RUSSIAN CIRCLES

Metal Related / Atmospheric Sludge Metal • United States
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Russian Circles is a three piece instrumental post-metal/post-rock band from Chicago in Illinois, formed in 2004.

Similar to fellow Chicago residents Pelican, Russian Circles play epic, sprawling music which runs the gamut of heavy discordant metal to soft delicate passages. They are also known for their energetic live shows, which include tours with Tool, Red Sparowes, Minus the Bear and Daughters, as well as appearances at the 2006, 2007 & 2008 SXSW festivals.

Formed in late 2004 by guitarist Mike Sullivan and bassist Colin DeKuiper (both formerly of another instrumental band Dakota/Dakota), they quickly recruited Dave Turncrantz, formerly of St. Louis band Riddle of Steel. In 2007 DeKuiper departed the band and Brian Cook (These Arms Are Snakes and Botch) took on the role of bass player for the writing and recording of their newest album, entitled 'Station,' recorded in Seattle with Producer Matt Bayles.

Station was released on
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Blood YearBlood Year
Sargent House 2019
$11.60
$23.23 (used)
GuidanceGuidance
Sargent House 2016
$10.44
$7.34 (used)
GenevaGeneva
SUICIDE SQUEEZE 2009
$12.66
$8.00 (used)
StationStation
SUICIDE SQUEEZE 2008
$17.50
$8.52 (used)
MemorialMemorial
Sargent House 2013
$19.32
$25.96 (used)
EmprosEmpros
Sargent House 2011
$17.98
$15.00 (used)
EnterEnter
Flameshovel 2006
$12.96 (used)
Russian Circles Live at Schubas 05/27/2005Russian Circles Live at Schubas 05/27/2005
Russian Circles 2011
$15.99
BLOOD YEAR LIMITED COLORBLOOD YEAR LIMITED COLOR
SARGENT
$29.99
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RUSSIAN CIRCLES Discography

RUSSIAN CIRCLES albums / top albums

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Enter album cover 4.01 | 27 ratings
Enter
Metal Related 2006
RUSSIAN CIRCLES Station album cover 3.91 | 8 ratings
Station
Metal Related 2008
RUSSIAN CIRCLES Geneva album cover 3.67 | 9 ratings
Geneva
Metal Related 2009
RUSSIAN CIRCLES Empros album cover 3.92 | 13 ratings
Empros
Metal Related 2011
RUSSIAN CIRCLES Memorial album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Memorial
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2013
RUSSIAN CIRCLES Guidance album cover 3.00 | 2 ratings
Guidance
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2016

RUSSIAN CIRCLES EPs & splits

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Russian Circles album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Russian Circles
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2005
RUSSIAN CIRCLES Russian Circles / These Arms Are Snakes album cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Russian Circles / These Arms Are Snakes
Metal Related 2008
RUSSIAN CIRCLES Live At Park Ave CDs album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Park Ave CDs
Metal Related 2008

RUSSIAN CIRCLES live albums

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Live At Schubas 05/27/2005 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live At Schubas 05/27/2005
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2005
RUSSIAN CIRCLES Live at Dunk!Fest 2016 album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Live at Dunk!Fest 2016
Atmospheric Sludge Metal 2017

RUSSIAN CIRCLES demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

RUSSIAN CIRCLES re-issues & compilations

RUSSIAN CIRCLES singles (1)

.. Album Cover
2.00 | 1 ratings
Upper Ninety
Metal Related 2006

RUSSIAN CIRCLES movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Reviews

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Empros

Album · 2011 · Metal Related
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Warthur
On Empros Russian Circles take their brand of post-rock in a notably heavier and more apocalyptic direction. I'd say it sticks to the post-rock side of the post-rock/post-metal boundary, but on the other hand there's enough sludgey influences from the likes of Neurosis or Pelican that post-metal fans will find the album worth their attention too. Looming, foreboding, and with a sound so rich it's hard to believe it's just three guys making it, Empros is a timely reminder that despite its brief period of fashionableness having faded by now, there's still a space out there for Godspeed You Black Emperor!-esque apocalyptic post-rock, and Russian Circles are some of the best purveyors of it around.

