Russian Circles

It's not hard to argue that Chicago played a big role in putting fully instrumental metal music on the map. We thought we got lucky when local trio Pelican made it big within the metal circle, but the success of similar-sounding band Russian Circles several years later proved we're no one-hit-wonder. Check them out this weekend at Metro.

Formed in 2004, Russian Circles is guitarist Mike Sullivan, drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist/keyboardist Brian Cook (formerly of Botch). "Beauty" and "grace" aren't words that typically come to mind when describing metal music but these three musicians have composed five albums worth of music that hurls aggressive, bass-heavy rhythms against airy, twinkling melodic swells. They've toured with genre heavyweights like Tool, Boris and Coheed and Cambria in the past, gaining an ever growing fanbase along the way. 

Their fifth album Memorial, recorded right in the band's hometown and released last October, received especially high praises from fans and critics alike. 

Russian Circles, named so after a hockey training drill, are most commonly noted for their impressive technical skills. Their music is tight and, while it feels like it's moving in twenty different directions at time, their compositions always leave you  with a feeling of resolution. 

The band's live show is even more fierce than their studio material, employing a healthy dose of sampling, looping and heavy effects. 

Don't take our word for it? Give them a chance when they come to town next month at the Metro. Russian Circles headlines with Wrigleyville venue on Sunday, March 16, a stop on their first tour since releasing Memorial. Tickets are on sale now for $18. 

Need a heavy metal meal before the concert? You won't find a better one in Chicago than at Kuma's Corner. The metal music fanatatics who run this local burger scene staple are known fans of Russian Cirlces. They're even gearing up to carry a burger/beer combo named after the band!