New Live Video at ArcTanGent & Tour 


Russian Circles perform "Arluck" at ArcTanGent on August 15, 2019.

Video by Jordan & Austin Peters

Russian Circles' N American Blood Year tour starts next week. Tickets: 

SEP 11 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon * 
SEP 12 Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center * 
SEP 14 Bozeman, MT @ Rialto Bozeman * 
SEP 16 Seattle, WA @ Neumos * 
SEP 17 Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom * 
SEP 19 San Francisco, CA @ August Hall * 
SEP 20 Ventura, CA @ Discovery Ventura * 
SEP 21 Los Angeles, CA @ The Teragram Ballroom * 
SEP 23 Mesa, AZ @ The Nile * 
SEP 24 Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf * 
SEP 25 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater * 
SEP 28 Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall * 
OCT 18 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Pyramid Scheme + 
OCT 19 Detroit, MI @ El Club + 
OCT 20 Toronto, ON @ Lee's Palace + 
OCT 21 Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount + 
OCT 23 Portsmouth, NH @ 3S ArtSpace + 
OCT 24 Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair + 
OCT 26 Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw + 
OCT 27 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer + 
OCT 29 Washington, DC @ Union Stage + 
OCT 30 Richmond, VA @ The Broadberry + 
NOV 01 Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall + 
NOV 02 Charlotte, NC @ Neighborhood Theatre + 
NOV 03 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade + 
NOV 04 New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack's + 
NOV 06 Houston, TX @ The Secret Group + 
NOV 08 Austin, TX @ Levitation (Sargent House show) 
NOV 09 Dallas, TX @ Deep Ellum Art Company w/ Cave In & Helms Alee 
NOV 11 St. Louis, MO @ Delmar Hall + 
w/ FACS * 
w/ Windhand +

Interview on The Making Of 'Blood Year' // Stereoboard 

Russian Circles have long excelled at creating dynamic prog-rock soundscapes by expertly exploring how live loops, tonal ranges and captivating post-metal melodies can open up a world of musical possibilities for a band. But with each new album comes a loaded question: do you push things even further or pull them back? Russian Circles chose the latter for ‘Blood Year’. 

With the new record you said you wanted to make a more stripped-down and assertive album. Did you achieve that to the extent you intended? 

MS: I feel that we made that happen, yeah. Each song stands alone by itself. We can play the songs live easier, there’s not too much overproduction, throwing all kinds of bells and whistles on the songs. They’re more direct and more immediate. It wasn’t hard to do, we just followed through with it. It was not a conceptual endeavour. 

Once a track is committed to record is that it? Or will you continue to tweak it following developments from live shows? 

MS: Once it’s recorded, that’s when it’s documented and we’ll keep it that way. We might find a little workaround, and things may change a little bit, but once the arrangement is locked in in recording we stay true to that and make sure that’s how we play it live.

full interview by Laura Johnson HERE

Russian Circles "Blood Year" The Best Metal on Bandcamp: August 2019 

Russian Circles 
Blood Year

Russian Circles are survivors of two scenes that dominated heavy music in the mid-’00s but have waned in cultural capital since: instrumental post-rock and Isis-style post-metal. The Chicago trio quickly rose to the top of the heap in both subgenres with their first two records, Enter and Station, and have been steadily cranking out excellent work on a regular basis since. Blood Year is an affirmation of their continued greatness. They’ve always been able to ride a groove better than most of their peers, and on Blood Year’s first proper track, “Arluck,” they lock into one of the best of their career. They don’t let up from there. The rest of the album is full of the kind of heady, propulsive instru-metal they specialize in, with plenty of dark nooks and crannies to get lost in.

(Full list via Bandcamp)

Album Review: Russian Circles – Blood Year // New Noise Magazine 

Album Review: Russian Circles – Blood Year

(via New Noise Magazine)

Russian Circles have been coasting on a surprising level of consistent excellence for a band now on their seventh release. Their previous record, Guidance, was a lovely marriage of impressive songwriting and impeccable production. I said that Russian Circles had finally delivered the album I always wanted them to write – not like they actually listened to me or anything, but these ears were particularly pleased with the results. So imagine my surprise when, nearly three years later, the trio deliver an even better record.

