Best known in the UK for their 2010 EP BXI, a four-track collaboration with The Cult’s Ian Astbury, Tokyo’s Boris have been forging dense, intense, apocalyptic soundscapes for more than 20 years.
Noise is a perfect encapsulation of their dark art for those late to the party. From the brutal hardcore-inspired chaos of Quicksilver through to the multi-layered pulses, sighs, throbs and roars harnessed on the 19-minute Angel, this is a consummate masterclass in sound manipulation, incorporating post-rock, doom, sludge, shoegaze and psychedelic influences as it shifts mood, tone and tempo.
Where lyrics seep through, the sentiments expressed are unrelentingly bleak – ‘Throb, throb, throbbing pain this world makes us suffer’ runs a key line Taiyo No Baka – but the end result of all this oppressive, weighty metallic grinding and groaning is curiously uplifting.
That, nineteen albums into their career, the unholy trinity of Atsuo, Wata and Takeshi are still finding new ways to discomfort, disorientate and discombobulate is to their great credit.