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on September 4, 2006
RUSSIAN CIRCLES - Enter

-

Chicago seems to be a sort of hot bed for instrumental acts now-a-days... Hearing all the hype about this album I felt I should proceed with caution, thinking it may be just be a winded version of Pelican or their kin. Truth is, `Enter' is a debut worth shouting about and will likely make it in the top 10 of 2006.

Russian Circles sound is much less pretentious then many of the other instrumental bands... with songs never getting tedious or tiring. The opener `Carpe' is subtle opener which really sets the stage for the album. Unlike many other bands their opening track does not eclipse the rest of the album and does not set the bar too high for the following songs. Using the term very loosely it is likely one of the weaker tracks. The second song `Micah' is a real piece of art, sounding like the love child of Lateralus-era Tool and the Red Sparowes. `Death Rides a Horse' is a furious power shot of spastic guitar rhythms, driving bass and definitive drum sections. It is likely the darkest and heaviest song on the album, yet does not sacrifice melody. The title track, `Enter' is an interesting blend of rock-fusion and sparse dissonance. Again the rhythm section is incredibly tight and really helps drive this song forward. Track five, `You Already Did' is a breathtaking amalgamation of various styles. This song has an underlying melody which is one of the most beautiful things that has graced my ears in quite sometime... at the 5:00 minute mark the song unfolds into delicate aural transcendence. The final track, `New Macabre' is a spiral of musical emotions, dabbing in the darker realms and shifting back to the driving melody.

`Enter' may take the place from Pelican's `The Fire in our Throats will Beckon the Thaw' or Red Sparowes' `At the Soundless Dawn' as my favorite instrumental CD. But only time will tell, as both those albums still get regular rotation in my player. If you are a fan of the genre this is required listening.

Favorite Songs: You Already Did, Death Rides A Horse, and Micah.

-5 Stars

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on May 27, 2006
Hailing from Chicago, Russian Circles is one of those bands that comes completely out of nowhere and blows everyone away. Enter, does exactly this! Perfectly blended "Instru-Metal" is RCs talent, and is also a rapidly rising movement. A merger of typical Indie Rock mixed with other forms of Hardcore and Metal. If you like Pelican, Red Sparowes, Isis, Godspeed you Black Emperor, or even Explosions in the Sky, you need to check this record out.
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on May 20, 2006
Lush instrumental arrangements with punk, indie rock, metal, and orchestral influences. They are melodic, epic, ambient, at times dark, well crafted songs that blur the lines between genre classification. Russian Circles are the breath of fresh air complacent rock has been waiting for. One of the best records of the year, the past 10 years, and for years to come. All on their debut.
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on August 29, 2015
I own two RC albums so far and I am very pleased with both. I honestly couldn't choose between "Enter"or "Empros". Both are fantastic to listen to while day dreaming with your ear buds in. A lot of creativeness in this album. Its dark and heavy but at the same time it is much different then Metal. It's worth checking out in my opinion, even if you prefer music with vocals.
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on February 21, 2008
i have had this album for awhile now and just got to see them live last night and wanted to let people know about the new songs i heard them play. They only actually played 6 songs which was a letdown since i went there just to see them, and i even got lost trying to find the place! We all wanted an encore but...they were taken off the headline spot!? It may have just been because they other band was in it's hometown......though i do not think that was the reason either...but definitely still go check them out on this tour if you can.

The first two they opened with were new ones and amazing. Dark, mature, and thunderous. They also played a slower/pretty song which was really awkward i thought and reminded me of Pelican for the first time while listening to them, but it was a lot different and ended pretty good. Then they also played "Carpe" and "Death Rides a Horse" which ofcourse were amazing.

Hahah also i had never seen what these guys looked like before, so that was kind of weird....you will know what i mean when you see them WHICH YOU MUST DO!!! they are touring right now, please check them out if you are liking there stuff and can not wait for the next album which i am sure will be even better (somehow) than their brilliant first. Which if you are reading this and have not checked out yet, shame on you.

