Had Brian Cook only been the bassist for the wildly influential but short-lived hardcore outfit Botch (only two full length studio albums in 98 and 99), his status in the scene of heavy music would have been cemented long ago. But since then he’s been a part of other outstanding acts such as These Arms Are Snakes and metal supergroup SUMAC, but most recently and most notably, he’s been the bassist for Chicago’s own Russian Circles (yes, their name comes from THAT skating drill). Cook is also a pioneer in being one of the most prominent openly gay voices in the genre, where diversity and inclusion haven’t always been two of its hallmarks. And while all but one Russian Circles song have absolutely no vocals, they aren’t really necessary to convey what the band is trying to express in their punishing yet extremely melodic riffs, so they make for the perfect soundtrack for a day after getting resoundingly stomped.
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