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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Russian Circles record,
While still keeping true to and incorporating their trademark post-rock sound, this new album infuses a new twist with some post-metal elements as well -- meaning some pretty epic buildups to heavier moments. All in all, this is another solid Russian Circles release. I'm a bit biased though, if you are new to Russian Circles, check out Geneva or Station first (those albums were my first exposure to the band), but I still love this one! Buy it!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Consistent Quality and Growth,
This is at least on par with their prior releases Station and Geneva. I have not listened to their debut enough to compare objectively. While there are some recurring sonic themes from previous works, they do broaden their soundscape enough to keep things interesting. Overall, this feels a little harder than previous offerings but done in the typically creative and interesting Russian Circles way.
If there was one fault I have it's that the dubbed in vocals on the track `Praise Be Man' (at least I *suspect* they were dubbed in) felt jarring and took me out of the Russian Circles mood a bit. I appreciate the guys experimenting and not being too formulaic but I'm not convinced this was the best route to experiment with.
Overall, well worth the cost; I thoroughly enjoy 5 of 6 of the tracks and 1 is leaving me scratching my head a bit but I might yet come around. Looking forward to their show in Portland, OR in November!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album,
My pre-order came early, so I have given this album a few spins. And what an album it is! I feel that it would be difficult to describe it song-by-song as in "there is a fast section, and then there is a slow section", but the way these guys accomplish this, shift moods and create and then release tension is awesome. There are vocals on the last track, but in a minimalistic kind of way, and this goes really well with their music. Not only are the songs themselves arranged well, but the way that they are placed on the record works really well and makes me want to go back to listen to the album constantly. Overall, if you are familiar with their earlier albums, I would say that this one is probably heavier than the rest, but still with a heavy emphasis on melodies and moods. Highly recommended!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As fantastic as the first three,
This review is from: Empros (MP3 Music)
These guys are hands-down my favorite musicians currently recording. This album is a perfect evolution, and they get better all the time. It is a bit less technical than the earliest stuff, has a bit more standard chorus / verse format, and consistently rocks a bit harder. All good things to me. Harder grooves. Leans more toward Pelican in that sense. But all the twists, drama, and surprise that only Russian Circles can pull out. Amazing all the way through!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth picking up for fans of Russian Circles,
'Empros' is Russian Circles' fourth release (not counting Upper Ninety 7-inch and EP self titled), but is probably not their best in my opinion. I'm a huge fan of the band and I felt like they were progressivley getting better and better leading up to 'Geneva' which became my favorite release of theirs.
Overall, I give it four starts, but it would have been closer to five had they not had vocals on the last track "Praise Be Man." The vocals are light and not over bearing, but with a band like RC it just doens't work - not yet anyways. I feel like they 'pulled a Pelican' where they've established themselves as a heavy and intense instrumental band, but throwing vocals into the mix makes the music awkward. I'll still listen to them, but keep hopeful they keep the awesome looping and heavy riffs in and throw the vocals out on their next album.
Best track: "Schiphol"
Worst track: "Praise Be Man"
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And You Can Catch Em Live For 10-15$...,
I have reviewed every Circles album. There is not much more that I can say regarding the band. They have produced honest, passionate, important, stimulating and complex music from the get. At Geneva, I gave that turn in their journey a little kick because they began incorporating instruments and clips that veered in a precarious direction. I was nervous that one of my top bands was in their 3rd record loosing steam and looking to throw tried and true bells and whistles of post-metal/rock on top of the mix to make up for it. Still loving Geneva, though it did not top Station and held some (very few) trite moments of sound clips and violins, I was certainly anxious for the 4th release.
Empros came out completely under my nose. September/October of 2011 will always famously remain in my mind the month of music releases. I bought probably 10 released albums within 30-40 days of those two months, and thats ALOT of new music to get through. When I finally heard about Empros, it was only a week or two before the release and I pre-ordered on the spot. I sampled Pitchfork's early release of Mladek and was not very impressed. I've had a hard time with singles in the past anyway, so I held no stock in it. It didn't help that Pitchfork compared the budding guitar work on the track to The Edge, which made me physically sick. No issue with U2, just please never compare such a visionary experimental outfit with one of the biggest pop rock bands on earth. Ugh.
When I got the album, I immediately fell in love with 309. It felt like the precarious road they were treading in Geneva finally became firm. The heavy, heavy visions that glimmered in their previous release became apparent and striking. Mladek fell in place and I could feel the depth of that song, long standing as an anthem in my mind for weeks to come. The introduction of acoustic guitars in Schiphol and Atackla felt SO right, I drank that in with no issue immediately. Schiphol was nearly as deep and searching to me as their early You All Ready Did on Enter. I could have done with more build up and a longer soft section before the huge disruptive clash in the middle of the song, but once it starts churning up again it feels so good. Atackla proved itself to be a standout upon seeing them live at Maxwells in Hoboken NJ on 11/15/11. Live, the drums on that song are so incredible, the cd doesn't do it justice. A simpler set of beats from what Dave Turncrantz is capable of, but obviously as, if not more powerful than other tracks. Batu is probably my favorite, rivaled only by 309. Its HEAVY rhythms and rhythm changes are so natural and beautiful, led mostly by Brian Cooks devastating distorted low end. Praise Be Man is a pleasant track. Nothing worth really mentioning, except that if the other 5 tracks weren't so perfectly sturdy, I might be anxious of their vision again introducing minimalist singing on the last track. Final Breath (Pelican) anyone? I really found no resemblance musically, except that these two bands are so similar in my mind, hail from the same city, and on their latest releases included vox on the final song? Why?
Doesn't matter. This album is beautiful. Anything that wanes in it is swooped up by the extreme consistency of quality and well thought out song writing. These 3 are geniuses, I'd like to see a group rival them in feel, song writing and instrument proficiency within the genre. I don't there is, and if you could argue bass or guitar, I'd laugh if you brought in the drumming. Dave Turncrantz is one of, if not the most innovative drummer on the scene today.
Last note: don't forget to check on Russian Circles tour dates. When they headline, their shows are NOT to be missed. If you can't scrounge up 10-20$ to see them headline a small club, you need to get your priorities straight or a new job. Outstanding, seen them 3 times and each time is better than the last. Thank you RC for another killer record, you have my trust looking forward!
5.0 out of 5 stars Reflective... good for thinking :),
Can't go past Schiphol as the best track but I always find myself lost in my thoughts with the very reflective Praise be Man.
5.0 out of 5 stars Post Metal \m/,
This review is from: Empros (Vinyl)
One of the best Post metal band, and i think that this album is their best record. I god Lp and it's amazing !
Russian circles Rocks !!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Another strong release. Favorite track: Mladek,
If you're familiar with Russian Circles from their previous albums, Empros may seem a little different, more chaotic perhaps. When I first listened to it there wasn't the same immediate emotional impact as with albums like Geneva and Station. But the more I listened, the more I heard, and this album has an element of controlled chaos that I don't know that I've heard from anyone else. Definitely get this if you're a fan of Russian Circles, though it may take several listens to really get into.
5.0 out of 5 stars Post Blackened Metal Indie Rock,
Russian Circles continue to grow with Empros and I for one am happy with their ever evolving exploration and willingness to try new things. For example the black metal influences are undeniable. The first track 309 would fit nicely on a later day Immortal album and not be particularly out of place, lack of vocals notwithstanding. And that's a good thing. This band is making some of the most evocative heavy instrumental music available today, whatever you want to call it, and Empros is a welcome addition to their discography.
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