Home Read Albums Of The Week: Boris | W

Albums Of The Week: Boris | W

The Japanese experimental rock trio pick up where they left off (literally) on the thunderingly beautiful followup to their massively destrucive 2020 release No.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “In an effort to sublimate the negative energy surrounding everyone in 2020, legendary Japanese heavy rock band Boris focused all of their energy creatively and turned out the most extreme album of their long and widely celebrated career, NO. The band self-released the album, desiring to get it out as quickly as possible but intentionally called the final track on the album Interlude while planning its followup.

The follow-up comes with W. The record opens with the same melody as Interlude in a piece titled I want to go to the side where you can touch… and in contrast to the extreme sounds found on NO, this new album whispers into the listener’s ear with a trembling hazy sound meant to awaken sensation.

On all of W, guitarist/keyboardist Wata carries the lead vocal duties. In general the styles on the album range from noise to new age, as is typical with one of our generation’s most dynamic and adventurous bands, but there is a thread of melodic deliberation through each song that successfully accomplishes the band’s goal of eliciting deep sensation. Be it through epic sludgy riffs, angelic vocal reverberations or the seduction of their off-kilter percussion, Boris will have you fully under their spell. This languid and liquifying sound is perfectly represented in the beautiful Kotao Tomozawa cover art and in suGar yoshinaga’s sound production.

NO and W weave together to form NOW, a duo of releases that respond to one another. In following their hardest album with this sensuous thundering masterpiece they are creating a continuous circle of harshness and healing, one that seems more relevant now than ever and shows the band operating at an apex of their musical career. Ever since the beginning, the members of Boris have explored their own vision of “heavy” with a methodology and stance that could almost be called aloof. A slender female guitarist who sings dusky melodies, a shadowy vocalist swaying with a guitar/bass double neck, and a drummer with a gong at his back who cries out curses and supplications as he presides over the ritual.

Though Boris adhere to an unrelenting heaviness in everything they do, “thunderous roars” and “explosive noise” are too light of words for their singular musicality that can’t be confined to a set genre or style. Using overpowering soundscapes embellished with copious lighting and billowing smoke, Boris have shared with audiences across the planet an experience for all five senses in their concerts, earning legions of zealous fans along the way.

Boris play every day even when they aren’t touring or doing a show. As a result of single-mindedly delving into their sound in studio jam sessions and recording every bit of themselves, they now have a discography that includes 30 full albums like the iconic Pink (’05), Smile (’08), and Noise (’14), as well as nearly 20 collaborative works like Altar (’07) with SunnO))) and Gensho (’16) as Boris with Merzbow. With W, Boris continue their own musical creation and destruction while conjuring up fresh horizons.”