Russian Circles – Station
Substantially larger than your house and certainly too big for most stereos to handle, instrumental powerhouse Russian Circles' second album has all the mesmeric beauty and devastating power of Mother Nature herself. Having heard Matt Bayles produced was a sure indicator of what was to come – having worked with the likes of Mastodon, Isis and Minus the Bear, all masters of what they do – and elements of each are noticeable on Station. Whether it be the MTB guitar that opens 'Verses', the crushing Mastodon-esque groove that barges through the title track or the Isis-like soundscape mastery that comes through time and again, Russian Circles segue seamlessly between delicacy and destruction. The pace-changes of 'Youngblood' demonstrates this best, explaining how they could support acts as meticulous and slow as Pelican or as fast and chaotic as Daughters.
A two-man band, bass is added via the talents of These Arms Are Snakes' Brian Cook and ex-Blood Brother Morgan Henderson. But for all the famous assistance, influence and references, Russian Circles put it all together with a confident dynamism that will have you amazed they aren't already major players. Each track would please on its own, but is best experienced as a whole – making Station simultaneously gorgeous, devastating and essential to your music collection.
- Harper Lewis