Review: Boris ‘Fade’

THREE new Boris records in 2022? Man, I am a blessed human to have this much of my favourite band in a single year. fade is a final statement for 2022, that saw the band’s 30th anniversary as well as two remarkably different records in W and Heavy Rocks 2022 and them coming back to live performances post-pandemic. It is out now through their Bandcamp.

Boris 'Fade'

fade is resolutely a drone doom album, drawing from their lower case iteration (boris) and their illustrious history in this genre. Absolutego, Flood, Feedbacker; statements and icons in this minimalist take on doom. The fifteen minute 序章 三叉路 (prologue sansaro) undulates upon a thrumming fuzz, a hypnotic drone of distorted guitar riffs etched with that traditional boris echo of emotion. Single, haunting notes of melody stretch off to infinity, forming layers of sound in this soundtrack to loneliness. It’s the most intoxicating thing about boris, they can make even the most simple, minimalist tones enthralling.

A suggestion of heaviness strikes before the end, when drums appear, and the riff turns dark. 第一章 月光の入り江 (howling moon, melting sun) is more riff-y but those massive slabs of fuzz resonate deeply and slowly become this hazy mantra of meditative solitude, drifting ever so slightly into darker territories. The discography of boris is so large, original and eclectic that invariably the best comparison for their work is themselves.

fade gives us both that warming nostalgic drone doom and a sight of what boris are still capable of producing…

第二章 満ち草 (nanji, sashidasareta te wo tsukamu bekarazu) moves with the grace of The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked, while the ominous rumbling of 第三章 (汝、差し出された手を掴むべからず) could’ve been slipped straight from the masterful riffs of Akuma No Uta. The band’s comfort level with sounds itself is at such a symbiotic state at this point in their career that they can take anything and give it a uniquely affecting twist. 第四章 マリンスノー (marine snow) gives me a lot of Altar vibes, and it is obvious that their collab with Sunn0)))) from 2006 has influenced fade at lot.

As closer ‘終章 a bao a qu 無限回廊‘ comes to its tectonic, ethereal and joy inducing close, fade becomes the perfect end of year record. Evocative of a time to reflect and submerge into the memories of a year. Described in the promotional material as ‘… not bound by concepts of rock and music in general but could rather be said to be a documentary of the world plunged into the chaotic age of boris moving forward’, boris are, like the rest of us, attempting to move into a post-pandemic age where everything is uncertain, unforeseeable and mostly unpleasant. But fade gives us both that warming nostalgic drone doom and a sight of what boris are still capable of producing going forward. This is gorgeous.

Label: Independent
Band Links: Official | Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: Sandy Williamson