First, the Japanese cult favorite sludge/doom metal trio Boris takes its name from a song on grunge godfathers the Melvins' Bullhead album. They also have a lot in common with the Melvins musically, including a fondness for heavily down-tuned guitar/bass tones and exceedingly slow tempos. But they also incorporate elements variously drawn from other sources, including psychedelic rock, punk, noise, minimalism, pure sludge-drone music à la Earth, and more. Also, despite the unpretentious psychedelic/stoner rock imagery that accompanies much of their work, there is an ambitiously experimental aspect to much of it. Their albums, for example, have tended to be massive conceptual projects: Absolutego, in its original form, was a feedback-heavy drone exploration consisting of a single 65-minute track; Flood consists of another extremely long track, 70-plus minutes in length, exploring the band's quieter sides with a minimalist/phase music slant. Also on the more experimental end of their discography are collaborations with Japanese avant-garde enigma Keiji Heino and power electronics/noise legend Merzbow.
Boris formed during the early '90s and consists of guitarist Wata, bassist Takeshi, and drummer/vocalist Atsuo. They made their first recorded appearance on an obscure 1994 compilation entitled Take Care of Scabbard Fish, released only in Japan and now out of print. Absolutego, their full-length debut, came out in 1996 on the band's own Fangs Anal Satan imprint but was unavailable in the U.S. for years, a situation that was remedied by the Los Angeles-based Southern Lord label reissued the album in early 2001 along with a bonus track and new packaging. Their next album, Amplifier Worship; came out on the Mangrove label in 1998 and was also unavailable in the U.S. for several years; San Francisco's Man's Ruin had planned to reissue it in the fall of 2001, but the label folded before that could happen. 1998 also saw the release of the Boris/Keiji Haino collaboration, a live disc entitled Black: Implication Flooding, which came out on Japan's Inoxia Records. In 1999, Boris issued a split CD with fellow Japanese band Choukoko No Niwa, More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape, which also came out on Inoxia and featured Boris weighing in with a brief (for them) 28-minute contribution. Their third full-length album, Flood, was released two years later on the MIDI Creative label.
The band's latest album Pink was met with considerable critical praise, exposing many more to their distinct sound, Their recent vinyl only release, Vein, focused on a sound derived from classic Japanese noise/crust bands such as Gloom, Confuse, and Gai.
Boris has collaborated with fellow Japanese artists Keiji Haino, Michio Kurihara and Merzbow, and a collaboration with the U.S. drone/doom metal band Sunn O))), entitled Altar, was released on October 31, 2006.
10. My Machine