Akuma No Uta
Akuma No Uta
|| "Naki Kyoku"
|| "Akuma No Uta"
The name is a-buzz, from crazed fans, record goofs, to curiosity-seekers
alike, and deservedly so. It's time, if not past-due time, in
which we pay close recognition to this cultishly admired Japanese
power rock/experimental trio, who have been making sublime noise
for over a decade. Taking their name from a song off the Bullhead
record from grunge/sludge godfathers the Melvins, Boris have been
originating hyper-detailed, well-formed conceptual opuses which
are all ambitiously experimental, sonically radical, yet simultaneously
strangely touted and orthodox in their own respective styles.
Boris masterfully embody and assimilate their predilection with
heavily low-toned guitars/rumbling bassisms and playful mélanges
of crushingly slow tempos and whirling speed-freak stylings, with
diverse constituents of psychedelia, doom-drone, avant jazz and
noise, minimalistic composing, unadulterated sludge, and death
Aesthetically, Boris host a discreet imagery conjuring psych/stoner
rock phenom and analogue thought--they reign singular in their
sonic output and delve quietly in their own prosaic niche. That's
not to say they don't have anything in common with their
name-borrowed heroes, but drawn parallels are mere constructs
for those seeking semblances--though, they are respected and revered
along with luminous contemporaries Keiji Hano, Masonna, Naked
City, Corrupted, and Sunn O))). OK, so they may also have
kinship with their American bros, Earth.
Akuma No Uta is just one of many releases in the Boris
discography, and the most recent. Many of their titles have been
resurrected from import-obscurity, thanks to one of my favorite
labels around, Southern Lord. (One of these opuses recently rescued
by the label happens to be the doom-drenched, trance-oscillating
wreckage, Absolutego--originally recorded in 1996, it's
perhaps the quiet polymath and intellectually penetrating of them
all.) Akuma is the most song-y Boris effort to date, and
an excellent starting point for those looking to explore their
wondrous sonic dementia. Featuring four regular song-length pieces
boasting a '70s rock styling--an endearing play on Motorhead immediately
came to mind, only further proving Boris' elasticity in songwriting--sandwiched
between two atmospheric, emotive soundscapes. This album is slightly
akin to the still import-only Heavy Rocks, an earlier Boris
Akuma No Uta is available for the first time outside of
Japan, featuring all the incomparable beauty of their previous
efforts, and then some, in a 39-minute jammed-out epic. Yes, the
cover is a clever quip of Nick Drake's Bryter Layter album.
Packaged in a gorgeous digi-pak designed by Sunn's Stephen O'Malley.