"This is our seventh album," Chicago post-rock group Russian Circles tell Louder of their new album, Blood Year.
As the group stood on the cusp of the recording sessions for the new record, it turned out tackling their seventh album would leave them facing some big questions.
"What do you do when you’ve written seven albums? Do you pull a U2 and make an electronic infused record like Zooropa, or hire KRS-One to rap on your first song like R.E.M. did on Out of Time? Frankly, that’s not our style."
They found their answers in the work of the experimental pioneers who came before them – bands who've carved out their own path while staying resolutely true to their vision.
"We chose to stay the course like Fugazi, Lungfish, or Neurosis," the band say.
The result is a typically progressive, powerful record, that throws together exploratory jams, relentless riffs, bold experimentation, battle cries, as well as the odd "unapologetically straight-forward song". It finds them expanding their sound while building on a back catalogue of genuinely innovative music.
Here, the band talk us through Blood Year one track at a time.