I don't know what it is about post-rock and autumn but they seem to go together like witches and broomsticks. The relief of having the oppressive heat and humidity of summer gone, the shortening of the daylight hours, the beautiful, crisp air accentuated by highlights of orange, red and yellow leaves heighten the senses and invite the mysteriousness and dark pleasures of a soundscape devoid of human voice.
Enter Geneva, the new album from Chicago-based Russian Circles. After being captivated by their 2006 release Enter and 2008's Station I've been dying for more. With their impeccable ability to produce layer upon layer of dense environments with the use of only one guitar, one bass, and one drummer, they keep me entranced throughout each and every one of their songs. Plus, they're satisfying my love affair with autumn by releasing their new album right in the middle of it!
I've heard other fans of the band say how they were disappointed with Station, but being that it was the first album that I had heard from Russian Circles, I never experienced this. After hearing Enter I quickly understood where they were coming from though. Enter is a masterpiece from start to finish and represents the more aggressive and dense side of the band, whereas Station is a little more laid-back and ventures off into the more minimalistic side of post-rock at times.
Whichever side of the fence you're on, get ready to fall in love with Geneva. From the very start of the first track "Fathom," you'll quickly notice something different — there are a cello and violin on this album! I love all orchestral instruments and the cello and violin go beautifully with the music that Russian Circles create. The song is very powerful and the discordant layers of guitar and violin add to the ferocity and desperateness of the track. It's everything you loved about Enter and then some.
The title track "Geneva" gives us another dose of aggression and you're definitely going to notice that crunchy, driving bass that enters around the two-minute mark, courtesy of Brian Cook (ex-Botch/These Arms Are Snakes). In fact, the bass tones on the whole album are phenomenal, and along with the effects and looping that accompany it, seem to mark new territory for the band.