Chicago trio Russian Circles return with not only their fourth and heaviest album to date — but also with Empros they’re poised to take the crown as innovators reinvigorating the staid trappings of genre.
Empros picks up where the anthemic riffs and melodies of 2009’s Geneva left off and injects evermore slithering rhythms amid skull-crushing heft with all the visceral intensity of Godflesh, Swans and Neurosis.
Like a lone surviving wooly beast emerging from a brutal winter’s frost, Empros is the sound of a band shaking the ages from its shoulders with all the brutal force of a behemoth awakened.
Russian Circles set out to experiment with their sound in new ways that would still reflect their live sound. In so doing, the band reached a new creative apex in which each of the musicians, guitarist Mike Sullivan, drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist Brian Cook impart a streamlined and intensified attack to their songs that pummels even as it shifts throughout a range of moods and tempos.
Deafheaven are a genre defying aggressive band from San Francisco, CA.
Their hybrid musical approach is outright stunning. A melding of epic Post Rock leanings (Envy, Godspeed You! Black Emperor) with experimental Black Metal (Xasthur, Weakling, Leviathan), and classic era “Screamo” (Orchid, Crimson Curse) into something never successfully experienced before.
From the opening drone of the album it’s as if we are are peering through a dream into the private world that is Deafheaven’s “Roads to Judah”. Layers and layers of instrumentation build, tangle and swirl before the real onslaught begins. A ferocious drum fill then thrusts us from the serene into a free fall, as if the ground below suddenly gave way.
“Roads to Judah”, is a hypnotic thirty eight minute plunge into hazy musical darkness. A dizzying hybrid of Shoe-gaze shimmer, Hardcore vulnerability, and Black Metal intensity.
Gradually the lights of the city come to new life, while the random flickering of the large neon sign three blocks away lasts and glances are lost in the distance. The sun slowly descends behind the silhouettes of the skyscrapers, taken over from the approaching night. The orange haze on the horizon is reflected in the windshields of the passing cars, raising the dust, which has been accumulated on the street. Here, between loneliness and hope, at places, no one is supposed to seek, stories, which are able to change lives and guide our being exist. Soaking with melancholia Our Ceasing Voice tells these stories with their mix of hypnotic ambient and epic post-rock outburst and help the listener to catch the memories of long forgotten times, in order to save them from transience.
Amidst the Tyrolean Alps the band was founded in 2006 already, but only with their debut ‘steadied stars in the morphium sky EP’ they drafted a journey through the mystery of gloom. Based on the upcoming novel by Sebastian Obermeir, Our Ceasing Voice’s new 2010 album pursues this concept, while the development to a darker, more dynamic sound is clearly noticeable.
Beautiful and saddening at the same time, the Austrians draw attention to fragility, passionately making one’s flesh creep and thereby portraying a dramatic story full of yearning and desperation.
How it will end, however, lies only in your hands.
Arena Vienna / adv 16 € / doors 19 € / 20.00h / Big Hall