BORIS MANIA: Band releases new album, “Love and Evol” And Reissues Classics “Akuma No Uta” and “Feedbacker”

As of Oct 4, psych/doom lords, Boris have released their latest album, Love and Evol, along with reissues of two absolute classics in their collection, Akuma No Uta, and Boris At Last: Feedbacker. All three represent essential moments in the career of what is arguably the most prolific heavy rock bands out in the world today. Instead of spreading the love across three posts, scroll down to learn more about (and listen to) each of these fantastic albums.


Akuma No Uta

To fans already aquatinted, this album needs no introduction. Widely regarded as one of Boris’ most iconic, the album as a whole is the most “rock and roll” of any of their releases. Songs like “Ibitsu” and “Furi” feature Boris’ signature low tones played with rapturous speed and unyielding fury. Imagine Chuck Berry-esque rock and roll played with lava and pick axes. Or for more relevant references, imagine the sounds of The Melvins and Motorhead skull-fucking a Marshall amplifier. Elsewhere, songs like “Naki Kyoku” and title track, “Akuma No Uta,” explore the realms of heavy rock psychedelia reminiscent of Zeppelin I. Comparisons and dark humor-inspired analogies aside, for those who struggle to embrace the long-form drone side of Boris’ discography, this album presents to its listener the most straight-forward, in-your-face version of the band, and besides PINK, is the most accessible album in their discography.


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Boris at Last: Feedbacker

An album made up of one song split into 5 parts, Feedbacker finds Boris emerging as absolute MASTERS of long-form psychedelic drone. Opening with a low, warm feedback hum from Wata’s wall of amplifiers, the first track mellows into a hypnotic, psychedelic groove that lulls the listener into a trance that continues to hook the listener in as it is continually referenced throughout the album’s five tracks. From beautiful and melancholic to menacing and intense, Feedbacker takes the listener on a wholistic psychedelic journey that would earn even the most hardened of acid test heroes a badge of honor, mirroring the heights of bliss and sonic intensity achieved on the best and well-established psychedelic album experiences. In the realm of their incredibly varied discography Feedbacker is Boris’ ultimate psychedelic odyssey.


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Love and Evol

A surprise to Boris fans in the wake of what was meant to be their farewell album in 2017’s Dear, Love and Evol represents Boris’ debut on Jack White’s Third Man Records, and as such, is a welcome addition to TMR’s already impressive roster.

While the name is meant to indicate the double nature of the album, thematically Love and Evol finds Boris bridging the divide between their two most notable identities. On one end (Evol): dark, noisy, and intense, and on the other (Love): melodic, entrancing, and disorienting. On Love the band explores the less trodden spaces of space itself. The opener, “Away From You,” is a harmonious bliss of wide-open melody that conjures images of nature-inspired expanses that makes way for the following track’s feedback induced, harmonic disorientation. Both tracks lay groundwork for Love’s most dynamic track, “Evol.” At nearly 20 minutes in length the track finds itself utilizing multiple musical movements that traverses ground between Boris at their most “post-rock”, as well as an effective use of build-up to surging, explosive, and pop sensible heights.


In contrast, Evol‘s opener takes the expansive sense of space and shrinks it to the size of a dingy basement underneath the rumbling of ancient turbines in the form of feedback squeals, spacious drum hits, and a wall of amplifier hum throughout. Menacing and intense, the doom and squalor perfectly set the stage for the album’s maximum height (as well as the pre-released Single) in “Love.” Just in terms of recording quality by itself, this song may represent the best capture of Boris’ signature drone sound yet. Low and loud and without sacrificing even a hint of ragged distorted tones, the song almost perfectly matches the pummel of their live assault. Despite its name, this song is a horrific descent into madness, though one that is impossible to turn off once it begins. In this way, it is reminiscent of the hypnotic quality of a David Lynch film: violent intensity paired with a hypnosis that refuses to break its hold on the observer. A complement to Love’s, “Evol,” both songs represent the best takeaways the album has to offer.

Love and Evol is an overall excellent addition to Boris’ discography, albeit one that leaves the listener in a state of wanting. By the time the album rears its close, some listeners, myself among them, may come away with a feeling of a journey cut short. With the incredible variety that a band like Boris has to offer, a few more tracks to further flesh out the album’s contrasting thematic content could have added more layers to an experience that is intentionally multifaceted. That being said, that’s hardly a complaint. On the contrary, a sentiment of, “It was good, I just wanted MORE of it,” asserts simultaneously a validation of excellence as well as a selfish request for a second encore from an album that, in the wake of the band’s previously acknowledged “farewell”(2017’s Dear), is exactly that.

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Orlando-based singer/guitarist, writer, and teacher. Eternal lover of all things music and noise. I play and sing in The Grizzly Atoms, and write for the blog here from time to time.

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