“Guidance” Officially Out Everywhere + 5/5 Review from The Guardian 

If you were looking for a fitting soundtrack to the disaster movie of your life, one that uplifts but also shakes you to your core, Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles can provide. On their sixth album they have ditched the mathy time-signature changes of old and instead created towering vortices of foreboding noise that sound as if the band have been mainlining Roland Emmerich films on an endless loop. The album begins with a melodic, almost baroque folk guitar and post-rockish reverb on Asa, before moving on to amp-exploding metal and sludgy yet lip-curling riffs on Vorel; and indeed, they balance light with dark throughout. Calla is monolithic and muscular, with flickerings of Tool; Afrika is a brightly lit, Mogwai-ish crescendo with blast-beat drumming and their distinctive, 3D turbo-fuzz guitar; and the final fist-raiser, Lisboa, practically levitates with its oppressive, cinematic build. Perhaps we really are nearing the bitter end – but doom has never sounded so good.

 

via The Guardian

Happy release day to Russian Circles for their stunning sixth album, “Guidance”. Click HERE to purchase.

Don’t miss them on their upcoming US Tours with Cloakroom and label mates Helms Alee, see all dates below. For all show and ticket details click HERE.

RUSSIAN CIRCLES - LIVE 2016
W/ CLOAKROOM
Aug 26 Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
Aug 27 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
Aug 29 Missoula, MT - Palace Lounge
Aug 30 Seattle, WA - Neumos
Aug 31 Portland, OR - Wonder Ballroom
Sep 2 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
Sep 3 Los Angeles, CA - The Teragram Ballroom
Sep 5 Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
Sep 6 Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
Sep 7 Englewood, CO - The Gothic Theatre
Sep 8 Kansas City, MO - The Riot Room
Sep 9 Chicago, IL - Metro
W/ HELMS ALEE
Sep 23-24 Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Fest
Sep 25 Detroit, MI - El Club
Sep 26 Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
Sep 28 Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
Sep 29 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
Sep 30 Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw
Oct 1 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
Oct 2 Durham, NC - Motorco Music Hall
Oct 4 Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
Oct 5 Birmingham, AL - Saturn
Oct 6 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
Oct 7 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live Studio
Oct 8 Austin, TX - Barracuda
Oct 9 Dallas, TX - RBC

“Guidance” Full Album Stream Premiere via Noisey 

Photo: Nicholas Sayers

Russian Circles is a band you can watch and think only one thing: How do three people make so much fucking noise? The Chicago-based instrumental three-piece is on their sixth album now, with the release of Guidance, and seem intent on digging a new layer of depth into their sound on each one. In the vein of Pelican or Mono, Russian Circles have risen to become one of America’s preeminent loud-as-hell bands, decadent in texture and volume.

On Guidance, Russian Circles drag the listener down an emotionally draining hole that’s at times cathartic and triumphant and at others crushing and melancholic. Lose yourself in the album below and find out what it feels like to come out on the other side.

Guidance is out on August 5 via Sargent House, and Russian Circles have a massive tour in support of it coming up. Dates below.

Listen to the full album stream HERE.

For all show and ticket details click HERE. Dates Below.

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The Black Market: The Month In Metal // Russian Circles “Guidance” at #1 

