A Rawkward Review: Russian Circles, SUMAC & Brutus in Patronaat
Text Steve Gröniger // photography Rob Sneltjes
Full article via NMTH (English translation)
Fucking Hell, there we are again, still full in the orgasmic after-quakes of thick sonic skullfuckery, but not yet completely landed. What started in Utrecht at SLEEP, found BRUTUS and SUMAC - Yes, these band names should be written in full caps - his apotheosis at Russian Circles in Haarlem. It was brutal, intense, compelling and above all a complete delight in noise grinder that you normally only experience on planet Roadburn. In any case, we are feeling backward of the music sun flares that sprouted from that festival in the past shows, so there is still no question of separation anxiety. A look back then.
Completely against my normal use, or the curse that until recently I thought it rested, it is unbelievably nice weather and I fall exactly in the shot of a stifling BRUTUS when I enter the hall and get a beer. 'Fuck it, no time, point and space for paranoid Murphy’s Law hassle and just enjoy with your mouth’ I admonish myself with a clenched fist. It had to be just like that and how. The band completes this day the tour they have made with headliner Russian Circles, after which they will continue their bizarre journey with Thrice and subsequently Chelsea Wolfe. Personal discharge of lost guilt is also possible after having to bail after two songs during a glorified 'DJ’ job on the NMTH-hosted stage during Life I Live Festival.
You know, I can easily and faintly shout how 'nice’ and 'cool’ it is to be overwhelmed by a bucket of sound, whatever it is, of course, but it is clear that this is more than just that . It is extremely difficult to hold on to the recognition of the golden rule of the sum of the parts of 'the band’, without emotionally detracting from what is loud and clear: the musician behind the boilers and the microphone which, in my experience, making life as happy as a factor in what carries the predicate as an outdoor category. I only need to hang up trigger words like 'dynamic’, 'sublime’, 'control’, 'overwhelming’ and a big hint of 'magic’ to describe that inept, but it is above all the science of witnessing the talent that knows how to turn pure energy into a hope-inspiring comfort, in a form of unrivaled benefaction of firm blast beats and blissful singing in the same moment, that deeply responds and makes emotions legendary. Thank you Stephanie, and thank you BRUTUS. The consumption.
Okay, typhus. Fuck it all: my eardrums, my earplugs, my state of mind, my field of vision, my zen-like vibe in which I sat, all hurled up and scorched everything to the bone, because it’s all about hurting, goddamm and what’s fantastic . I mean it. Let me start by putting a heavy light on Aaron Turner, thanks to his contributions to Mamiffer, ISIS and of course Old Man Gloom. SUMAC sounds very heavy, intrinsically and disruptively fine on record - in the light of this evening. Live is simply suffering from pain as a motherfucker, but so engaging that no hair in your beard even think that it is a possibility to walk away from all sonic violence. In that sense it is such an extreme sensation that you suddenly understand your post-apocalyptic BDSM. Perhaps even a striking representation of what it is like to live with a brain that tends to surrender to panic attacks and pavor nocturnus (nightterrors); the misery thoroughly unadulterated musically framed without hostage. I can not describe it any differently, but I thought I had experienced the ultimate in all pain-crossing violations with a 124dB + peaking A Place To Bury Strangers. That was not so thanks to SUMAC. I drew the pressure under pressure that it is as if a cat is screaming in your ear in all its strength, while she has her nails firmly planted in your face, not because she wants your attention or pain, but because she can. To. Fucking. Cool. What an experience AF.
Finding the idea that legendary music is often a sum of its parts is in the case of Russian Circles unmistakably and exceptionally the case: whether you have it or the devastating machine work of Dave Turncrantz, the generally vulgar, but extremely next-level Eddy van Halen’s fretboard fingertapping work by guitarist Mike Sullivan, or the engagingly driven bass parts of Brian Cook: all exceptional, but together transcending everything. From opener Station it may be clear that this is a band that handles their shit fairly and does not want to take any time for strange entertaining freaks and jokes. Just put down a typhoid show that is ready to fully take over all the overwhelming intensity and to suck you into their world of experience. That experience is no longer a matter of coincidence, because among others Africa, Harper Lewis, Vorel, Mota and the closing Mládek (a song that is named after their characteristic European tour bus driver with a bag full of stories), it is especially clear that discipline, focus and full dedication to what makes you happy. Not because it is worth it, but because it is possible. Yes, it was such a weekend. it is especially clear that discipline, focus and full dedication to what makes you happy is rewarding. Not because it is worth it, but because it is possible. Yes, it was such a weekend. it is especially clear that discipline, focus and full dedication to what makes you happy is rewarding. Not because it is worth it, but because it is possible. Yes, it was such a weekend.