Russian Circles 'GNOSIS' Australian tour
Underground legends RUSSIAN CIRCLES have announced their return to Australian shores for the first time in five years and their return to New Zealand after 9 years, touring in support of their new album GNOSIS.
The instrumental trio will bring their brooding and intense live show to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney & Melbourne during February 2024. with doom-jazz quartet Tangled Thoughts of Leaving joining for all Australian shows.
Known for their combination of epic walls of sound with technical dexterity and driving rhythms, their intense compositions have earned them a loyal cult following that has seen them tour extensively worldwide since forming in the windy city of Chicago in 2004.
Across the span of their previous seven studio albums, the Chicago-based post-metal group have traversed a diverse topography of sounds, moods, and approaches with their limited armory of drums, bass, and guitar. It’s difficult to chart an evolution in their sound when their records have always felt like well-curated playlists. It wasn’t uncommon to hear drone-heavy meditations, dazzling prog exercises, knuckle-dragging riff-fests, haunting folk ballads, and tension-baiting noise rock all within the span of one album. Still, it’s difficult to ignore the progression from the pensive and intricate melodies of Enter (2006) to the layered distorted dirges of Blood Year (2019). It’s been a gradual sonic shift owing to the band’s rigorous tour schedule and a predilection towards playing their more authoritative material on stage. But with their latest album, GNOSIS, the band eschew the varied terrain of their past work and bulldoze a path through the most tumultuous and harrowing territory of their sound.
As was the case for so many artists in the age of COVID, the obstacles of geography and isolation forced them re-evaluate their writing process. Rather than crafting songs out of fragmented ideas in the practice room, full songs were written and recorded independently before being shared with other members, so that their initial vision was retained. While these demos spanned the full breadth of the band’s varied styles, the more cinematic compositions were ultimately excised in favour of the physically cathartic pieces.
GNOSIS was engineered and mixed by Kurt Ballou. Drums and bass were tracked at Electrical Audio in Chicago to maximize the natural room sounds of the rhythm section. Guitar and synth overdubs were conducted at God City in Salem, MA to take advantage of Ballou’s vast inventory of amps and effects pedals. Despite the entirety of the album being written remotely, the songs were recorded with the full band playing together to retain the live feel of the material. Owing to the climate of the times and a new writing method, Russian Circles have created their most fuming and focused work to date—an album that favours the exorcism of two years’ worth of tension over the melancholy and restraint that often coloured their past endeavors.
Since returning to the touring circuit, the band have played an exhaustive series of shows across the globe, with many acclaiming them as the best of their career. Drummer Dave Turncrantz and bassist Brian Cook’s rhythmic drive and flair alongside Mike Sullivan’s impressive guitar work display a unique rapport built over a decade of touring, writing and recording together.
Russian Circles will be joined at all shows on this tour by Australian instrumental group Tangled Thoughts of Leaving, themselves in the midst of touring their new record ‘Oscillating Forest’ the follow up to their acclaimed 2018 record ‘No Tether.’ Their brutally intense live show is a perfectly curated match for a night of dark catharsis.