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Studio album by Russian Circles
Released October 25, 2011 (2011-10-25)
Recorded April 2011 at Phantom Manor in Chicago, Illinois
Genre Post-metal
Length 41:05
Label Sargent House
Producer Brandon Curtis
Russian Circles chronology
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 86/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Crave Online 10/10[3]
Pitchfork 7.7/10[4]
Rock Sound 9/10[5]
Spin 7/10[6]

Empros is the fourth studio album by the American rock band Russian Circles. The album was released on October 25, 2011 through Sargent House.[7] This is Russian Circles' first album released solely through Sargent House. For the group's first three albums, Sargent House released limited edition vinyl copies, while CD and digital copies were handled by Suicide Squeeze Records or Flameshovel Records.[8][9]

Russian Circles began writing Empros in January 2011.[10] In April 2011, the group entered Phantom Manor studios in Chicago, Illinois with producer Brandon Curtis of The Secret Machines and Interpol, who also previously produced the group's 2009 album Geneva. Bassist Brian Cook described the band's mindset for creating Empros as trying to "make the same ebb and flow of our live set happen on the record, with more constructive dynamics and dramatic bridging between songs."[8][9] The album was also described in a press release from Sargent House as being Russian Circles' heaviest album to date.[11]

On September 28, 2011 the song "Mládek" was made available for online streaming and free download. The title of the song was named after Tomáš Mládek, Russian Circles' European tour bus driver.[12]

The album was highly-acclaimed by critics at the time of its release, eventually earning an aggregated rating of 86 on Metacritic.[1] In particular, many writers noted how fluent the band's sound had become in its evolution. In his review for Spin, critic Christopher R. Weingarten wrote, "Though crunching at their heaviest, the band still shines brightest when they edge toward indie-rock approachability."[6]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "309"   8:50
2. "Mládek"   7:40
3. "Schiphol"   6:16
4. "Atackla"   7:27
5. "Batu"   6:17
6. "Praise Be Man"   4:35
Total length:

On the digital version, "Batu" spans 10:06 with a drone transition.[discuss]


Empros personnel adapted from Allmusic.[13]

Russian Circles

  • Brian Cook − bass guitar, vocals on "Praise Be Man"
  • Mike Sullivan − guitar
  • Dave Turncrantz − drums

Additional musicians

  • Phil Karnats − accordion, cello

Production and recording

  • Brandon Curtis − production, engineering, mixing
  • Joe Lambert − mastering
  • Mike Lust − engineering
  • Russian Circles − production

Artwork and design

  • Sonny Kay − album layout
  • Dave Turncrantz − album photo


  1. ^ a b "Empros Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Empros - Russian Circles : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  3. ^ Robinson, Iann (October 11, 2011). "Review: Empros". Crave Online. Atomic Online. Retrieved October 25, 2011. 
  4. ^ Thompson, Paul (November 11, 2011). "Review: Empros". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  5. ^ Taylor, Darren (October 28, 2011). "Chicago post-rock heroes return with stellar fourth album...". Rock Sound. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Weingarten, Christopher R. "Review: Empros". Spin. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  7. ^ Yancey, Bryne (August 18, 2011). "Russian Circles detail 'Empros'". Punknews.org. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "Russian Circles Begins Recording New Album". Blabbermouth.net. Roadrunner Records. April 1, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Harris, Chris (April 1, 2011). "Russian Circles Working On New Album". Gun Shy Assassin. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  10. ^ Tsai, Matthew (January 13, 2011). "Russian Circles Writing". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Russian Circles album set for release". LambGoat. August 18, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2011. 
  12. ^ Sundermann, Eric (September 28, 2011). "Exclusive Download: Russian Circles Premiere Dramatic Track 'Mladek'". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved September 29, 2011. 
  13. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Empros – Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 12, 2011.