Russian Circles named their 2016 album Guidance in reference to the uncertainty of the future. It was a fitting title for the times, with the album coming out a few months before America’s tumultuous presidential election, but it was intended more as a reference to the band’s own absence of a blueprint as they navigated their second decade as a band than as a social commentary. If there were questions as to how to move forward as a musical unit or individual doubts as to how to continue toiling as artists in the underground, the three years of relentless touring on the album only served to reinforce the Sisyphean struggle of artists.
With the release of their latest record Blood Year through Sargent House, Russian Circles continue to remind the world why they have reigned as one of post-rock’s most stalwart forces. The Chicago trio have always pushed volume and timbre to absolute limit and beyond, but Blood Year finds Russian Circles at their most brutalizing.
Capturing the lightning-in-a-bottle verve of their live storied shows, Blood Year thrives with its organic feel and rampant energy. Showcasing Brian Cook’s grinding bass lines, Mike Sullivan’s deep-diving guitar leads, and Dave Turncrantz’s pounding rack and floor toms, Blood Year finds Russian Circles in the midst of pushing past their already astronomical limits of timbre and volume. Completing the formula is Kurt Ballou’s engineering prowess and Steve Albini’s world-famous wonderland Electrical Audio.