Russian Circles – Mota

by Emīls Vilcāns

UntitledOnly a month until the awaited release of their sixth studio album Guidance (August 5th, Sargent House), the Chicago based postmetal/rock trio Russian Circles unveil the next chapter on this hectic path. Continuing from the dying breath of the pilot single Vorel, we are granted the chance to look into Mota – a time driven reflection on the past and the upcoming.

The man walks. Not alone. He is guided to a place from which there is no return. Yet, knowing his fate, knowing what awaits, his walk is filled with loftiness. Reflecting on what has passed and truthfully looking ahead, his final march is upon him. Whether a scenery like that pops into your mind when listening to Mota or the previous single Vorel is entirely up to you. However, if at some point you were wondering what is depicted on the cover of the upcoming Russian Circles album Guidance, that, then, may not be far from the truth. As described on the bands web-page, the album cover, in addition with several other photographies of the same event, are the ones that actually influenced the creative writing process of their sixth LP. Resonating with how dignified and at-peace the man is in his final moments, Guidance embodies the recognition of facing your own end with the same dignity and honor.

Rising from the ashes of Vorel, Mota introduces itself with the familiar sound of Mike Sullivan’s delayed palm-muted arpeggio guitar. Giving out the notions of Harper Lewis, whilst also sharing the same rhythm in the part, the new single gains a familiar, almost known, feeling, yet, is completely different from what the band has done on their previous works. And with the entry of Dave Turncrantz’s laid-back drums, Mota hangs in as a heartwarming memory you don’t want to let go. Fusing several layers of ebow’ed and delayed guitar, accompanied by the softening bass by Brian Cook, the track reaches a state of bliss only to be broken up. With the change of the palm-muted guitar layer and the distorted bass build, the new single engages in its second half, capturing the exact opposite feeling. Having a mid-track culmination, the song from then on progresses into more dramatic and pressing builds that give out the vibe of black-metal. Each band member ripping their instrument with full force, the ending captures a similar atmosphere to Vorel. With the continuous haunting main melody, the band finally lets the tension go and  fades out into a squeaking guitar noise and the ambiance of Afrika. Capturing two completely opposite vibes in one song, Russian Circles truly show their capability to shape their songs into new structures and masterful dramatic builds. With Mota sharing a similar atmospheric vibe to the first single, it brings a feeling that the overall mood is going to be intertwined throughout Guidance.


    1. Asa
    2. Vorel
    3. Mota
    4. Afrika
    5. Overboard
    6. Calla
    7. Lisboa




Up-coming North-America tour:
Jun 16: Vancouver Levitation, BC
Jun 18: Salt Lake City Crucial Fest, UT
Aug 26: Madison High Noon Saloon, WI
Aug 27: Minneapolis Cedar Cultural Center, MN
Aug 29: Missoula Palace Lounge, MT
Aug 30: Seattle Neumos, WA
Aug 31: Portland Doug Fir Lounge, OR
Sep 02: San Francisco Great American Music Hall, CA
Sep 03: Los Angeles Teragram Ballroom, CA
Sep 05: Phoenix Crescent Ballroom, AZ
Sep 06: Albuquerque Launchpad, NM
Sep 07: Englewood Gothic Theatre, CO
Sep 08: Kansas City The Riot Room. MO
Sep 09: Chicago Metro, IL
Sep 25: Detroit El Club, MI
Sep 26: Toronto Lee’s Palace, ON
Sep 28: Cambridge The Sinclair, MA
Sep 29: Philadelphia Union Transfer, PA
Sep 30: Brooklyn Warsaw, NY
Oct 01: Washington Rock And Roll Hotel, DC
Oct 02: Durham Motocro Music Hall, NC
Oct 04: Atlanta Aisle 5, GA
Oct 05: Birmingham Saturn, AL
Oct 06: Baton Rouge Spanish Moon, LA
Oct 07: Houston Warehouse Live, TX
Oct 08: Austin Barracuda Austin, TX
Oct 09: Dallas RBC, TX