Read more

INTERVIEW: Brian Cook – Russian Circles // Distorted Sound 

(via Distorted Sound)

INTERVIEW: Brian Cook – Russian Circles

After more than a decade of work, RUSSIAN CIRCLES have created six album of highly atmospheric, weighty post metal. Since Guidance back in 2016, there’s been some a growing anticipation of new material, with fans relishing the three years of almost constant touring about the US and with various stints in Europe. Now, RUSSIAN CIRCLES return with their latest album, Blood Year. Coming off the back of that highly acclaimed back catalogue and prior to the release of their new album, we spoke to Brian Cook about the changes in the band’s tonal temperament, their changing lifestyles and what that all means for greater coherency going forward. 

Read more

Interview with Mike Sullivan on Blood Year & Influences // New Noise 

(via New Noise)

Interview with guitarist Mike Sullivan | By Douglas Menagh | Photo by Alicia Armijo 

Chicago’s Russian Circles, comprised of guitarist Mike Sullivan, drummer Dave Turncrantz, and bassist Brian Cook, dropped Blood Year through Sargent House on Aug. 2. 

Ahead of the new album, the instrumental trio released “Arluck,” a song with intricate and dissonant hooks, search-and-destroy drumbeats, and aggressive basslines. The single is a technically impressive banger that alternates between moments of tranquility and broadly powerful episodes. 

Below, Sullivan shares a bit about creating “Arluck,” recording Blood Year, collaborating with producer Kurt Ballou, loving hockey—the game that inspired the name Russian Circles—and what’s in store for the future.

Read more

Russian Circles' track by track guide to new album Blood Year // LOUDER 

(Full feature via LOUDER)

"This is our seventh album," Chicago post-rock group Russian Circles tell Louder of their new album, Blood Year

As the group stood on the cusp of the recording sessions for the new record, it turned out tackling their seventh album would leave them facing some big questions.

"What do you do when you’ve written seven albums? Do you pull a U2 and make an electronic infused record like Zooropa, or hire KRS-One to rap on your first song like R.E.M. did on Out of Time? Frankly, that’s not our style." 

They found their answers in the work of the experimental pioneers who came before them – bands who've carved out their own path while staying resolutely true to their vision. 

"We chose to stay the course like Fugazi, Lungfish, or Neurosis," the band say. 

The result is a typically progressive, powerful record, that throws together exploratory jams, relentless riffs, bold experimentation, battle cries, as well as the odd "unapologetically straight-forward song". It finds them expanding their sound while building on a back catalogue of genuinely innovative music. 

Here, the band talk us through Blood Year one track at a time.

Album of the Day: Russian Circles, “Blood Year” // Bandcamp Daily 

(via Bandcamp)

Writing about instrumental music is a tricky task, as you’re trying to read meaning into songs that are inherently textural. In the absence of lyrics, it’s easy to look to recording details to gain a better understanding of where the musicians were, both physically and mentally, during the creative process. While that’s often foolish, in the case of Russian Circles, those facts mean something. Their new album, Blood Year, builds a direct link between the band’s past and present. 

Recorded with Kurt Ballou, both at his GodCity Studio as well as Chicago’s revered Electrical Audio (where they’ve now recorded four of their seven albums), Blood Year reunites the band with the producer who pushed them to new heights on 2016’s Guidance. On songs like “Milano” and “Sinaia,” Ballou understands that guitarist Mike Sullivan’s black metal-styled riffing is not meant to pummel the listener, but is meant as an expression of his own introspection. Where lesser producers would bring Sullivan’s tremolo-picked riffs to the forefront, on Blood Year those moments hang back in the mix, showing that as the band move further away from their math rock-indebted beginnings, they’ve found ways to insert their interest in aggressive music without it going into rote or predictable territory. 

No song on Blood Year highlights the fact that Russian Circles have been able to build upon their original ethos as much as “Arluck.” Throughout this moving tribute to Matt Arluck, the Sweet Cobra guitarist who died a decade ago, Sullivan builds some of the poppiest guitar parts he’s ever recorded, the kind that are reminiscent of 2006’s Enter, or even his old band Dakota/Dakota. But around the midsection, it gives way to a darker, chug-heavy motif, one that the band always reached for, but never made into something as potent as they do here. It speaks to the fact that, after all these years together, Russian Circles are still growing as a band, incorporating new influences into their sound while still honoring the foundation they first set down all those years ago. 

-David Anthony

Join the mailing list for Russian Circles news