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“Instrumental metal” is a little bit of an oxymoron. Metallica have one instrumental track on each of their first four LPs, and those tracks are fucking classic and fit perfectly into those albums, but play them back-to-back and they sort of feel aimless, unmoored. Metal is based on evolution, but there’s no clear lineage for the “instrumental” subgenre. John Zorn’s Painkiller? Joe Satriani’s Surfing With The Alien? Buckethead? Yngwie Malmsteen? So it’s kinda striking that, today, there are a lot of bands that might be categorized as “instrumental metal.” The best of the bunch include Earthless, Pelican, and Dysrhythmia, but the very best of them all is Russian Circles, whose upcoming Guidance achieves the one crucial thing achieved by so few of the band’s peers: The music doesn’t sound like a derivation of post-rock or psychedelia or free jazz or ambient; it sounds like metal. It’s really tough to make that work when you don’t have vocals driving the music, but every instrument here manages to stand in for vocals at some point or another. It doesn’t feel like vocals are missing; it just feels like they’ve been delivered with a tool other than the human voice. That’s not to say Russian Circles don’t heavily draw from non-metal genres — you’d have to be deaf not to hear the post-rock in this one — but they don’t start there, and more importantly, they don’t end there. Guidance single “Mota” blasts and whirrs with fury and bursts to razor-edged climaxes, but for me, the song is exemplified by one tiny moment that occurs right after the 5:10 mark: By that point, the whole thing is just blazing when all of a sudden you hear this ghostly wail coming up in the mix — every time I hear it, I brace myself for a deep guttural roar — but it’s a guitar, and as soon as you realize it’s a guitar, the song shifts gears and crushes you with a stomp worthy of Nails or Black Breath or any of those Kurt Ballou-produced Entombed-style tough-guy hardcore bands. That’s not a coincidence: Guidance was produced by Ballou, too, and I’m not sure his ear has ever been put to better use. I am sure, though, that 2016 hasn’t given us too many albums that sound as good as this. [From Guidance, out 8/5 via Sargent House] –Michael Nelson // LISTEN TO ‘MOTA’ BELOW

Dave Turncrantz Talks About New Album ‘Guidance’ 


This month we got a chance to catch up with Russian Circles drummer and Istanbul Agop artist Dave Turncrantz. Russian Circles are hitting the road this summer and fall, if they stop near you, check them out, you won’t regret it. Their new record Guidance drops August 5th, 2016, you can check out a preview here. Dave is an incredible drummer, and a great guy; we’re happy he’s part of the Agop family.  

A: Does being an instrumental band influence the way you write drum parts?

DT: I think being an instrumental band makes everything more exposed and it makes me try to do things a little more musically. There are only three of us in the band so everyone needs to pull their weight to make things interesting live and in the studio. I think the hardest part of being an instrumental band is filling out the empty spaces a singer would normally fill up or another guitar player. Luckily for me, I play with two amazing musicians that have a good ear and are great at layering to fill everything out.

A: What was the process like working on Guidance?

DT: The process we use for writing every Russian Circles record has always started with just drums and guitar. Our guitarist Mike Sullivan and I will go through a number of guitar riffs he’s been working on and once we both agree on something will start from there. Once we get a structure we both are happy with, Brian comes in and we start to form the riffs into a song. Its been a process that has worked on the last five records and its nice to get a different view of the song once Brian comes in with the Bass.

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“Guidance” Pitchfork Review 

There’s an organic and unforced feel to the latest album by Chicago-based post-rock trio Russian Circles, as if songs were allowed to grow wild rather than carefully cultivated.

For five albums now, the Chicago-based trio Russian Circles have made great use of post-rock most familiar’s dynamic tricks—loud and quiet; stop and start, swell and subside. But they’ve never had qualms about splicing elements of everything from metal and noise-rock to krautrock and post-hardcore into their darkly dramatic, instrumental compositions. Their last album, 2013’s Memorial, fleshed things out even further with keyboards, strings, and guest vocals from Chelsea Wolfe. But on the group’s sixth full-length, Guidance, a slightly different ethos is at play: the fine art of letting it flow.

There’s always been a sense of flow to Russian Circles, but on Guidance, it’s far more striking. On the folk-like opener “Asa,” Mike Sullivan’s delicate guitar is underpinned with surges of dusky ambience; from there, the band’s tried-and-true blend of glacial riffing and overcast atmosphere takes hold, with the chunkiness of “Vorel” tracing a direct path back to Through Silver in Blood-era Neurosis. Brian Cook’s bass churns with seismic force—the tone of his instrument remains one of the Russian Circles’ most instantly recognizable and arresting textures—and Dave Turncrantz turns his drums into an intricate apparatus of temporal dissection. Amid all that, though, the grooves reign. “Afrika” creates an pulsing undertow that’s desperate and triumphant at the same time; “Mota” switches up more often. But even when Guidance gets complicated, there’s a more organic and unforced feel to it, as if songs were allowed to grow wild rather than carefully cultivated.

