On their sixth studio album, Russian Circles continue on the same path they started down on 2013’s Memorial, easily their most expansive record, matching serene pieces like “Asa” with the molten fury of “Afrika” and lead single “Vorel.” Kurt Ballou of Converge, who moonlights as one of contemporary metal’s most accomplished producers, imbues the record with a riveting weight unheard on any of the band’s previous work. The result is the most dynamic LP of Russian Circles’ career, a riveting album that catches one of America’s finest metal bands at the peak of its powers.
For over a decade, Russian Circles carved out a respectable place within the once-crowded post-metal scene. While most of their peers stubbornly drew water from the same well again and again as the sub-genre faded from relevance, the Seattle band has released its best work to date. Equal parts aggressive, hypnotic, intriguing and beautiful, Guidance will stand as one of the seminal releases in the experimental-metal pantheon.
– Matt Matasci
The album flows together almost flawlessly like some rumination on one long and complex matrix of unspeakable things. This isn’t so much an exploration of loud vs quiet as a conversation between light and dark, pulse and peace, the delicacy that tempers rage; the one amplifying the other and creating the most bittersweet and inspiring offspring.
#3 - The three years since 2013’s Memorial mark the band’s record for longest absence between albums but Guidance upon its arrival proved that it was absolutely worth the wait. Once again Russian Circles balance expertly between calmness and loudness, providing their signature dramatic outbursts, toying with opposite emotions and delivering everything on point, with the help of co-producer Kurt Ballou who proficiently captures the band’s complex sentimentality.