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Russian Circles

Enter

(Flameshovel; US: 16 May 2006; UK: 5 Jun 2006)

The debut record for Russian Circles is simply heavy in all the varieties of meaning that word suggests and recalls. Enter is often crushingly heavy in a metal sense. It’s often heavy in the dynamics of the recording, dense, thick and dissonant. And despite being a purely instrumental affair Enter can be as emotionally heavy as a finely wrought symphonic movement. Clocking in at over 44 minutes in just six songs, Russian Circles make Enter a powerfully expressive album that flirts with indie rock, metal, punk, and prog, often within the same song. There are no breaks between the six tracks giving the album a unified sense of movement as opposed to the traditional delineation between individual songs. While Enter certainly can be challenging, as many instrumental albums are to those of us used to the easily digested three minutes, a hook and done concept, it most definitely is one of the most rewarding records to come out in 2006. Despite the math rock history of guitarist Mike Sullivan and bassist Colin Dekuiper (both formerly of Dakota/Dakota) Enter is relatively straight forward as a rock record. While the songs on Enter are often dynamically extravagant their base configuration of guitar, bass, drum, keeps them from feeling over wrought or over reaching. There’s no need for the band to play show-offy games within the songs. Sure, they’re excellent musicians, that’s obvious, but the tension they create has little to do with their virtuosity and everything to do with the undiluted feeling that goes into the songs.

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