From prog metal to jazz-influenced rock to tech death and more, instrumental bands are just as capable of crafting incredible songs. Take a look below at 10 instrumental bands killing it in the scene right now.

Russian Circles

...Russian Circles are a fantastic example of an act who don’t need vocals to take their music to new heights. The post-metal band, who features members of Botch, Sumac, These Arms Are Snakes and more, create massive droning soundscapes that draw you in with sinister atmospheres, making them a perfect match if you’re into bands such as Neurosis or Isis.

Full feature via Alternative Press

May 22 & 23 at Banc of California Stadium 

Russian Circles will be performing at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, May 22 & 23 with System of a Down, Korn, Faith No More & Helmet. Tickets go on sale Friday 02/07 HERE.

“QUARTERED“ & "SINAIA" FAR OUT Audio Tree Session 


"Russian Circles is an iconic instrumental post metal band signed to Sargent House. They're known among their peers for gargantuan riffs, precisely dialed in gear and smashing constructions that yield catharsis for all who listen. Check out the killer performance by Russian Circles recorded at Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oakbrook, IL."

Listen HERE // Behind the scenes photos and more on Audio Tree

Russian Circles: Post-rock’s most stalwart forces – Live Feature // Gazette Musicale 

Via Gazette Musicale

Russian Circles named their 2016 album Guidance in reference to the uncertainty of the future. It was a fitting title for the times, with the album coming out a few months before America’s tumultuous presidential election, but it was intended more as a reference to the band’s own absence of a blueprint as they navigated their second decade as a band than as a social commentary. If there were questions as to how to move forward as a musical unit or individual doubts as to how to continue toiling as artists in the underground, the three years of relentless touring on the album only served to reinforce the Sisyphean struggle of artists. 

With the release of their latest record Blood Year through Sargent House, Russian Circles continue to remind the world why they have reigned as one of post-rock’s most stalwart forces. The Chicago trio have always pushed volume and timbre to absolute limit and beyond, but Blood Year finds Russian Circles at their most brutalizing. 

Capturing the lightning-in-a-bottle verve of their live storied shows, Blood Year thrives with its organic feel and rampant energy. Showcasing Brian Cook’s grinding bass lines, Mike Sullivan’s deep-diving guitar leads, and Dave Turncrantz’s pounding rack and floor toms, Blood Year finds Russian Circles in the midst of pushing past their already astronomical limits of timbre and volume. Completing the formula is Kurt Ballou’s engineering prowess and Steve Albini’s world-famous wonderland Electrical Audio.

Blood Year on Revolver's 25 Best Albums of 2019 

14. Russian Circles - Blood Year 

Chicago-based instrumental post-everything powerhouse Russian Circles just keep getting better and better — and on their seventh album, Blood Year, heavier, too. Jaw-clenched psychedelic bombast is seemingly the name of the game here, yet the trio — which notably features ex-Botch/These Arms Are Snakes bassist Brian Cook — never sacrifices subtlety and dynamics, pulling the rapt listener through dramatic swells and cataclysmic crashes. F.P.

Full feature on Revolver

Podcast Interview with Russian Circles' Dave Turncrantz // Crash Bang Boom Drumming 

Russian Circles drummer Dave Turncrantz talks the process of recording their amazing new record Blood Year, his work with Riddle of Steel and the small scene they operated in, how to describe your band to cops/border patrols, the unshakable John Stainer influence, knowing when to slow down parts for musical impact, Meshuggah ruling live, Dave's fascination with Black Metal, the specific room at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio Studio that Dave recorded drums in for BY, studio momentum and nailing songs in two takes, leaning on protools to minimize takes and how the first couple takes are always the best, copper, brass, steel, aluminum snares, and other gear nerdery, blast beats, bedroom kits, rehearsal spots in NY, Russian Circles experience opening for Tool, tune bots & more!! 

