May 26, 2024

Boris – “Dear” welcomes in ultra-slow doom sludge, dripping distortion

Sargent House                    14 July 2017

Ultra-heavy, slow and sludgy, this makes Dylan Carson’s Earth sound like Speed Metal. Sounds drip from guitars and trail across the floor into a black pool, its surface rippled by waves emanating from over-driven amplifiers. Amplifiers are the stars here; it’s all about careful manipulation of electric guitar to get feedback, distortion, just the right sort of wrong.

Funny this should happen at the end of their career. With over twenty years behind them, Japanese noise-mongers, Boris, felt they had explored all the sounds they could and strated work on material for a farewell album. To their surprise, the material just flowed and three album’s worth of finished product has been waiting for release – this is the first. For a neophyte like myself it may be a great, if late, introduction. Seems very accessible to me – that is, if you like your ears being pressed flat by sound thick and loud enough to class as solid matter.

Vocals are hoarse and declamatory, drums pound portentously or make a wash of cymbals. Riffage comes in lumps, slower than honey, dropping from giant speaker cabinets. The odd quieter moment, like bits of Beyond or Distopia emphasise the onslaught of the rest. Rolling, bludgeoning beasts of sound just go on and on. There’s not a lot of light and colour, not a lot of tune, this is expressly for those who like it loud and slow and for all the interest to be in the crumbling textures of collapsing sound.

As that other Dylan said: “Play it loud”.

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