Boris – Dear (Review)

BorisBoris are a legenday group from Japan. Over the years they have produced so much music in so many different styles it’s actually quite difficult to keep up with them. Suffice to say, whatever they do, they usually do it very well indeed.

The last time we caught up with Boris it was only a year or so ago, with their split/collaboration with Merzbow. This was experimental noise at its very best, a style I’m not a huge fan of, but done so well that I couldn’t help but take to it.

On Dear we find Boris in one of their heavier, slower incarnations. This is 69 minutes of brooding atmosphere, combining doom, sludge, and drone into a very full album’s worth of dreamy distortion and equally dreamy vocals.

Being Boris, of course, it means that there is more to the music on Dear than my overly simplistic description implies, and there’s plenty of nuances and engaging content in the songs to hold the listener’s rapt attention for the full duration. Over the course of the album it all averages out though, and the bulk of this new release is slow, heavy, atmospheric, and full of droning grandeur.

Across the album Boris make clever use of droning riffs, enhancing noise, snippets of melody, and well-performed cleans that are quite beautiful in delivery most of the time. These songs are heavy enough to flatten you physically, while also managing to be emotionally crushing too. Substantial in every way, Dear is a weighty album that achieves its goals through glacial sonic extremity and keenly emotive songwriting. The songs are very effective, extremely affecting, and eminently satisfying.

Dear is a thoroughly enjoyable album, and one of Boris’ release that I’ve probably enjoyed the most.

Hail doom, hail Boris.

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