Boris – W: Album Review

Boris return with W; the follow up to 2020’s NO. As ever, the Japanese trio are in ground breaking and imperious form as they traverse an array of styles.

Released: 21st January 2022

Label: Sacred Bones Records

Format: CD / Vinyl / Cassette / Digital

Boris are a truly enigmatic and experimental band. Over the course of their vast career they have collaborated with a wide array of artists and produced music that ensures they cannot be placed in one particular box on the genre front. They are tagged with the ‘metal’ label but they are so much more than that. Yes, they can get loud; but they take the music to extremes in so many more ways. W is no exception.

The follow up to 2020’s NO, W again traverses genre moving from jazz, funk, ambient, punk, sludge, drone and many other stops en-route. I Want to Go to the Side Where You Can Touch… opens up the record; musically mystic and lyrically sparse, the track builds in a wall of drone and subtle guitars which conjure images of an ethereal world.

Otherworldly is a perfect way to think of W. Icelina and Invitation are both dreamy pieces with alluring vocals and pretty, twinkling melodies. Musically, you could draw comparisons to Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool as a reference point. Drowning By Numbers opens more abrasively and features the gradual introduction of jazzy percussive elements and a twistedly funky bassline underneath hypnotic vocals. Density pervades as the structure constantly shifts.

The Fallen draws on the bands earliest sounds as the doom/sludge sound that some might associate with the Japanese trio rings free. Huge, monolithic riffs and crashing drums take the album to a completely darker place. Old Projector also uses the heavier side of the bands range but there is a sparse dissonance to the music that is so skilfully executed that it is hard not to let your jaw drop.

Beyond Good And Evil moves from beauty to despair, just as the title might suggest. There is a little bit of a shoegaze feel to some of the guitars as the band crank up the volume again. You Will Know (Ohayo Version) is the longest track on W and boy does it stretch out. At a little over nine minutes, the music is meticulously built and sweeps through the senses in majestic manor. Jozan rounds out the album in subtle and serene fashion to complete a truly mesmerising journey.

Boris are true innovators. They have influenced countless bands and you can hear the influences of bands they have worked with over the years in their music. The album cover of W is a glistening, undulating piece of art showing an array of shades. W moves in constant circles going up and down generating true peaks and troughs in music. Music is best when it makes you feel, no matter what that feeling. Boris know how to attack the senses and they excel in spades on W.

Listen to Drowning By Numbers from Boris below.

Boris: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Instagram

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