2013 and 1/3: The Best Albums of the 2010s (So Far)

Russian Circles: EmprosRussian Circles: Empros (Sargent House, 10/18/11)


Russian Circles: “Mlàdek”

In 2009, heavy instrumental rock trio Russian Circles released Geneva, an album that both introduced the worming bass lines of Brian Cook (of These Arms are Snakes) and showcased the band’s balance of metallic fury and melodic beauty. Complementary strings and horns also dotted the sonic landscape, creating a superlative post-metal opus.

Empros cuts away the complementary pieces of Geneva, instead focusing on the trio’s interplay. Cook has further ingrained himself in the Russian Circles sound, allowing the galloping rhythm section just as frequently to play the lead as Mike Sullivan’s effects-heavy, overdubbed guitars. And the usual ear for dynamics is present once more, building moments of tension and release to go with the killer riffs.

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