Boris – Dear Review

Here is the real problem: you can use words to describe Boris’ music, but you are wrong when you do so. I can use phrases like “mixing the textured guitar work of Justin Broadrick meets Sunn 0))) with the tempo of Saint Vitus meets SubRosa with the vocal stylings of Dinosaur Jr. meets Gray Matter with the overall aesthetic of The Melvins meets the heat death of the universe with…” and you will know as much about Dear as you would if you were told nothing other than “it’s fucking slow and it’s fucking heavy.”

Release date: July 14, 2017.
Label: Sargent House Records.
More than that, even if I give you an example song from Dear to listen to and you do listen to it you will still not really understand what the album is “like.” To those of us raised on certain metal principles, Boris just doesn’t make a lot of sense. So you have to listen to the whole thing to get it – and I mean really listen. You will probably not enjoy a casual listen while you are cleaning the hedges or whatever real people do. You need to get a good set of headphones, an hour of free time, and not do anything but take this monster in.

If you are not prepared to do this, don’t bother. I mean, buy the record and keep these artists in business, but don’t fool yourself: you are not going to listen to this very often, if ever.

But if you ARE prepared to do this, you will be rewarded. Grandly. Heavily. Gorgeously.

So I am going to try to describe what happens here. I won’t get it right, but I hope to at least pique your interest.

This record is geological time. It is the earth rotating and splitting and gushing and moving in its own tempos. It is not a perfect thing; it is a vastly imperfect thing and it demands your love for being bold enough to dismiss what you feel. It is a guitar sound that feels like a forever-long volcanic eruption slowed to create continents. It grinds and churns and scratches your limbic system and reminds you that you are nothing compared to everything else. You are not even small.

It has drums that crash like boulders shattering as mountains are torn to pieces over eons. You may not know when they come crashing until they have pulverized the earth beneath your feet.

This record is also the sweetness of life creeping, eating, fucking its way across the openness, bringing color and brief moments of clarity and vibrancy before being consumed by the tectonic inevitability of time. It is vocals that fill the crevices of the cracking stones and the expanses of the deep dust. It is color without ostentation; with biological purpose and cleansing simplicity.

This is the sound humanity might make as the sun expands and consumes dear, dying Terra; the last voices before engulfing fire.

If that doesn’t help you, and I can’t imagine it did, the only other way I can say it is it is deeply doomy, very slow metal with lovely clean vocals. Maybe I haven’t heard enough metal, but I can’t categorize it more simply than that.

And again I stress: that simple nonsense tells you next to nothing about this record. Nothing tells you enough about it. But it is a treasure. Boris is a quarter century old now, and they know what they are doing. They are the only ones, but they know. If I were you I would take the time and effort to slow my movements and clear my mind, then close my eyes and experience Dear.  Allow it to draw you away from the pathetic seconds you count and draw you out, garrote-thin, across the expanse of their music.

But I am not you.

Posted by Chris Sessions

I write for Last Rites, but in my mind it is spelled Lassed Writes because I am a dreamer.

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