Chelsea Wolfe joins in on the post-metal antics of Chicago’s instrumental trio Russian Circles as they become Slowdive incarnate in “Memorial.”
Memorial finds Russian Circles turning to the legends for inspiration, citing David Bowie, Twin Peaks composer Julee Cruise, and Pink Floyd in particular. In a gesture similar to Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals, RC bookends Memorial with the stripped-down opener “Memoriam” and its full-tilt realization as the finale. Together the two reveal a lot about the nature of the album. “We subconsciously gravitated toward darker and more somber sounds,” says bassist Brian Cook. “We wanted to get away from the overtly flashy.”
In keeping with this aesthetic, Russian Circles enlisted shoegazey spirit-friend and Sargent House label mate Chelsea Wolfe, who after three, count ‘em, three fabulous singles, recently unleashed her third studio record Pain Is Beauty.
“Memorial” opens with an ethereal tremolo listing on rock-a-bye reverb. Guitar enters with an insistent arpeggiation in seven time and is quickly joined by peg leg drumming. Finally, Wolfe’s hazy vocals sink into the RC sound, becoming one with their moody instrumentation rather than a distinct vocal track, before finally surrendering to a palindromic fadeout.