Russian Circles lead a night that shows Chicago’s got a lot of heavy music to be thankful for | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Russian Circles lead a night that shows Chicago’s got a lot of heavy music to be thankful for 

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click to enlarge Russian Circles

Russian Circles

Ryan Russell

Following two sold-out stints at the Empty Bottle earlier this year, hometown “instru-metal” heroes Russian Circles reward their local legions once more with this Metro date the day after Thanksgiving. And there’s plenty to be thankful for, as the postmetal trio put on one helluva performance. Though it’s been two years since their most recent LP, Guidance, was released on Sargent House, with six excellent albums in their catalog, the band never lack for set-building options. The Metro’s potent sound system should accentuate their sonics, highlighting the glistening effects of guitarist Mike Sullivan, the deep distortions of bassist Brian Cook, and the clattering fills of drummer Dave Turncrantz. And not only is this a chance to see them twice in a year in their hometown, it's a chance to catch them as they gear up for their seventh album, which they’ve been in the process of writing this fall. Opening the evening are two other beloved, long-running Chicago heavyweights, Bongripper and Sweet Cobra. Bongripper, a metaphorical child of doom legends Sleep, pushes fuzzed-out instrumental stoner metal to its limits, utilizing a massive sound and slowly shifting song structures to keep long-form music engaging. Meanwhile, Sweet Cobra—the only band of the night to feature vocals—has evolved in recent years, shifting from a melodic sludge-metal sound to a catchier posthardcore approach. In all, this is one stacked bill, reflecting how much the Chicago postmetal scene has to be thankful for.   v

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