Written by Barlovv
Russian Circles – Gnosis
> Illinois, US
> Released August 19
> Sargent House
I should preface this with a dark truth about myself: I can count the number of instrumental albums that I’ve felt truly excited by from end to end on one hand. There are plenty of scores and instrumental songs that I enjoy, but an entire album, there just hasn’t been enough to sustain me. One I go back to constantly is the Doom 2016 soundtrack, which does rule but doesn’t exactly make me an expert.
So, the question that lingers then, is why the fuck would I choose to review this?
Because it absolutely fucking rules and I want more people who are like me to find it and get what I did out of it. There is so much emotion packed into this album, and it is such an epic rollercoaster from start to end, and yet this is kind of the only way that it could work – as an album. This doesn’t sound like a soundtrack for something or like something that just had the vocals deleted. This is a full and complete thing, that should be listened to as loudly as possible.
I saw someone on Twitter say that they wished more reviews would talk about how hard a thing fucks in your car – this thing fucks in your car.
Obviously, there are no lyrics to pick apart, but I wanted to make mention of the album title, Gnosis. Which means (according to Google) “knowledge of spiritual mysteries” – and while I won’t tell you that this album is a spiritual experience – as an irritatingly atheistic person, that wouldn’t really be a premise I could get on board with – however the album does communicate this feeling in a really beautiful way. The music rises and falls in intensity over the course of 40 minutes, you are taken on whatever journey Russian Circles are taking, and you can feel the vistas and storms and peril along the way. Whether a new knowledge is gained in the end is kind of up to you, but there is absolutely a journey here worth taking.
Alright, as I pull out of that fugue state, I will mention that the instrumentals here are top fucking notch, and make the entire experience just beautiful and well worth listening to.
The Bottom Line
Listen to Gnosis, and seek out more instrumental music. Don’t be like me. Be better than me.