great album, I've only listened to it once, but it seems like a very promising band. Very good guitar arrangements and the drumwork isn't too over the top, its just where it should be. I would have liked a bit more bass though.
    I remember listening to 'Enter' about a year ago and loving it, so I will be sure to pick this up.
    Got the CD the other day, and it's certainly good. But the reviewer must've seen something I didn't. YOu deffinatly have to be in the right mood for it, otherwise it wont hit you right the first time. I listened to it again just now and it really is a very good.
    awesome band, found them on myspace. third best progressive type band. first is tool then mars volta then russian circles
    This is a great band that I came across when "Stations" came out but just today I decided to listen to "Enter" and it was ALOT better, but both albums are great in their own way
    I gunna see these mofo's with Coheed. Should be tight. As for this cd, I've only heard the couple songs on their myspace. I gather that's it not as "sudden" or "twisting" as Enter. Kinda more ambient, but it's good regardless.
    Great band, gonna have to get that album now! I saw them live last year when they were supporting Tool, very tight!
    This album is awesome! As is enter, their previous album, overall, Russian Circles kick ass.
    Yes yes yes yes yes this band is really good, excellent feel for dynamics and restrained whilst technical... well recommended!
    mr. riff
    I haven't gotten around to listening to these guys yet but if they are anything like Pelican or Red Sparowes than it should be a good listen.
    It's not as good as "Enter" but it's awesome in it's own right. "Enter" is probably my favorite post-rock album of all-time.
    I listened to it once and was a bit under whelmed. I'll give it a spin again and see what's up. Good job on the review
    Can't say enough about this album, it's exactly what I've been looking for. Enter is amazing as well.