Russian Circles – Geneva
A tremendous LP, hypnotic, subtle, brooding. I suppose you could categorise the band’s music as some form of metal, but I’m not sure that this would be wholly appropriate. Strings play an integral part in the sonic make up of Geneva, especially the tremendous closing track Philos. In that respect it does nod towards Godspeed!, or maybe (on another tack), Ash Ra Tempel’s quieter work, in that the main preoccupation is very much with expressing texture, and there is a clean, widescreen feel that always lifts the music away from any sort of self indulgence.
Still, what is it with ‘metal’ trios? How the bloody hell do they all manage to make so much noise? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised with Russian Circles, as their natural element is noise; albeit noise carefully gradated and sifted, producing epics such as Melee. The music generated for the opener Fathom seems (appropriately enough) to hang suspended in a vacuum, and the title track is a brooding at times sounding like a flight of antiquated bombers.
I like this record a lot; it reminds me of a less fidgety version of what the brilliant White Hills knock out, especially When The Mountain Comes to Muhammad.
Words: Richards Foster