With their latest album Blood Year, Russian Circles forsake the sonic crossroads of divergent musical paths found on albums like Guidance and Memorial to offer up the most direct and forceful collection of songs in their discography. With guitarist Mike Sullivan, drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist Brian Cook all residing in different states, Russian Circles have typically crafted their albums by piecing together song fragments and home recordings into meticulous texture-rich studio productions. But after seven tours in North American and five trips to Europe in support of 2016’s Guidance, the band made a conscious effort to approach the songs on Blood Year with the same organic feel of a live show. In an age where rock records are often built on a computerized grid, Russian Circles chose to track the foundations of the songs together in one room as complete takes without click tracks. While it retains the dexterity, multi-faceted techniques, and dramatic compositions that have been a trademark of Russian Circles since day one, Blood Year fully embraces the most forceful aspects of the band’s repertoire. The Album was expertly captured by Kurt Ballou at Electrical Audio in Chicago, the world-famous recording studio where they’d tracked Enter, Geneva, and Memorial.