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Station

Album · 2008 · Metal Related
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Warthur
The metal-tinged post-rock trio Russian Circles presents another compelling collection of compositions on Station, which takes their music into somewhat bleaker territory than their debut album Enter; there's a bit more of an emphasis on harsh, minimalistic soundscapes this time around, which serves to add intriguing textures to the band's compositions.

I also think that on the whole they drift away from the metal side of the post-rock/post-metal divide they so ably straddled on the debut; it's still there, but they don't visit that territory quite so frequently this time around. This is in stark contrast to Cult of Luna, another band who had made a virtue of working in the borderline between the two sister subgenres, who at around the same time were taking a more distinctly metal direction. Either way, Russian Circles remain an interesting prospect.

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Enter

Album · 2006 · Metal Related
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Warthur
Released at around the same time as Cult of Luna's Somewhere Along the Highway muddied the line between post-rock and post-metal from the post-metal side of the fence, Russian Circle's debut album sees them doing much the same thing from the post-rock side, with the band incorporating riffs of a crushing heaviness adopted by few post-rock bands (as opposed to post-metal bands) since Mogwai dropped My Father My King on an unsuspecting public. Russian Circles might fall into the same old quiet/loud formula of most post-rock and post-metal, but they prove themselves adept at the quiet and willing to go louder than many of their peers when the composition calls for it.

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Empros

Album · 2011 · Metal Related
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The Angry Scotsman
A throwback to their debut album.

Which also happens to be my favorite by them. The proceeding two Russian Circles albums are quite good, just different treading more into post rock territory, largely dropping their bass heavy, sludgy sound. This style however, makes a roaring comeback on "Empros".

I first popped this CD in and listened on the drive home from work, and it was so bassy I was afraid the car was going to fall apart! Rare time I had to turn the volume down, (maybe the first time out of fear, HA!). Seriously, that sludgy, bassy heaviness is back. In fact it may be their most bludgeoning album yet.

Before release the band claimed influence from legends Neurosis and Swans, so glad to see they delivered. However, this is Russian Circles and their beautiful melodies and mellow song writing are still very present, contrasted with the sonic pummelings, all perfectly woven together into atmospheric, progressive songs. Another post metal classic from the Chicago group.

The guitar and bass work is obviously great, and the drumming is great. Loud and intense. Like many "post" bands it is fairly straightforward yet appropriate, and powerful. It is more intense, however, than the standard post metal album. It is this more intense drumming that gave their debut that extra appeal compared to so many others for me.

Taking a page from the Book of Pelican, Russian Circles moves from instrumental island and throws some vocals on the final track. They are dreamy and drifting, what he's saying I have no idea, but the voice is another instrument filling in the space. We all know that's more the intent anyway, am I right?

"Empros" is a heavy, sludgy, post metal album that moves with its classic mid tempo pace through a slow crescendo. There is some great riffing, drumming and the songwriting is atmospheric and perfect. A bit less riff oriented then their debut, while I appreciate the ambiance the less variation holds the album back just a tad. Other than that, another good effort from Russian Circles.

Four Stars

RUSSIAN CIRCLES Enter

Album · 2006 · Metal Related
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Pelata
Forsaking vocalists, a lot of bands these days are opting to stick to instrumental creativity to construct vivid, emotional sonic tapestries. An entire genre & scene has in turn been constructed. Bands such as Red Sparowes, Pelican, Canvas Solaris, Explosions In The Sky & others have built substantial followings over the last few years by simply defying convention, musical or otherwise.

Enter Russian Circles. Their 2006 release Enter would fall under the ever-broadening definition of what this genre is becoming. The term “Post Rock” is almost becoming too confining. Russian Circles combine jagged ambience with dashes of Prog Metal, creating loud, brash peaks & melancholy, cavernous depths on this 6 track release.

The trick in this genre is to not bore the listener. What with no vocals to latch onto, there is the problem of keeping people’s attention. Russian Circles deliver their music with a great amount of energy & conviction, literally leaving you waiting for what comes next. In the midst of taking in the current movement, you can’t help but wonder where they’ll go from that point. A stellar effort.

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