There is a fondness in this reviewer’s heart for Japan, and especially the music that comes from this amazing country. Upon listening to Veteran doomsters, Boris, the album ‘Dear’ is a journey into the bowels of doom and gloom with much patience required, if one is not accustomed to listening to this style. The grand-esque opening of “D.O.W.N” opens proceedings in the appropriate climatic fashion that rumbles the hillsides of madness in the mind and transcends into a deep symphony of cacophonic sounds that resonates with no sign of ending, as “Deadsong” continues onwards with an eerie calm that would awaken the spirits of the netherworld. Boris know how to create an epic soundscape of doom and carry it beyond the threshold of bottom end, bass destructive heaviness, as “Absolutego” makes the boldest of statement with a more up tempo flavour, as Atsuo( drums/vocals) takes this track to great heights with not only his thunderous, precision drumming, but also his soaring vocal that sits floating above the burning embers of this monolithic moment.
“Beyond” sees Takeshi(Bass/Vocals)bring a real sense of calm to proceedings with the band taking things up a notch in a definite standout track, as “Kagero” follows on with an almost interlude like feel of death that pounds wave after wave that really shows this band is serious about the noise they create and have extreme patience in every intricacy and detail created unlike a conventional song structure. There is no rules here, Boris are truly a band that vibe off each other and “Biotope” lightens this dark soundtrack of sounds ever so slightly with its lighter tones and depth of emotional resonance that beats ever so calmly and reverberates with the words “I don’t care” echoing throughout.
The continuation of the epic saga that is ‘Dear’ literally rumbles onwards as “The Power” makes its presence felt with a diabolical demeanour that shows no sign of backing down as it showcases the sheer precision and discipline that Boris has going for them, and have had since 1997. This track just shatters the soul and calls forth the death army or the hordes of Hades with its apt title striking the soul beat after beat, distorted strum after strum. It’s hard to imagine a band could possibly command a whole album of material that works the way Boris have made ‘Dear’ work, as “Memento Mori” adds a melodic calm to the proceedings with waves of Sabbath and Floyd singing praise with the harmonious choir of sound matched against the desolation that hums, as it blends into “Dystopia- Vanishing Point” opens with an almost carnival feel before calming right down to an ethereal tranquillity that floats before taking us downstream, towards a hell of a guitar solo that sings its own praises to soaring heights, building layer after layer, guiding the track into moments of frantic schizophrenia before it signals the siren like finale notes to sustain, which was quite a surprise to listen to.
The finale that is the self-titled track just teases with bass rumbling and striking to its own rhythm for at least 3 minutes into the track, before howling vocals take the song to its own depth to end the album as it started in a truly grand display of sound, noise and avant garde delicacy if that’s even possible, but Boris take sound to places unimaginable if you’ll allow them to take your mind away on their musical maelstrom of a journey. Not for the faint hearted, and I don’t think Boris care what you think. They make their sound their own and that is all. The fact also that this album celebrates their 25th anniversary makes this album even more epic of a listen.