Russian Circles, Ken Mode, Inter Arma | Cat's Cradle | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
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Russian Circles, Ken Mode, Inter Arma 

When: Mon., Feb. 17, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $13-$15
Heavy Hits of Last Year: If the three-band touring package of headliners Russian Circles and dual openers Inter Arma and KEN Mode needed a roadworthy name, that suggestion might make an apt handle. In 2013, each member of this triptych released one of the year's best loud records, although their approaches diverge wildly. With Isis in retirement and Red Sparowes flying in limbo, Chicago's long-running Russian Circles now epitomize the crossroads of metal and post-rock. They make filmic, dynamic and muscular music that's wide in scope and high on momentum, refusing to linger like that of their stylistic kin. Their interconnected, eight-song opus Memorial moves in like the threat of a thunderstorm, the atmosphere forever loaded with the possibility of sudden shock. Winnipeg's KEN Mode, who took their name from Henry Rollins' "Kill Everyone Now" credo, take less time to do damage; they careen through post-hardcore animosity with math-rock misdirection and Pentecostal conviction. Their anger is not only apparent—it's outright infectious. But the best band on the bill is the first and one of the most remarkable acts working in heavy music right now: Richmond's Inter Arma creates cross sections of rock history so vivid, unpredictable and mesmerizing that they often sound like science fiction. They pivot from pastoral Pink Floyd haze to scabrous black metal brutality without hesitation or error, making for alloyed music that's innovative but highly accessible—a rare pairing, especially in this aggressive realm. —Grayson Haver Currin

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