Russian Circles & King Woman push the boundaries of metal at Bushwick’s Elsewhere

Two of today’s great alternative metal bands teamed up for a double-feature at Bushwick’s Elsewhere on Tuesday night. Russian Circles and King Woman are currently on tour together, and they both dominated the new venue with their innovative, heavy sounds.

Vocalist┬áKristina Esfandiari has been captivating audiences both live and on record as of late, and judging by the sold-out crowd’s early attendance, her band was every bit of a draw as the headliners. Their intense sound is spearheaded by Esfandiari’s vocals, which are rather unique for something that’s in the sphere of metal. They aren’t especially ‘brutal’, but rather realer and more heartfelt than your typical scream.

Of course, Russian Circles have skipped the vocals altogether, utilizing only guitar, bass, drums, and a variety of pedals/electronics to bring forth a truly atmospheric post-metal vibe. The Chicago trio blasted through 70 minutes of high-energy post-metal including tracks like “Vorel”, “Mota”, and “Harper Lewis”. From the set-starter “Station”, it was clear that they weren’t going to hold back on the Brooklyn crowd.

The atmosphere and emotion of Russian Circles music contradicts the raw heaviness of the compositions, which sees the band transitioning from melancholy guitar parts to more infuriating, breakdown-oriented situations. By default, it’s more minimalistic than a lot of their peers, but without any vocal microphones at all present on the stage, their set really allows for an introspective experience that is often absent amongst heavy music shows. If these bands pass through your city on this tour, definitely take the opportunity to see it for yourself.