If you’re big into your deep, heavy and wholly grove laden instrumental rock then you’re already likely a huge fan of Chicago lords of the riff, Russian Circles. The band has truly put in the time and the effort when it comes to their careers, opening for a number of bands and constantly pushing their unique brand of heavy duty sonic exploration onto transfixed audiences across the world. On the first UK Russian Circles Tour their aural adventures even led them to open for Tool.
Russian Circles 309 Live
So let’s have a look at two live videos that encapsulate Russian Circles and their unique approach to navigating the sonic landscape. The first is a video taken from their Empros Live Studio Sessions and is a performance of their track “309”, filmed at Entourage Studios in North Hollywood.
Starting slowly and ominously, there’s a clear indication of the steady and unending dread that is going to sit in the atmosphere through the song, and when the righteous riffs start flying then the song is truly off and running, cascading through key changes, tempo shifts and providing a truly captivating experience for the listener.
Guitarist Mike Sullivan’s trusty Les Paul Custom churns out the deep, driving, crunchy yet beautifully articulate sound that characterizes a great deal of the Russian Circles material, while bassist Bryan Cook’s First Act Delgada provides the deep and driving bass backbone for the onslaught to build on, and the masterful use of effects pedals keeps the mood changing constantly.
A perfect eight minute example of why Russian Circles are masters of atmosphere:
Righteous Riffs at St. Vitus Bar in Brooklyn
The next video is something a little longer, and shows how Russian Circles are able to masterfully build up and control atmosphere over a whole set as well as over the course of a song, taken live from St Vitus Bar in late February last year–coincidentally all the members of Oneironaught happened to be in attendance too, so you’ll definitely see us head banging and moshing in the video whenever the camera pans down towards the crowd.
Starting off with a slow and atmospheric intro, in which guitarist Mike Sullivan well handles the instance of his Les Paul being out of tune, they jump straight into “309” to get the show off to a driving start and lay down their rightful claim at being masters of the atmospheric instrumental.
Building steadily and steadily with a depth of sound that belies the fact the Russian Circles are only a three-piece, the show is a steady and non-stop journey through heavy, intense and beautiful sonic sculptures that is an absolute must-listen for anyone who thinks themselves to be a connoisseur of crunchy instrumental music.
Russian Circles Tour Europe
The Russian Circles tour is well on it’s way, with dates packed in through the next few months, through to the end of June, marking a reasonably extensive tour of Europe.
The tour seems to be going well, with numerous venues sold out, though tickets are of course still available for many of the shows, and a ticket to a Russian Circles show is never wasted on anyone who considers themselves a lover of truly great and innovate music. So if they’re near you, book now!
Tonight’s show in Leipzig is sold out Sweet venue too pic.twitter.com/9VTkuQ62Dg— russian circles (@RussianCircles) April 8, 2015