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[PO Soon] Russian Circles - Blood Year


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Ranking a Russian Circles album last is like ranking pizza.  Even your least favorite pizza is still fucking pizza & is incredible haha.  It’s more the ending of Enter which is full of songs I nev

If you like what you heard, you really gotta’ power on through those other 5 albums before this new one gets released.  May as well keep it sequential since you’ve started with Enter.  Easily one of t

https://bubblesandgutz.tumblr.com/post/185068496172/wondering-if-the-choice-to-move-away-from   Info about the unfamiliar style of artwork from Brian's tumblr.

2 hours ago, Derek™ said:

About what I expected.  I actually like that “mostly grey” galaxy variant, above, the most.  Especially with the labels.

Still havent seen the solid indie gold, thinking that may end up being my favorite.
That being said, the galaxy looks pretty good actually in that image. Not just a muddy grey blob as I had feared. 

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Yeah, I think that looks slick and fits with the cover pretty nicely.  Wouldn’t hate the inverse (gold with black marbling) either.  A win-win either way, in my books.

 

Album continues to get better and better.  My initial qualm was that a good chunk of the record starts out sort of same-y on each track, for the first minute or so.  It’s really begun to settle in and define itself clearly after the 4th or 5th listen.

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Yeah, I called that out in another thread – American Football’s LP3, I think – and folks tried to give me shit about it.  “Splattergate” memes, etc.  I actually hate the super streaky splatters because they often end up looking like blotchy smears, and not at all appealing.  Translation Loss and Relapse have some very ambitious variants and incredible mockups, but they suffer from this badly.  At the end of the day it’s all aesthetic and no one should care that much, sure, but it’s really made me opposed to splatter variants more than ever.  I think they look great when they’re actually fragmented and resemble splatter vs. streaks but whatever.

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2 hours ago, Derek™ said:

Yeah, I called that out in another thread – American Football’s LP3, I think – and folks tried to give me shit about it.  “Splattergate” memes, etc.  I actually hate the super streaky splatters because they often end up looking like blotchy smears, and not at all appealing.  Translation Loss and Relapse have some very ambitious variants and incredible mockups, but they suffer from this badly.  At the end of the day it’s all aesthetic and no one should care that much, sure, but it’s really made me opposed to splatter variants more than ever.  I think they look great when they’re actually fragmented and resemble splatter vs. streaks but whatever.

All opaque with streaky splatter variants can suck it. It works a little better when on a translucent color.

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49 minutes ago, drds89 said:

This is going  to be a banger LIVE, can not wait until Oct 30!! 2 listens in and everything seems to flow except Arluck. Hope they  don't play that one but they probably will, idk. I do know once they get a set list, they do not deviate.

Arluck has been part of their set list for a while now. They played it when I saw them back in February, it sounded great back then and the crowd was into it.

 

I do remember a few years ago when Mike injured his left thumb they announced that instead of cancelling shows that they would play songs that were less taxing on his thumb as it healed.

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On 8/2/2019 at 2:03 PM, Derek™ said:

Yeah, I called that out in another thread – American Football’s LP3, I think – and folks tried to give me shit about it.  “Splattergate” memes, etc.  I actually hate the super streaky splatters because they often end up looking like blotchy smears, and not at all appealing.  Translation Loss and Relapse have some very ambitious variants and incredible mockups, but they suffer from this badly.  At the end of the day it’s all aesthetic and no one should care that much, sure, but it’s really made me opposed to splatter variants more than ever.  I think they look great when they’re actually fragmented and resemble splatter vs. streaks but whatever.

Huh. Some of my favorite looking variants are Relapse splatters actually, but usually they're the color A + B merge, w/ C, D splatter like this one. I feel like with the merge + splatter they usually hit it pretty well. The photo actually doesn't do this one any favors, but it looks really cool in person.

 

R-9147110-1479151396-4098.jpeg.jpg

 

I feel like I'm a bit of a weirdo around these parts in that I'd usually prefer just a plain super clear copy of most records anyway.

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Yeah that's not bad at all.  I snapped some quick photos to showcase what my beef is with [these] current splatters.  Relapse and Translation Loss really mirror one another – down to their style of mockups, and their approach to increasing prices as the variant becomes more limited – so it makes sense that they'd suffer from the same blotchy splatter.  The top photo is the /100 "pinwheel" variant of the latest Rosetta / A Determinism of Morality repress, courtesy of Translation Loss.  The bottom photo is Torche's Admission from Relapse – also the /100 "pinwheel" version.

