(Sargent House)

Japan’s Boris is a concoction of musical elements, including: noise, shoegaze, and metal. Now into 25 years of creating music, Dear acts as a thank you letter to the fans who have been by the band’s side since the beginning. The work of Boris taps into a very unique realm of music; while music has the ability to create atmosphere, there is some work that reaches an ethereal level. From the moment it begins, Dear flows, touching upon the listener’s surroundings. From there it gently rests within its audience, creating a sense of wonderment and serenity. This fluid emotion is the main draw too Dear, and its incredible ability to amaze.

“D.O.W.N – Domination of Waiting Noise” is a pure stoner drone track that waves with dark auras. The material flows with deep distortion that rises and descends with bright vocal inflection. The guitar produces a murky effect, playing alongside minimal clashes of the drums, presenting a rich bass to the track. “DEADSONG” begins with a swampy noise crawl, the vocals calling out with ghostly draw. Howling cries through the trickling static, the vocals becoming menacing, layering themselves upon the eerie nature. As the song progresses, the sinister nature turns into metallic clashes and high pitched bubbling tones, creating an air of anxiety. “Absolutego” flips the previous two songs upside down, playing out as a haze-ridden rock jam. The guitar trudges forward with vibrant sludge groove, the drum work pumping away with intensity. The vocals take on more of a singing element to them, adding to the track’s catchiness. Midway through the song, the sound shifts into a deep, dark, distortion of heavy instrumentation. The change is an element of Boris that displays their ability to experiment with sounds and structure, while keeping the whole of the material intact with technical and emotional precision.

The work is as technically impressive as it is emotionally mesmerizing. On the instrumental level, the most common factor to the material is the droning noise element. Other than this however, Boris really forgo so much of structure – not just in the sense of sound (while that is something that takes place), but on the emotional level. “Beyond” starts with a metallic echo, distant and within the shadows. Vocals slowly make their way out from those same shadows, the echo growing louder at the same time. The track then erupts with the drums and a somber guitar distortion. But just like flipping off a light switch, this thunderous element disappears, leading back into that distant echo and beautiful vocal work. In this progression we find that Boris continues to keep the listener guessing in what they hear and what they feel. The track goes from serving as a vacuum for thought, to a loud radiant roar of melancholy. “Memento Mori” is one of the brighter songs on the record, producing more of a lighter element to its aura. The distortion is still there, whirling about the track and leaving spots of darkness throughout the song. Just as that thick wave has come through though, the song lifts off into a flight of majestic shine. One moment the material bleeds with dread, and the next moment it blossoms with a beautiful burst, trickling with somber tinges.

The music of Boris is an art of multiple abilities and intricacies that entrance listener’s through emotion and beautiful instrumentation. With Boris, one can never fully know what to expect. One minute may be seeped in sinister lows with screeching distortion, while the next minute comes forth with bright and wondrous guitar tones and gentle singing. Dear is a work of art that truly captures a sense of radiance, and creates an atmosphere far deeper than just simple mood. Dear is music that transcends, and has the ability to bring one to a sense of mindfulness. In all their 25 years, Boris presents a work that is of superb class and magic.

Purchase the album here.

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