Russian Circles are a band who have produced some thoroughly enjoyable albums over the years, ones that I regularly return to. Instrumental bands like this frequently leave me cold, as I all-too-often feel that something is missing from them, or they just don’t capture my attention, or whatever; Russian Circles are different though, as their music is utterly captivating and over their last five albums they have crafted some really stunning songs.
On their sixth album, Russian Circles continue to explore and master the post-metal build/release mechanic, and continue to effectively work with both light and shade, as well as simplicity and technicality. The band’s ability to do whatever they want with the material, including introducing new ideas and experimentation, while still sticking to their core sound and remaining engaging, is breathtaking.
A Russian Circles album is the musical equivalent of a huge canvas on which is painted a fresh landscape for the listener to explore. This latest soundscape is an all-too-brief 41 minutes in length and captivates throughout, bending the listener’s imagination to the will of the music, never ceasing in its ability to inform and enthuse via structured explorations of the post-rock landscape.
This is a band that can do heavy, crushing riffs just a well as they can soft, ambient introspection. Both are merely tools to be used in their never-ending quest for sonic perfection. From the epic to the sublime to the dark to the gritty, Guidance guides the listener, (do you see what I did there?), through these various moods and emotions, and more, exposing the listener to all that the band want to show. It’s a fulfilling and satisfying journey, one which is worth taking over and over again.
Very highly recommended.