“We don’t feel comfortable calling Dear a return to our slow and heavy style,” says Tokyo’s amplifier worshiping experimental metal institution Boris. “We’ve been heavy since day one.” And it’s true. From the droning thunder of their Absolutego debut and through the cinematic crescendo of albums like Flood, the bombastic licks of the Heavy Rocks records, the punk rage of Vein, the bottom-dwelling psychedelia of Akuma no Uta and Pink, and the grimy thump of Attention Please and New Album, Boris has always attempted to search out new ways to level listeners with their sound. On the 25th year of their existence, the trio delivers Dear, an album they describe as “heavenly—far beyond heavy.”
Though Boris has traversed a broad swath of sonic territories, they have always been consistent in their embracing of excess, pushing their myriad of approaches and stylistic forays to points of intoxicating absurdity. But a time came in the early years of their third decade where the band wondered if there were any new horizons for the band to explore. Consequently, it was decided that the band would begin jamming on material for what was planned to be a record that served as a formal goodbye to fans. In a strange twist of fate, being unencumbered by expectations and having an open-ended approach to the writing process reinvigorated Boris. The renewed vitality yielded an album that fortifies their monolithic wall of sound while also allowing the individual band members to explore the nuances and intricacies of minimalist riffs played at maximum volume.
Album opener “D.O.W.N. –Domination of Waiting Noise-“ sets the tone for the record’s glacial pace and seismic rumble with vast swaths of sustained chords underscoring oscillator pulses and Takeshi’s soaring vocals. Songs like “DEADSONG”, “Kagero”, and “The Power” take the glacial doom of their early records and broaden the expanses of empty space to allow the chirp of amplifier tubes, the groan of strained speaker cabinets, and the sizzle of cranked distortion to transform their dirges into macrocosms of textures. It was a premeditated strategy, with the band deliberately scaling down on instrumentation in order to allow more color, detail, and tension to emanate from their protracted riffage. The galloping chugs and acidic guitar leads of “Absolutego” provide the most rock-oriented moment of the album, even though the song’s crushing timbre is cataclysmic even by the most down-tuned and heavily doped stoner rock standards. Brief moments of respite from the dimed amplifiers can be found on songs like “Beyond” and “Memento Mori”, where the band juxtaposes their deluges of fuzz with hints of ethereal dream pop.
Songwriting for Dear initially yielded three albums’ worth of material by the end of 2015, but as the band was slated to spend a large chunk of 2016 on their “Performing Pink” worldwide tour, they decided to hold off on releasing any new material. The tour further rekindled their passion, and when the band returned home they wrote several more songs and scaled the three records down to one. “At the very first moment, this album began as some kind of potential farewell note of Boris. However, it became a sincere letter to fans and listeners… you know, like ‘Dear so-and-so, this is the new album from Boris’ or something like that. We feel so grateful we can release this album in our 25th anniversary year.” Adding to that sentiment, Sargent House is grateful to release Boris Dear to the world on July 14, 2017 on CD, 2xLP, and digital formats.
Japanese experimental acoustic collective from Tokyo
First gathered in 2007 in order to bring a decisive rally on contemporary extreme music. In addition to a conventional band formation of vocal, guitars, and drums, there are two additional electronics performers, allowing them to create harsh, distinctive sounds in various chaotic mix of styles ranging from noise, hard core, black metal, industrial, to grind core, through an absolutely physical embodiment of pure hard core mentality. Their staging can be characterized as a plethora of physical and acoustic momentum, with destructive performances involving self-mutilation and bleeding, receiving high critical acclaims in the underground live scenes and are touted as one of the most exciting acts.
The four-pronged Floridian Riff Colossus that has steamrolled its way across the international underground. Led by vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks (formerly of doom dropouts Floor) and featuring the myriad talents of drummer Rick Smith, bassist Jonathan Nuñez and guitarist Juan Montoya, Torche unfurled their self-titled debut in 2005 via Richmond, Virginia's Robotic Empire. The glorious half-hour of blissed-out power-grooves, triumphant vocal harmonies and cosmic resonance within was variously hailed as "stoner pop," "thunder rock," and "doom pop," but a consensus was quickly reached within the Fourth Estate: Both the underground and mainstream press had their hands halfway down their pants just thinking about listening to Torche. The band was immediately lauded as giants among men, leaders among sheep, and powerbrokers of a deadly new sonic idiom founded upon Brooks' signature "bomb-string" detonation-detune. As Decibel magazine so righteously pointed out in May of 2005, Torche "carries on in the dizzying Sabbathian tradition of Floor, only potentially more bottomless and epic." Seven months later, the same publication would declare Torche as the # 7 album of the year in its annual top 40.