Wow. I listened to this to prepare for Boris’ album that was being released next month in collaboration with Merzbow and also thought I should get caught up with Boris catalog since I was seeing so much praise around the Boris name. I was wholeheartedly expecting to give this an 8 and probably not write a review for this, but this thing fucking blew my mind. This is an album unlike anything I’ve ever heard. It perfectly combines rock, metal, noise, drone, and a myriad of other things into one colossus of an album. Sure, this doesn’t immediately sound like something that’s completely foreign to my ears, but the way Boris does it is mind-blowingly unique.
As you start the first track and hear the first reverb-heavy guitar, you immediately know what you’re getting into. This track is such a disorienting opener, making you question if what you’re hearing is even real. It’s like the song took my head and spun it around a hundred times. Throughout the track, you get hit with constant walls of noise made by incredibly distorted, screaming guitars as the reverb-drenched vocals call out to you. They aren’t screaming their brains out, rather, they’re quite tranquil compared to what you would expect from a noise-rock album. The euphoric bliss of the vocals is shrouded behind this harsh and looming instrumentation. Guitars screaming and vocals schizophrenic; this track is incredibly messy, yet it never gets lost in the mess. It knows how much commotion is going on and it indulges in it, never relenting on this state of psychedelic confusion.
This harrowing bliss is immediately contradicted by the second track which, while still incredibly harsh to the ears and loud, follows a much simpler noise-rock formula. These contradictions are all across this album yet they never feel like the tracks are canceling each other out. Once again, it indulges in its messy and all over the place aesthetic, making it feel a lot less like a messy accident and more like ordered confusion, something a lot of incredibly messy albums fail to do.
This record never gets tiresome to listen to. Every moment it surprises you with new sounds, yet those sounds are never unrelenting on the noise side of things. This album is loud, and I can totally see where someone who hates this thing is coming from. It’s truly an acquired taste. Despite the guitars across this thing being distorted to hell and incredibly rowdy, they still show an insane level of musical craftsmanship. The over-the-top effects never feel like they are compensating for a lack of musical ability as there are some insane riffs and sick solos across this thing. The album is also incredibly full of energy. While there are some slow-burners on here, more specifically most of the super disorienting and messy tracks like Farewell and Afterburner, the bulk of this record consists of super busy and hyper songs. And even on the slow-burners here, there are so many intricacies going on within the song that make them feel super busy yet never over-the-top. This is the darkest pink album I’ve ever heard.
I feel like, vocally, this album is another Loveless situation. I didn’t catch a single line when listening to this thing. This is probably because the album is in another language, but I don’t care. I don’t feel like I need to see the lyrics to truly love this thing because the music is so powerful in itself. The vocals merely serve as a vessel to have something on top of these incredibly rambunctious instrumentals. I guess if I had to sum this record up with one sentence, it would be this: A brutal and harsh defeat that’s followed by a sense of bliss. It’s like having your ears ripped out, stapled back onto your head, and then once you’re done, the pain magically goes away and for some reason, you want to go through the experience again despite the immense pain it caused when listening. If that sounds interesting to you then I would highly recommend this record.
FAV TRACKS: Farewell, Pink, Woman On Rge Screen, Nothing Special, Blackout, Electric, Pseudo Bread, Afterburner, Six Three Times, My Machine, Just Abandoned Myself
LEAST FAV TRACKS: N/A