Japanese doom legends Boris blast daggers into convention with thrashing, pummeling ‘NO’

No one can go to live shows right now, unless you’re an asshole and go to country music shows with no mask on and mass together like nothing’s happening. Really feels like that whole thing set us back a while. Traveling the world is not a thing we can do right now, and we are forced inside our borders, which can be maddening depending on how the population is acting (in the U.S, it’s not good).

Japanese doom noise legends Boris have made the most of this time as they considered the social constructs we’ve come to accept and the machination built around our lives without our opinions being regarded. That same can happen in music as artists get trapped into corners, but not Boris. They’ve lashed back with a new album “NO” that arrives as a self-release and is available digitally Friday, and it’s the sound of this band destroying their boundaries and digging back into what makes them who they are. These 11 tracks spread over 40 minutes are a shock to the system, especially if you’ve grown accustomed to their more melodic sound the past decade. These tracks are as heavy and molten as anything in their massive catalog, and it sounds like cutting free the chains and just churning out what moves them. It’s a pleasantly surprising, jarring listen by Boris—Takeshi (vocals, bass, guitars), Wata (vocals, guitars, echo effects), and Atsuo (vocals, drums, electronics)—a band that sounds like they’re here to blaze a new path and follow that into the future.

“Genesis” starts the record with sludgy pounding and an ominous tone as the music wallows in the grime. Strange noises accompany the menace as the pace mashes away, and the surprising heaviness clobbers you. The guitars light up, the drums hammer, and a calculated piece ends this muddy instrumental. “Anti-Gone” smashes open with doomy hell as it spits and punishes. Wailed singing and slashing playing open wounds as feral screams sit behind, and the track aims headlong into a noise storm. “Non Blood Lore” rips apart as strong vocals pound away, and a jolt of punk speed arrives. There are group calls over the chorus while the singing soars, and wailed howls mix with the thrashy ending. “Temple of Hatred” revels in drone before a speedy, frantic pace explodes, and madness overtakes everything. Shrieks gasp as a furious cloud lowers and brings with it agitated static. “鏡 -Zerkalo-” is a doomy storm with screamed vocals and a lurching underbelly. The track is mauling and vitriolic as damaged guitars chew away, while shrieks rain down, growls simmer, and the track ends in a blaze.

“HxCxHxC -Parforation Line-” glimmers before a burst of rays lights up the sky, and the vocals call out. A shimmery cascade sends sparks into the air as gas is poured onto the fire, and the track bleeds into oblivion. “キキノウエ -Kiki no Ue-” opens with thunderous drums that feel like they’re decimating the earth, while lives are just crushed. Sooty bass pummels as the vocals get sickening, while the cries of, “Can’t get away,” spiral out. “Lust” has an electric storm hammering as the track trucks and thrashes, landing noise-infested gut punches. The song goes right for the jugular, feeling impossibly heavy before fading into oblivion. “Fundamental Error” is a cover of Japanese hardcore legends Gudon, and it features guitarist Katsumi who played in bands including Outo and City Indian and now is in Solmania. It’s a pummeling take where the vocals spit nails, the group calls jolt, and the volcanic pace absolutely wrecks shit. “Loveless” starts as an icy one, a change of pace where leads ignite before everything is swallowed into insanity. Wild howls super charge as the guitars work practically blinds you, and the pace blisters. Muddy chaos cakes your veins before the track comes to a crashing end. “Interlude” ends things by acting as a cool down as noises mixes with the atmosphere, Wata’s chilling calls float, and magical energy fills each cell in your body.

Boris sound like a band totally recharged, not that they really needed it, on this stunning record “NO.” I was blown away from my first listen because the band absolutely lets everything they have hang out there and boil in their own juices. Boris always find a way to change things up with each record, but this is one of the most surprising, satisfying albums of their storied run.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/borisheavyrocks

To buy the album, go here: https://boris.bandcamp.com/

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