Saturday 3 August 2019

Russian Circles - Blood Year (Album Review)

Release date: August 2nd 2019. Label: Sargent House. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Blood Year – Tracklisting

1.Hunter Moon 02:20
2.Arluck 06:33
3.Milano 06:35
4.Kohokia 07:18
5.Ghost on High 02:34
6.Sinaia 07:30
7.Quartered 06:39


Brian Cook - Bass
Mike Sullivan - Guitar
Dave Turncrantz - Drums


Blood Year is the 7th album from Post-Rock/Post-Metal heavyweights – Russian Circles – and it sees the band returning to their heavier sound they first realised on albums such as Enter, Station and Geneva. This album does have their trademark and uplifting anthemic Post-Rock grooves with Ambient sounds being part of the overall complex sound.

Blood Year is perhaps Russian Circles most engaging and fully realised album since Geneva with the band being more focused than ever before. The album once again is an emotional journey with Mike, Dave and Brian proving once again why they’re the definitive Instrumental Post-Rock/Post-Metal band of the genre. Always forward thinking and creating new sounds that we haven’t heard before.

The album is full of different styles of Post-Rock/Post-Metal but Russian Circles make it all seem very easy to listen to at the same time. Songs such as Hunter Moon, Arluck and Milano all convey a haunting atmospheric vibe hidden amongst the lush progressive sludge based melodies. The music drifts from one deeply engaging scenario to the next with the instrumental work offering a deeply unforgiving sound that’s very hard to beat.

Russian Circles don’t hold back on this album with the band having a more unforgiving nature compared to the most recent albums they’ve released. Blood Year is quite intense and it’s good to see Russian Circles have more aggression to their music. I have missed that style of music from Russian Circles over the last few albums and Blood Year sees the band retain a sense of fear to their music.

Songs such as Kohokia, Sinaia and Quartered are perhaps the best songs contained on the album. As the songs feel fully realized and have a sense of purpose to them. The Post-Rock/Post-Metal dynamics of these songs leave you wanting more and they also offer some of the heaviest sounds on the entire album.

Blood Year is a wonderfully engaging and beautifully played album with top-notch production to match. Russian Circles have been together for 15 years now and I’m hoping that they’re together for many more so they can release more stunning albums such as this.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Rarely Unable PR for the promo. Blood Year is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Sargent House now.