A Russian Circles primer to prepare you for their Beauty Bar show

Catch Russian Circles with Cult Leader at Beauty Bar on April 22.
Ian Caramanzana

Who: Guitarist Mike Sullivan, bassist Brian Cook and drummer Dave Turncrantz. The Chicago trio is comprised of seasoned indie/DIY rock vets: Sullivan played in indie instrumental outfit Dakota/Dakota, Turncrantz slapped the skins in rock ’n’ roll band Riddle of Steel and Cook played bass in mathcore heavyweights Botch and post-hardcore band These Arms Are Snakes.

Sound: The CliffsNotes version: Metal meets post-rock. The long version: The band takes the dark, trodding, feedback-ridden elements of metal and seamlessly fuses those with the ethereal, emotive qualities of post-rock. For a full picture, listen to “Deficit” from 2013’s Memorial. Throw in some math-rock noodling (a homage to the members’ past, perhaps?), and you’ve got the incredibly dynamic Russian Circles. Six albums and an EP later, they’re continuing to expand on a sound they’ve created.

Key releases: Russian Circles’ discography is an evolving tapestry of sound. New listeners should start at the beginning, as Enter and Station are the most varied of the bunch. 2011’s Empros showcases the band’s dark, punishing side (listen to “Mlàdek”) while pushing the band’s indie sensibilities (see the Spiritualized-inspired “Praise Be Man”). Following that, Memorial expands on the aggro post-rock of Empros by introducing strings, with a key feature from Chelsea Wolfe. And last year’s Guidance saw a more polished Russian Circles, as the band streamlines the divide between metal and post-rock.

The Latest: Simply put, tour. The band is on the road with metal heavyweights Mastodon and Eagles of Death Metal to support its live album, Live at Dunk! Fest. And according to an interview with Cook at, we can expect to hear new tunes in the near future.

Russian Circles with Cult Leader. April 22, 8 p.m., $15-$18. Beauty Bar, 702-598-3757.

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