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NEW TRACK PREMIERE: AFRIKA 

Russian Circles is now premiering a new track off of their upcoming album Guidance, out on August 5th via Sargent House

LISTEN HERE.

They will be touring with Cloakroom at the end of August and continuing with Helms Alee in September. See all dates below -  for show and ticket details click HERE.

RUSSIAN CIRCLES - LIVE 2016
W/ CLOAKROOM

Aug 26 Madison, WI - High Noon Saloon
Aug 27 Minneapolis, MN - Cedar Cultural Center
Aug 29 Missoula, MT - Palace Lounge
Aug 30 Seattle, WA - Neumos
Aug 31 Portland, OR - Doug Fir Lounge
Sep 2 San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall
Sep 3 Los Angeles, CA - The Teragram Ballroom
Sep 5 Phoenix, AZ - Crescent Ballroom
Sep 6 Albuquerque, NM - Launchpad
Sep 7 Englewood, CO - The Gothic Theatre
Sep 8 Kansas City, MO - The Riot Room
Sep 9 Chicago, IL - Metro
W/ HELMS ALEE 
Sep 23-24 Cincinnati, OH @ Midpoint Music Fest
Sep 25 Detroit, MI - El Club
Sep 26 Toronto, ON - Lee’s Palace
Sep 28 Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
Sep 29 Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer
Sep 30 Brooklyn, NY - Warsaw
Oct 1 Washington, DC - Rock & Roll Hotel
Oct 2 Durham, NC - Motorco Music Hall
Oct 4 Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5
Oct 5 Birmingham, AL - Saturn
Oct 6 Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon
Oct 7 Houston, TX - Warehouse Live Studio
Oct 8 Austin, TX - Barracuda
Oct 9 Dallas, TX - RBC

JUST ANNOUNCED: Russian Circles 2016 European Tour 

Russian Circles has just announced their upcoming Fall 2016 European Tour that is starting immediately after their US Tour (see ALL dates HERE). Helen Money will be joining them starting in Lithuania for the rest of the tour.

for all show and ticket details, click HERE

Russian Circles EU 2016 all dates with Helen Money supporting starting on Oct 25

RUSSiAN CIRCLES EU 2016
Oct 21 Wroclaw, PL @ Firlej*
Oct 22 Gdansk, PL @ B90*
Oct 23 Warsaw, PL @ Hydrozagadka*
Oct 25 Vilnius, LT @ Peleda
Oct 26 Durbe, LV @ Community Hall
Oct 27 Tallin, EE @ Rockstars
Oct 28 Helsinki, FIN @ Tavastia
Oct 30 Stockholm, SE @ En Arena
Oct 31 Oslo, NO @ Vulkan Arena
Nov 2 Bergen, NO @ Landmark
Nov 3 Stavanger, NO @ Folken
Nov 5 Athens, GR @ Smoke the Fuzz Fest at Iera Odos
Nov 6 Berlin, DE @ Kesselhaus
Nov 7 Leipzig, DE @ Conne Island
Nov 9 Brno, CZ @ Kabinet Muz
Nov 10 Budapest, HUN @ Durer Kert
Nov 11 Cluj Napoca, RO @ The Shelter
Nov 12 Bucharest, RO @ Control Club
Nov 13 Sofia, BG @ Club Mixtape 5
Nov 14 Skopje, MC @ MKC
Nov 15 Belgrade, SR @ Elektropionir
Nov 17 Zagreb, HR @ Vintage Industrial Bar
Nov 18 Ljubljana, SL @ Orto Klub
Nov 19 Vienna, AT @ Arena
Nov 20 Prague, CZ @ Lucerna Music Bar

*Helen Money not playing

Mike Sullivan Talks to Music Radar about 11 life-changing albums 

 

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“My tastes have become broader, I’m more open-minded,” admits Mike Sullivan as we prepare to grill him about the albums that shaped his life as a musician, as well as his own band’s latest recording.

“What I like I’m in love with and can’t get enough of. I walk around with headphones and listen every day to certain bands and I’m humbled by them. I’ll think, ‘Maybe I should go into gardening or become a cook because I’m so knocked down by these guys who write great riffs.'”