Russian Circles Interview With Philthy Mag 

Although they’ve apparently been trying to slow their touring, shortly after the August release of their seventh studio LP, Blood Year, Chicago post-metal instrumental trio Russian Circles quickly returned to the road.  The band spent the second half of September touring with support from their local peers in FACS, and they’re currently on a run of dates with support from doom metal outfit Windhand, which will have them at Union Transfer this Sunday, October 27th.  Blood Year, which was released on Sargent House, has the band attempting to replicate the energy of their live show – which has made its mark on the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection a number of times over the years – and has been largely regarded as their most aggressive record yet.  Yesterday I got a chance to chat with Russian Circles bassist Brian Cook about their latest sounds… among other things. 

Izzy Cihak: Since this is a Philadelphia-based publication, I’m curious about your thoughts on the city.  You’ve played here a bunch of times. 

Brian Cook: I’ve always found Philly to be interesting in that when I first started touring with hardcore bands back in the mid-‘90s it was one of the few cities where people actually lived in the city center, and one of the few cities where we’d actually play downtown. We’d never play LA; we’d play Orange County. We’d never play in Manhattan; we’d play in New Jersey or out on Long Island. And now as we’ve seen people re-populating city centers over the last two decades, we’ve watched all these major cities go through these dramatic makeovers, but Philly keeps its gritty character. I like that aspect of city… it seems immune to the whitewash of commercialism. 

Izzy: Your latest LP, Blood Year, has been out for a little while now.  Have you had any favorite responses to it, whether from fans, critics, or just friends? 

Brian: I avoid reading our own press or online comments. And I imagine our friends are polite enough to keep any negative criticisms to themselves. So, I don’t really have any feedback highlights. I’m not naïve enough to boast that we make our music in some sort of vacuum of outside influence, but as someone that’s done music writing and journalism for a number of outlets over the last 12 years and seen how that side of things works, I’ve come to be a bit skeptical towards critics, so I prefer to ignore writers’ assessments of our work. The press is under so much pressure to provide content that I don’t think there’s a lot of genuine attentive listening to new music. I think it’s a lot of cursory listens and snap judgments. I’m much more prone to reading personal blogs or trustworthy sources’ private social media feeds for music suggestions as I think the enthusiasm in those formats is more insightful.


"Blood Year" Review Via Big Music Geek 

Big Music Geek has posted a stellar review of Russian Circles 2019 album "Blood Year", which can be read in full HERE

In the not-too-distant past, when one discussed 'instrumental' Heavy Metal acts, thoughts would invariably turn to the most obvious of choices à la Karma To Burn, Pelican, Sunn O))). However, when guitarist Mike Sullivan and bassist Colin DeKuipe (both formerly of the woefully-unsung Dakota/Dakota) joined forces with former Riddle Of Steel drummer Dave Turncrantz as Russian Circles, the resulting sonic ingenuity would leave an immediate, long-lasting impact on the sub-genre(s) as a whole. After amicably parting ways DeKuipe (and recruiting ex-Botch/These Arms Are Snakes bassist Brian Cook) following the release of their full-length debut Enter (2006), the group quickly solidified their reputation as a bona fide creative force not be ignored via a series of universally-praised offerings. Now, with the issuance of the touted Blood Year, their latest--and quite possibly greatest--offering to date now upon us, they at last appear poised for unprecedented global recognition. 

On the stellar Blood Year (2019), an expertly assembled seven song collection of instrumental Progressive Heavy Metal, each track, beginning with the maddeningly infectious gem “Hunter Moon” and the relentlessly pummeling first single “Arluck”, immediately command the rapt and undivided attention of even the most jaded and unimaginative of listeners, myself most definitely included. Effortlessly flexing their woefully-underrated creative muscles early and often, the group yields a series of initial auditory offerings that are as impressive as they are thoroughly satisfying. While not necessarily groundbreaking and not yet legendary, the group easily exceeds even the most optimistic of expectations--many of which were unrealistically lofty following the well-deserved successes of Guidance (2016) and Memorial (2013). Maintaining an artful, never precarious balance of power and melody, the group lays the foundations for the undisputed and virtuosic mastery that soon follows. 

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