Russian Circles Station

Russian Circles Station
Not just another NeurIsis replicant still wet out of the cloning chamber, Chicago’s Russian Circles have finally become the visceral metal behemoth that only their most ardent fans could’ve imagined. In his hands-down finest job yet, Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Isis, Botch) stretched the sonic boundaries of Station, the band’s sophomore full-length, to its greatest limits, and the resulting six songs are absolutely rapturous. Opener "Campaign” sets the stage for the thrill ride, and "Harper Lewis” gets its metal on quickly with Mike Sullivan’s barbed riffage and Dave Turncrantz’s rim-shot polyrhythms and Carl Palmer-like upper tom-tom fills. The Tool-ish opening of the title track gives way to more metallic string bending that peaks multiple times with Disappearer-styled dénouements. "Verses” creeps in next, shimmering like old Houston, and "Youngblood” reprises the heavy with all-out thrash chords. Completely crushing Isis, Pelican, Red Sparowes, Tool and any other band that they’ve toured with or been compared to over their four-year lifespan, Russian Circles are changing the way people listen to metal, and Station — sincerely one of the best albums of the decade — is the catalyst for that change. (Suicide Squeeze)