Formed back in 1992, Japanese, experimental heavy rock outfit Boris ((ボリス, Borisu) — currently core members Takeshi (vocals, bass, guitar), Wata (vocals, guitar, keys, accordion and echo) Atsuo (vocals, drums, percussion and electronics) with Mucho (drums) — settled on their current lineup in 1996. Since then, the members of Boris have tirelessly explored their own genre-defying take on heavy music.
In an effort to sublimate the negative energy surrounding everyone and everything in 2020, Boris wrote and recorded NO, one of the most extreme albums of their widely celebrated and lengthy career. The band self-released the album during the height of pandemic-related lockdowns, desiring to get the album out as quickly as possible. Interestingly, they intentionally titled NO‘s closing track “Interlude,” and then set out to plan NO‘s follow up.
Last year’s W saw the band creating material that stylistically ranged from noise to New Age, further continuing their long-held reputation for sonically adventurous and dynamic work. While being remarkably disparate, W is held together by a melodic deliberation through each song that helps the band accomplish their ultimate goal with the material — eliciting deep sensations.
NO and W were conceived to weave together to form NOW, a pair of releases that respond to each other: The band followed one of their hardest albums with an effort that’s sensuous, lush yet thunderous. The result is a continuous circle of harshness and healing that seems more relevant — and necessary — now than ever.
Further continuing their long-held reputation for being incredibly prolific, the Japanese heavy outfit released two more albums last year.
Last August’s 10-track Heavy Rocks (2022), another installment of their Heavy Rocks series that saw the members of Boris channelling 70s proto-metal and glam rock through their own unique lens.
They closed the year out with fade, an album informed by the massive sounds of drone metal that’s “. . . not bound by concepts of rock and music in general but could rather be said to be a documentary of the world plunged into the chaotic age of boris moving forward,” the band says.
They continue, “Break into the present, post-pandemic era. Memories of the world wrapped in disorder and uncertainty already bring feelings of nostalgia. Every individual was cut off from society, but now have returned as one.
Among that disorder like a primitive scenery, did you have fear? Did you doze off? Or in an extreme state of mind, did you even feel some comfort in the solitude?
Among that disorder, did you make eye contact with yourself, or did you not experience such a moment?
Now, wrapped in a thunderous roar, your whole body will be caressed on the way to awakening.
fade was released digitally last December through Bandcamp and finally sees its release on double LP today. The deluxe, 180g vinyl release comes in pink and black variants with laminated gatefold jacket. The albums were manufactured by Third Man Pressing, released by fangsanalsatan, and are available for pre-order through Sacred Bones.
In the meantime, fade‘s latest composition “michikusa” is a slow-burning shoegazer-like composition rooted in swirling guitar squall and droning textures that gently ebbs and flows like waves hitting the shore.
Directed by award-winning director, animator and painter Nalani Williams. Through Williams’ career, she has crafted surrealistic stories and imagery, seamlessly implementing stop motion, hand drawn animation and painting in a distinctive style of her own. The accompanying video for “michikusa” is set in a surreal and hellish, microscopic landscape seemingly made of skin and bone. And in this landscape, mysterious and weird beings battle for dominance in the unending cycle of life and death — or something in between.