Special Feature: Gatefold cover.
- Ghost of Romance
- Heavy Rain
- Taiyo No Baka
Contrary to what you may think, this latest album from Japanese doom gone progressive/experimental act Boris is a much different experience than its name implies. Noiseactually differentiates itself quite a bit from the band’s last album Praparat and instead moves further into the territory explored by the band on Smile and New Album. J-rock vocals fill the slightly trippy, fuzzy and heavy atmosphere of “Melody” which will have most people confused and unsure as to what kind of band they’re listening to from the start. In retrospect however, this trippy and slightly heavy vibe produces wonders especially during the guitar solo finale. “Vanilla” mixes calm rhythms with the slight punk sound that comprises most of the j-rock scene, making for a track that simply comes off as a breath of fresh air. Another brilliant guitar solo manages to shine through here, showing that these guys took a little from the rock oriented style of Heavy Rocks, which seemed another great place for them to take inspiration. Noise is definitely an amalgamation of all of their latest works, put into a blender and served with a crazy straw. “Ghost Of Romance” manages to throw the increasingly fuzzy, yet still quite melodic vibe into what could only be described as a traditional j-rock ballad. “Heavy Rain” brings doom influence into what is essentially an extremely heavy chunk of melody, fronted by both the band’s original frontman and an accompanying female vocalist who manage to make a starry duet, as the track serenades throughout the universe. “Taiyo No Baka” (Baka means “idiot” by the way) features very common J-pop musical structures (watch enough anime and play enough J-games and you’ll understand what I mean) that take a little turn into more experimental, yet still very poppy territory. Then “Angel” appears in it’s almost twenty minutes of glory to show what happens when J-rock finds its way into the atmospheres crafted by latter-era Isis. The beautiful noise that accumulates throughout the piece makes me think of some of the more calming landscapes of Yume Nikki. It is meditative, yet slightly turbulent and altogether one of the most brilliant tracks that this band has ever recorded in their lengthy career. “Quicksilver” comes in like a shuriken through an open window, as it narrowly misses your face and pummels in with a force that combines punk at its most fierce (complete with harsh vocals) along with some rather colorful melody lines. What really surprises me though is how the band can throw so many different ideas into a track that basically rolls through the same sets of punk riffs for nearly ten minutes, and still manage to keep it interesting. But there are some unexpected elements of sheer noise towards the end which greatly change the focus of the song completely. The final track here is “Siesta” which closes the disc out on a worthwhile instrumental. If you’re Japanese, you’ll get a second disc with Noise entitled Another Noise, but the titles are in Kanji and I can’t read Japanese. Not yet, anyway. At any rate, the second disc offers approximately another thirty minutes of material not available with the US package, so if you want it then you’ll have to import it.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Boris have unleashed another remarkable album with Noise as the band just keeps getting better and better. The album is literally right up there with some of my personal favorite records from the band, (of which I’ve already named) and by that definition alone, I can highly recommend it. Those of you who are new to Boris should actually start with this record and work your way immediately backwards, looking for any songs that you’ve missed along the way. But in my opinion, if any song can stand toe to toe with “Angel” on this record, it would have to be the amazing track that Adult Swim unleashed on their metal compilation entitled “Luna.” The band did something with blast beats on the track that probably pissed off nearly every black metal fan in the world; yet I found it to be one of the most unique and unparalleled uses for a style of drumming that elsewhere is just a tad bit overused. Please check that one out if you can find it and grab this Asian masterpiece for yourself. It’s a great record to add to your collection and it’s truly anything but noise. - Eric May (NewNoise Magazine.com July 28, 2014)