Thursday, December 26, 2013

Russian Circles - Memorial (2013)
In contrast to "Forever Becoming," the new one from Russian Circles is chock full of emotion and atmosphere, particularly of the dark variety. This is easily seen on lead single "Deficit" which almost immediately captivated me. Like the next track "1777" it's dark, heavy, and beautiful all at the same time. There are some gorgeous melodies and clean sections throughout (especially on "Burial") as well as plenty of dissonance to create a striking contrast. Besides emotionality, Russian Circles really know how to rock and deliver some good riffs though I must say they're a bit lacking in this department as compared with Pelican. But with the variety, intensity, and sheer beauty of this album that's not really a big deal. Finally, I must mention the sublime track "Memorial" featuring Chelsea Wolfe (I'll get to her new album soon). It's simply one of the best things they've done and is an utterly perfect closer to this album. Overall, I think this album stands alongside "Enter" as my favorite from the group. While they seemed to be getting a bit stale on "Empros," here they really pushed the musical boundaries and delivered a great record.

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