Mike’s a humble man. Because he doesn’t just deliver inventive riffs of his own with instrumental trio Russian Circles, but a wide palette of expression and tone that has helped the band build an immersive discography. Post-rock, post-metal… whatever you want to claim this Chicago band as, they are masters of their own versatile craft.

Sixth album Guidance affirms that, a powerful seven-song journey through the emotive lengths Mike travels with bassist Brian Cook and drummer Dave Turncrantz to move deftly between crushing metal war marches (Vorel), delicate hymns (Overboard) and anthemic major-key positivity (Africa).

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Pitchfork Review of New Track “Mota” 

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The build-up is a well-worn staple of post-rock: transporting the listener from a place of quiet and calm to somewhere crashing and ecstatic. Because the trick is nowhere near new—especially for a long-running act like Russian Circles—it must be executed with mastery and creativity in order to be anywhere near effective. “Mota,” the second single from Russian Circles’ upcoming album Guidance, shows the trio is more than up for the challenge, as each member attacks their instrument with an aggression that sounds both virtuosic and demonically possessed.

Dave Turncrantz’s swift, melodic drumming and Brian Cook’s distorted bass merge into a rhythm section with the dynamics and power of a band twice their size. Mike Sullivan’s layers of guitars, meanwhile, are dazzling, recalling both the staccato plucking of a string orchestra and the droning buzz of heavy machinery. When its inevitably massive climax arrives, after a tense midsection that sounds like a drill stripping away the head of a screw, it is with the subtle revelation of your plane taking off just as the drugs are kicking in. It’s less a question of “How did we get here?” and more, “How can I stay forever?”

New Track Premiere “Mota” via Stereogum 

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Back in May, the Chicago post-metal trio Russian Circles released “Vorel,” the lead single off their upcoming sixth studio LP Guidance. That song was a colossal rampage of terraforming guitars and pillaging drums that seethed steam through gritted teeth, liable to burn down the landscape even as it was willing it into shape. “Vorel” was music for smashing boulders or brandishing cigarette burns into glaciers, but the most exciting part about it wasn’t its battle march sweep or the throttling toms; it was when the song receded into itself and leaked these beams of transcendent guitar harmonics that suspiciously halted right when they seemed to signal light at the end of the tunnel.
A month and a half later, we finally get to hear that ray of illumination. “Mota” doesn’t crunch or crash like its predecessor; instead it’s a glowing orchard blooming fireballs. The song swells like a rising hot air balloon for the first two minutes, and then burrows all the sunshine into a pressurized hole during the next three, before it reaches a breaking point and supernovas into an earth-shattering frenzy of golden flames and propulsive shockwaves. And when the final residual screeching gives way to that hospitable bath of heavenly whispers that stops short before it can truly offer you salvation, its a cruel cliffhanger. This album can’t come soon enough. Listen to “Mota” below.

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Tracklist:
01 “Asa”
02 “Vorel”
03 “Mota”
04 “Afrika”
05 “Overboard”
06 “Calla”
07 “Lisboa”

Tour dates:

08/26 Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon *
08/27 Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center *
08/29 Missoula, MT @ Palace Lounge *
08/30 Seattle, WA @ Neumos *
08/31 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge *
09/02 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall *
09/03 Los Angeles, CA @ The Teragram Ballroom *
09/05 Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom *
09/06 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad *
09/07 Englewood, CO @ The Gothic Theatre *
09/08 Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room *
09/09 Chicago, IL @ Metro *
09/25 Detroit, MI @ El Club ^
09/26 Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace ^
09/28 Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair ^
09/29 Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer ^
09/30 Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw ^
10/01 Washington, DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel ^
10/02 Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall ^
10/04 Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5 ^
10/05 Birmingham, AL @ Saturn ^
10/06 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon ^
10/07 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Studio ^
10/08 Austin, TX @ Barracuda ^
10/09 Dallas, TX @ RBC ^

* with Cloakroom
^ with Helms Alee

Guidance is out 8/5 via Sargent House. Pre-order it in digital or physical formats.

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