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.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE.

"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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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: russiancirclesband.com 

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)

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