Chicago trio Russian Circles return with not only their fourth and heaviest album to date — but also with Empros they're poised to take the crown as innovators reinvigorating the staid trappings of genre. Empros picks up where the anthemic riffs and melodies of 2009's Geneva left off and injects evermore slithering rhythms amid skull-crushing heft with all the visceral intensity of Godflesh, Swans and Neurosis. Put simply, Empros is Russian Circles' Master of Reality: a radical revision of both heavy and melody that is monolithic in its clarity and perfection. Or, like a lone surviving wooly beast emerging from a brutal winter's frost, Empros is the sound of a band shaking the ages from its shoulders with all the brutal force of a behemoth awakened.
Taking to Chicago's Phantom Manor studio once again with producer Brandon Curtis of The Secret Machines and Interpol — who also helmed the band's previous album Geneva — Russian Circles set out to experiment with their sound in new ways that would still reflect their live sound. In so doing, the band reached a new creative apex in which each of the musicians, guitarist Mike Sullivan, drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist Brian Cook impart a streamlined and intensified attack to their songs that pummels even as it shifts throughout a range of moods and tempos.
Empros is Russian Circles' first full-length to be released worldwide exclusively via Sargent House, the band's longtime management company and record label that had previously released only the vinyl editions of its three prior albums. It will be available everywhere on LP, CD and Digital Download on October 25th, 2011.
Empros track listing:
06. Praise Be Man