Russian Circles, Blood Year
Russian Circles are survivors of two scenes that dominated heavy music in the mid-’00s but have waned in cultural capital since: instrumental post-rock and Isis-style post-metal. The Chicago trio quickly rose to the top of the heap in both subgenres with their first two records, Enter and Station, and have been steadily cranking out excellent work on a regular basis since. Blood Year is an affirmation of their continued greatness. They’ve always been able to ride a groove better than most of their peers, and on Blood Year’s first proper track, “Arluck,” they lock into one of the best of their career. They don’t let up from there. The rest of the album is full of the kind of heady, propulsive instru-metal they specialize in, with plenty of dark nooks and crannies to get lost in.