Russian Circles

The problem with instrumental rock bands (and, one could argue, other instrumental musics such as techno) is that they don't offer up easy narratives or themes about which to write. Without lyrics, your embattled local critic is left trying to describe song structures, qualities of sound, and the overall moods of albums—which is where things get overly flowery. Here, for instance, is a list of adjectives recently used to describe Chicago-Seattle trio Russian Circles (who include bassist Brain Cook of hardcore legends Botch) in local publications: "metal-tinged," "threatening," "aggressive," "sinister," "spooky," "dynamic," "haunting," "explosive," "solemn," "epic," "sweeping," "beautiful," "doomy," "loud," "atmospheric." All true, but all somehow inadequate, especially in the face of the band's latest and best album yet, Empros, which even features a rare vocal hymn from Cook. So, you know, we can talk about that. With Crypts, Deafhaven. ERIC GRANDY

Sat., Nov. 26, 8 p.m., 2011

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