Promo photo by Chris Strong.
When Russian Circles made their debut with 2006’s Enter, the instrumental rock group proved themselves as musical innovators, fusing soothing melodies with heavy discordance. Having returned with their fourth and heaviest album to date, Empros, the band is preparing a spring tour that will leave faces melted.
What separates the Chicago trio from many instrumental groups, is their melodic and ferocious sound. Metal undertones blend flawlessly with soft, guitar-tapped rhythms, an unnerving feeling of anticipation creeping up as bombastic drums provide a smooth transition into pure, unrelenting heaviness. Guitarist Mike Sullivan and bassist Brian Cook complement each other well; Sullivan strikes with intimidating fervor, dark chords unleashing an otherworldly beast that is strengthened by DeKuiper’s chugging bass. Add drummer Dave Turncrantz to the mix, and you have a trio that captivates with melodic cacophony.
“Mladek,” one of the standout tracks from Empros, is a testament to the band’s unyielding delivery. A near nine-minute epic, “Mladek” starts off heavy; guitar and bass intertwine with one another fluidly, Cook’s droning bass foreshadowing the song’s balls-to-the-wall transition. Each cymbal strike from Turncrantz’s is like a punch to the gut, as Sullivan comes in for the kill.
Empros is available now worldwide through Sargent House; get the tracks, go to one of their shows if they’re coming to a town near you and be prepared to have your mind blown.
Listen to Empros below and purchase directly from the bandcamp player. Click HERE for European tour dates.