ALBUM REVIEW: Russian Circles – Blood Year | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Sargent House

Released: 02.08.19





Largely dispensing with the cavernous atmospherics of predecessors such as Guidance and Empros, Russian Circles’ latest is a record which strives to keep listeners on their toes. From the abrupt drum crack which brings its quaint intro to an unceremonious close, Blood Year is concerned primarily with timbre and dynamics; a shift from which bassist Brian Cook is the chief beneficiary.

It’s a welcome – if not entirely earth-shaking – departure, both in freshening a well-worn palette and offsetting a relative lack of scale. Indeed, it’s during instances that the trio revert to tried-and-tested tropes that Blood Year is at its most pedestrian – notwithstanding Quartered, a thrilling and formidable closer on which they ditch all inhibitions and engage primal sludge mode.


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