Boris - Noise - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Boris - Noise

by Jim Harris Rating:6 Release Date:2014-06-17

Boris are back with their 19th album Noise and the album is indeed noisy. This Japanese band can hold their own with sludge metal, grunge inspired, loud yet more often than not melodic progressions. The noise generated by the first two songs, ‘Melody’ and ‘Vanilla’ start the album off on the right track, with the former song paying pretty solid homage to 90s industrial music (they open for NIN occasionally) and the latter song jamming along with a sort of pop-metal pace and bouncy rhythm that settles into some pretty heavy jamming at the end.

Boris have been around so they know what they’re doing musically. To me they seem to try a little too hard to attack too many genres on a single album. The third song, ‘Ghost of Romance’ slows it down considerably with a spacey, bluesy number and this abrupt transition doesn’t work so well but they start it back some with a straightforward sludge-metal track called ‘Heavy Rain’. And then I’m just totally lost as a listener when they attempt a straightforward, poppy, commercial song, ‘Taiyo No Baka’, complete with a wah-ah-ah-ah chorus and head-wobbling, tinkly backbeat that sounds like it belongs on some pre-teen Nick at Night soundtrack.

Boris appear to be very proud of being able to play across so many heavy metal genres, but a band that does this on virtually every song comes across almost karaoke (which means ‘empty orchestra’ in Japanese) in execution. In the middle of the album are two extended-play tracks (18-plus and 9-plus minutes), with the first one, ‘Angel’, being 18 minutes of rather disjointed solos and lazy transitions which showcase some rather typical metal forays. ‘Quicksilver’ is the 9-minute track which ventures into nice levels of speed metal with some interesting screamo, black metal elements and would have nicely fit after the first two tracks.

Boris say they do some shoegazing but I wouldn’t throw away your Swervedriver or Ride albums.  The slower, more methodical progressions just don’t work from me.

Noise is an impressive album when it busts it out and turns up the volume on the opening two tracks and on ‘Quicksilver’, but the rest of the album heads in too many musical directions to give an overall sense of cohesion.  

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