Daughters, and Russian Circles

Russian Circles: Math rock meets epic atmospherics.

Any band that puts out an 11-minute recording and presents it as a full-length album obviously has a sense of humor. Like Slayer's shorty classic Reign in Blood (which is twice as long!) and Napalm Death's Scum before it, Daughters' Canada Songs is an attempt to capture a metal sub-genre in all its zero-fat glory. Daughters play technically jarring spazz-out math metal, in which the name of the game is to cram as many ideas as possible into the shortest amount of time in order to force the brain into processing information on a nanosecond scale. It's a tried and true formula, but Daughters' effort in pushing the envelope is commendable. And lest you smell gimmick or creative stagnation, the Rhode Island quintet's second album, Hell Songs, breaks the 20-minute mark. Meanwhile, Chicago instrumental trio Russian Circles may just be the only band with a "lead" drummer who doesn't sink his band under the weight of an overbearing presence. Skinsman Dave Turncrantz matches his assertive touch with tastefulness, which gives the band's combination of distorted riffs and clean-toned atmospheres room to soar where it needs to. Both bands make prominent use of shrill, dissonant guitars but apply them differently for a great complementary bill.

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