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Boris | ‘Dear’

It’s right to be suspicious whenever bands talk about how their current release could be “their last ever album.”

9.5 times out of 10, it’s an attempt to increase ticket sales for the forthcoming tour. How many times has Ozzy teased us with this “last ever” bullshit?

Ultimately, it’s a marketing angle to be used alongside “it’s our best work to date.”

But with bands like Boris, it’s easy to believe them when they make such a statement.

Because you imagine them having explored so many genres from drone to crust to dream pop, that they might feel that there’s little else to explore.

So it’s no surprise to read that this album was approached as possibly being the last one they were to record, before finding the sessions rejuvenating. Having lost touch with them around ‘Praparat’, I am pleased to report that ‘Dear’, quite simply, rocks.

So Far, So Heavy

Opener ‘D.O.W.N’ goes for a very Melvinsesque drum fill and crunchy, droning guitar.

Going into doom territory, it begins to blend electronic elements which flow in and out as the song goes on. There’s very little in the way of vocals, but what there is manages to be both passionate and disembodied.

So far, so very Boris: heavy, crushing and pretty.

‘Deadsong’ is a mix of ambient and doom, and it is a genuinely atmospheric listen, with a lovely balance between the airy effect and the guitars. This is worth noting because most doom bands, when attempting this sort of thing, tend to place the riff a little too prominently in the mix.

Although it has the effect of making said riff utterly crushing, it does defeat the purpose of adding ambience. So kudos to Boris for pulling it off with aplomb.

From Beyond

You’ve undoubtedly heard ‘Absolutego’ by now, and it’s easy to see why it was the first song to be premiered.

It’s the most immediate sounding song on here. Not a bad thing, of course, but it’s not one that you’ll be returning to a lot.

The muffled hi-hat work indicates that ‘Beyond’ is going to be the stand out number on ‘Dear’, and hearing the gentle vocals of guitarist Wata lulls the listener into a relaxed frame of mind before the whole band come together with an onslaught that is actually quite pretty in places, owing to melodic guitar lines running throughout it.

‘The Power’ is another highlight.

An instrumental doom/drone piece akin to their work on ‘Amplifier Worship’, it’s a nearly eight minute number which rattles incessantly with power and atmosphere. Highly recommended. This, coupled with the nearly ten minute title track which closes the record, will knock your socks off.

What Boris have done here is cherry picked moments throughout their catalogue, and assemble them together in a way that will be immediately familiar to long time fans without it feeling like a retread. And has led to a very focused, determined record.

It also works as the perfect introduction to listeners who are perhaps unsure where to start with the band, due to their vast discography.

People who were never convinced about the vocals will find a few tracks on the second side that will hit the spot, but the vocals are very much a feature of the first side. They weave in and out of the mix, becoming more of an instrument rather than an attempt for a sing song.

Boris are not dead. Long live Boris.

3.5 /5 ::: Christopher Owens ::: 10/07/17

  1. when it comes to Boris, ‘flood’ is all I need

  2. Brian Murtagh Says:

    Top band, last gig in Whelan a few years ago was amazing

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