BORIS (1994–PRESENT). Wata (guitar), Takeshi (bass), Atsuko (drums/vocals).
Boris are a Japanese metal/punk/garage/noise band that have experimented wildly with styles and genres across their many albums. The band has also collaborated with drone metal band Sunn O))). Boris was formed in 1994 and immediately looked as though they were a walking identity crisis, never quite sure what style or genre they wanted to embrace from album to album, or sometimes within the same album. Their collaboration with drone metal pioneers Sunn O))) led to the album Altar, which managed to combine the best of both groups, Boris’ experimentation with the long drawn-out chords of Sunn O))) to create a new hybrid sound that mixes the drone and doom metal of Sunn O))) with the dynamics of Boris.
The mixture of the two bands is particularly effective in tracks such as “N.L.T.,” in which Atsuko plays bowed cymbal and gong along with guest star Bill Herzog on bass, or “Etna” and “Bloodswamp” in which both bands play together on all tracks. This breaks new ground in avant garde metal in which there is no real resemblance to traditional metal song structure, but more of a resemblance of the experiments of Tony Conrad and Steve Recih, along with some of Sunn O)))’s best. The latest record, the live collaboration with Japanese noise king Merzbow is a glorious reinvention of older Boris songs such as “Pink.”
Discography: Absolutego [Special Low Frequency Version] (Southern Lord, 2001); Amplifier Worship (Man’s Ruin, 2001); Megatone (Vivid Sound, 2002); Akuma No Uta (Southern Lord, 2005); Mabuta No Ura (3D, 2005); Boris at Last-Feedbacker (Conspiracy, 2005); Sun Baked Snow Cave (Hydra Head, 2005); Flood (Sony International, 2005); Archive Volume One: Live 96–98 (Archive, 2005); Archive Volume Two: Drumless Shows [Live] (Archive, 2005); Pink (Southern Lord, 2006); Vein (Important, 2006); Final (3D, 2006); Dronevil: Final (Inoxia, 2006); Rainbow (Drag City, 2007); Rock Dream [Live] (Southern Lord, 2007); Archive Volume Three: 2 Long Songs [Live] (Archive, 2007) Boris with Merzbow Rock Dream (Southern Lord, 2008).