Russian Circles - Guidance 12 inch
If you were looking for a fitting soundtrack to the disaster movie of your life, one that uplifts but also shakes you to your core, Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles can provide. On their sixth album they have ditched the mathy time-signature changes of old and instead created towering vortices of foreboding noise that sound as if the band have been mainlining Roland Emmerich films on an endless loop. The album begins with a melodic, almost baroque folk guitar and post-rockish reverb on Asa, before moving on to amp-exploding metal and sludgy yet lip-curling riffs on Vorel; and indeed, they balance light with dark throughout. Calla is monolithic and muscular, with flickerings of Tool; Afrika is a brightly lit, Mogwai-ish crescendo with blast-beat drumming and their distinctive, 3D turbo-fuzz guitar; and the final fist-raiser, Lisboa, practically levitates with its oppressive, cinematic build. Perhaps we really are nearing the bitter end – but doom has never sounded so good.