If you like Isis, get this; If you like Pelican; get this. If you like beautiful and heavy cds then GET THIS ALBUM. It will not disappoint you. You may think they sound similar to some other bands, though i have gotten way past that and you will too after hearing the whole album, even just the first track will blow you away! After i heard it for the first time i wanted to just keep replaying the build-up at the beginning, over and over again. It was really overwhelming how fresh and unique the album ended up being.

PS- i know that was probably not the best review, i really just wanted to let people know that the new stuff sounded amazingly bad@$$ and hopefully we will not have to wait to long, comes out in May i think.
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on September 20, 2007
Really don't know how I stumbled across this band, but glad I did. Lots of people will consider them to be a Pelican knock-off, but please, give it a listen, it is way different.

For example: "Death Rides a Horse". Pelican plays NOTHING that sounds like this song. Pelican tends to have more of a droning sound like an instrumental ISIS. This songs is WAY too fast paced and upbeat for Pelican. I can see some other tunes ("New Macabre") resembling the Pelican sound a bit, but they absolutely forge their own style.

That being said, this instrumental album is wickedly good. There really is no way of describing their style, they bounce all over the place, really heavy at times, really melodic at others, throughing some off-beat nonsense into the fold. All I can say is that fans of bands like Pelican, ISIS, Red Sparowes, Saxon Shore, Explosions in the Sky, even Don Caballero would dig this album a bunch. One of my favorites from this year.

Check out "Carpe", "New Macabre", and "Death Rides A Horse" to get a true scope of their talent.
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on October 25, 2009
Enter and Station I've listened to more times over than any other post-rock creation. I don't know what it is, I guess this music just speaks to me, but besides Pelican and God Speed- these are the only guys I get down to in the genre. I have listened to Station and Enter back to back, day after day for months- throwing some other genres just to give my head some breathing room- but the music is addictive. On this album, Micah and You Already Did steal the show. If you haven't heard these guys, understand that the drumming is leagues beyond other post-rock, the guitar and bass work is extremely well balanced between ethereal, melodic, hypnotic and heavy. Red Sparrows, Do Make Say, Mogwai, Explosions, etc etc. none of them really do it for me. I guess its the metal edge, these guys aren't afraid to destroy and hit every extreme. Thats really what I look for in a post-rock band. There can be no middle ground, just soft, or just loud. This album I love the most out of the other two Circles releases. I don't know why, even though tracks 2 and 4 are my favorite, I can listen to this one front to back again and again and again. BTW Death Rides A Horse is just timeless. Station follows a close second to Enter, and Geneva, the newest release, is going strong. I'm still warming up to this record, its hard to make anything as earth shattering as Enter and Station. So basically there you go. I love this band. There great live, there great on the record. Check em out.
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on July 29, 2013
This review must be at least 20 words long. I hate long winded reviews. Any way you know why you came here to buy it. Its not cuz you heard it in a club or on the radio thats for sure. Its because its just awesome and you appreciate good music unlike most people these days.
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on March 19, 2008
Chaotic, yet beautiful, heavy, yet calming, Enter truly is one of my favourite instrumental albums ever released. Call it what you will: post-metal, metal, post-rock, or something completely different...it's a fantastic album.

Russian Circles succeeds in every field here they tackle with Enter: fantastic drumming from Dave Turncrantz, unique and catchy riffs from Mike Sullivan and booming basslines from former-bassist Colin DeKuiper. Everything comes together beautifully.
What sometimes starts as a heavier-than-hell song will end in a calm, soothing section (as heard in You Already Did), while other songs end in an immensely powerful climax of ripping bass lines, crashing cymbals, and shredding guitars. Awesome.

Stand-out tracks for me: Enter, You Already Did, Carpe.
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on June 28, 2013
There is nothing really to explain here to you if you are questioning the talent and beauty of this band... Just read the other reviews. It's relaxation in music form IMO.

Just listen to You Already Did at around the 4:53 mark.... Brilliance.
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