On the cold spring evening of Thursday, April 5th, metal was forged in the haven of The Starlite Room in Edmonton. The denizens gathered to hear King Woman and Russian Circles pound metal out of the bitterly cold air. King Woman left the warmth of California to pour forth an opus of doom metal led by the ethereal vocalizations of Kristina Esfandiari. They powered through their set to the largest gathering I think I have ever seen at The Starlite for an opening act, although to me it felt more like a doubleheader event. Either way, the crowd had gathered, the heads banged up and down, leather-clad arms were lifted high and King Woman held the crowd in the palm of their collective hands. The four members of the band played well together and definitely warmed the room up for Russian Circles.
The band Russian Circles take their name from a hockey drill that is too complex to explain in a music review. Google it like I did if you need to know. Anyhow, they are a three-piece band based out of Chicago, who play music that would I would describe as post-metal drone-core. To simplify it, they rock. Mike Sullivan, Dave Turncrantz, and Brian Cook served up generous portions of grinding, pulsing, mesmerizing music that the metal heads of Edmonton happily absorbed. Talking to a few fans before the show informed me that Russian Circles have a dedicated and loyal following in The Capital City and they left The Starlite Room very happy after an enthralling evening. In fact, as a side note, this was one of the friendliest crowds I have ever encountered at a rock show. They were happy to be there and to hear the music of two bands that they obviously loved. I was informed that this was the second time Russian Circles had played in Edmonton, hopefully, a third time will happen in the near future.