This is my third SOTW post in the past week – I guess it barely counts as a weekly feature anymore. Regardless, I feel that I’ve had worthwhile music to post recently, so I suppose the transgression is justified. Anyway, I’ve been on a bit of a post-metal kick as of late, which is interesting, considering the fact that Midnight Metal Massacre has officially come to an end. The one band that stuck out through all of the metal has been Russian Circles. I’ve known about them for a while and have slipped their song “Death Rides A Horse” into setlists at 90.3 The Core more than a few times, but I’ve started to pay attention to their full-length Enter more. I’m kicking myself for not getting into this masterpiece earlier.
They sort of play in the same vein as post-metal gods Isis – they pull off those tasty, slow doom metal riffs without getting bogged down in drop-tuned guitars and feedback. Instead, their guitarist employs extensive pedal-work and loop effects to create an atmospheric sound that is melodic and ethereal yet still balls-to-the-wall heavy. This song, “Micah,” is an excellent illustration of that formula. It starts out with some post-rock noodling that would sound right at home on a Red Sparowes record. The band then layers a groovy post-metal drum pattern on top of a droning bassline. The song, at its outset, is calm and calculated, with upper-register guitar melodies dominating the sound – until around the three-minute mark, where the bass and guitar drop down a harsh wall of distorted power chord riffing. I think the band employs a very cool melodic violation of expectations at this point – exchanging the standard minor key tonality for a major key bassline. It adds a lot of energy to the distortion drop and keeps the listener on their toes.
Russian Circles are slated to release a new full-length record, entitled Empros, later this month – October 25th, 2011. If you like the song and want to find out more information, check them out online.