Here’s a hot tip for those of you who like your rock uncompromisingly heavy: Chicago’s Russian Circles are headlining a bill with Portland’s own Witch Mountain and Gaytheist at Mississippi Studios on May 6. If you’re in the know about any of these three bands, the occassion that all three are going to be congregating on a single evening for our listening/face-melting pleasure should be enough to make you salivate.
Russian Circles delivers a unique take on instrumental metal. Mogwai or Isis comparisons might be appropriate here, except for the fact that Russian Circles manages to take the best elements of each and sound like neither. (And let’s face it, these guys are consistently way better than Mogwai or Isis have managed to be over the last 10 years.) Case in point is 2013’s Memorial (above), which kicks off with acoustic guitars, violins and what sounds like a mildly sad Rhodes piano before segueing into progressively epic and angry tracks. It’s impressive what this three-piece can accomplish in terms of orchestration and sonic texture. The translation onto a live stage should be something to see, if past shows are anything to judge by.
Witch Mountain’s sound is classic doom metal: lethargic and overwhelming, channeling roots straight from Electric Wizard and the Melvins. Two albums and an EP deep since enlisting the talents of vocalist Uta Plotkin in 2009, Witch Mountain seem to be hitting their stride in terms of breathing some new life into tried-and-true doom metal tricks.
Gaytheist are exactly what you think that name would imply—namely, completely irreverent and totally ass-kicking awesome. Think gutter humor, vintage punk intensity, thrash metal licks, sly winks, and the dapperest mustachios outside of the next steampunk convention. This might be one of the brightest musical stars in the Portland metal scene, let alone the entire scene. It won’t be too much longer until we'll all have to fight each other for tickets.
As for this appearance, all of the above can be yours for a mere $3 if you kindly RSVP with Red Bull, seeing as the show is one of the monthly Sound Select series (every first Tuesday)—this one curated by our friends over at The Banana Stand. Just remember, your RSVP does not guarantee you entry to the show—it simply guarantees you the cheapo ticket price. You’d still be advised to show early as entry to the show is first come, first served.