Russian Circles plays Austin, Texas
Russian Circles -- Austin, Texas
In October of 2013, Russian Circles, comprised of bassist Brian Cook, guitarist Mike Sullivan and drummer Dave Turncrantz, released their fifth studio album titled "Memorial" on Sargent House Records. Almost immediately, the largely instrumental band embarked on a European tour that took them through the end of the year. Following the holidays, the band, split between homes in Chicago, Ill. and Brooklyn, N.Y., embarked on a U.S. tour in support of "Memorial." Photographer Sandy Carson captured the band during their Austin, Texas stop.
In the scope of Russian Circles records, "Memorial" stands alone in that it takes an individual, emotional approach to each song on the record. Beginning with the title track 'Memoriam,' the latest Russian Circles record has a much more somber tone that previous efforts. But the melancholy of the first track dissipates as the record moves into track two, 'Deficit.' According to bassist/keyboardist Brian Cook, "Its far more polarized in that the heavy parts are much more blown out and exaggerated while the pretty moments are far more restrained, delicate, and atmospheric."
Guitarist Mike Sullivan
"I want to hear a band with a broad palette, bassist Brian Cook says. "But it should find that weird balance with breadth and width. We wanted to make a record with more extreme peaks and valleys. I'm hoping that we can get away with making a schizophrenic record."
Bassist Brian Cook
"I hope that most people who listen to Russian Circles listen to entire albums. And I think if you listen to "Memorial" in its entirety, it is a completely logical step in the evolution of the band. I think it's the same story in the live setting. We strive to make our live shows one long seamless composition, and I think that audiences that hear the new material in that context will see it as a natural progression of our sound," says bassist Brian Cook.
Drummer Dave Turncrantz, Mike Sullivan
At 36 minutes in length, "Memorial" is Russian Circles' shortest album to date. "We wanted to make a record that people would listen to in its entirety. All we cared about was that it was as least as long as 'Reign In Blood,'" says Cook.
Largely known as an instrumental, post-metal band, Russian Circles began experimenting with vocal contributions on their 2011 record "Empros," featuring bassist Brian Cook on vocals. For "Memorial," Russian Circles sought out the haunting vocals of Chelsea Wolfe, who has toured with the band in the past and also releases records for Sargent House. Her contribution, on the closing track 'Memorial,' reads like the final chapter in the five stage of grief, that of acceptance. It's reminiscent of the opening track on the record, but allows for a sense of closure to Russian Circles' fifth studio effort.
Russian Circles, on tour now
Russian Circles is currently on tour in support of their latest album, which is available via Sargent House Records, and on iTunes, Amazon and direct from the Russian Circles online merchandise store.