 

SgSeMLv.png

 

Notice how streaky, grainy, and "sandy" looking the splatter is?  I think it looks especially bad where the black and white "splatter" merge together on that bottom photo. To me it just resembles a child going ham with crayon scribbles.  There are some nice "pieces" of splatter that are segmented off, isolated from the streaky mess... but lately I've been seeing that less and less from these 2 labels.  And the kicker, like I mentioned, is that they up-charge for this.  You're often paying $4 or $5 extra to own these splatter scribbles.  I've been buying vinyl long enough that I'm well aware of how mockups work, and how often end results deviate from them.  But this just feels like a common way to press splatters at the moment, and I'm kind of over it.  Hope it's a trend that dies soon.

 

But yeah, you're not wrong – muh rarity be damned; crisp, clear vinyl is almost always a safe bet.  For both sound and aesthetic, you really can't go wrong.  I lurk the VinylReleases subreddit pretty often and it's hilarious to me how much disdain that community has for clear vinyl.  A lot of folks over there will actively scoff and avoid a pre-order if it's on "ugly, boring clear vinyl" and that baffles me.

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6 hours ago, Derek™ said:

Yeah that's not bad at all.  I snapped some quick photos to showcase what my beef is with [these] current splatters.  Relapse and Translation Loss really mirror one another – down to their style of mockups, and their approach to increasing prices as the variant becomes more limited – so it makes sense that they'd suffer from the same blotchy splatter.  The top photo is the /100 "pinwheel" variant of the latest Rosetta / A Determinism of Morality repress, courtesy of Translation Loss.  The bottom photo is Torche's Admission from Relapse – also the /100 "pinwheel" version.

 

SgSeMLv.png

 

Notice how streaky, grainy, and "sandy" looking the splatter is?  I think it looks especially bad where the black and white "splatter" merge together on that bottom photo. To me it just resembles a child going ham with crayon scribbles.  There are some nice "pieces" of splatter that are segmented off, isolated from the streaky mess... but lately I've been seeing that less and less from these 2 labels.  And the kicker, like I mentioned, is that they up-charge for this.  You're often paying $4 or $5 extra to own these splatter scribbles.  I've been buying vinyl long enough that I'm well aware of how mockups work, and how often end results deviate from them.  But this just feels like a common way to press splatters at the moment, and I'm kind of over it.  Hope it's a trend that dies soon.

 

But yeah, you're not wrong – muh rarity be damned; crisp, clear vinyl is almost always a safe bet.  For both sound and aesthetic, you really can't go wrong.  I lurk the VinylReleases subreddit pretty often and it's hilarious to me how much disdain that community has for clear vinyl.  A lot of folks over there will actively scoff and avoid a pre-order if it's on "ugly, boring clear vinyl" and that baffles me.

Ahhhh yes. These splatters! Yeah definitely not my favorite.

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I'm not really feeling anything from this album.  It's very same-samey, and I really wish Russian Circles would try something out of the box. I mean, this would be a great album from some random band, but for Russian Circles' 7th studio album, it's really predictable. I'm hoping it will grow on me over time, but after a few listens, it just kind of feels like whatever... 😐

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On my very first listen I felt pretty similarly.  I was pleased with the signature RC riffs and crunch, but something about the bulk of the album felt kind of hollow.  I’ve also never completely loved an RC album right out of the gates; they all seem to take a bit of time for me to fully unpack.)  Blood Year didn’t sink its claws into me until the 3rd or so listen, and I think there’s two things at play here.  First of which is its brevity.  Whereas I’ve come to understand just how lean the record is – all killer,  no filler – it stumbles a bit if you step away or have it on in the background.  A bit of a “blink and you miss it” record.  I think that’s runtime lends itself to very accessible replay value, though, so it works for me.

 

The second is Mike’s guitar.  I think Blood Year is the band’s most consistently atmospheric album, but a lot of that is achieved through this menacing, semi-“blackened” aesthetic.  If you played a clip from anything off Blood Year I think I could identify it pretty easily.  It’s night and day different than 90% of their catalog, to my ears.  But as strange as it is to say, that “defining factor” comes at the cost of less guitar variety.  There are no melodic Mlàdek tapping sections or spider-like fret crawling that you’d find on Station. I hear a lot of tremolo and chord changes that you’d find on a black metal record.  That’s the vibe.  It lends itself to the album’s cohesion but definitely blends together a little too much at times.  Brian and Dave are the album’s saving grace, for sure, and I think just a little more guitar variety from Mike would’ve suited the album very well and made more moments pop out, in theory. I’d personally trade that for atmosphere or cohesion but I’m not dissatisfied with the end product by any means.

 

Just my 2¢.  Enjoying the album quite a bit and trying like hell not to burn myself out.

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