Hailing from Tokyo, experimental band Boris has touched on just about every subgenre in the last 25 years, with albums ranging from drone metal to shoegaze to J-pop, collaborating with the likes of Merzbow and Sunn O))). Their latest release, Dear, originally planned as a farewell, is an hour long experimental doom metal epic, and a reflection on their legacy.
With theatrical precision, the members of Boris one by one wandered onto the Motorco stage. The trio stood, each looming over their instruments in preparation for the night. Wata with an impersonal calculation stands, surveying her guitar. Takeshi towers over the audience, cloaked, with his double-necked guitar and bass, as drummer Atsuo surveyed the audience with a cooled anger.
As the band began, “Domination of Waiting Noise” immediately overcame the cramped room, leaving audience members blown back as the group was enveloped in fog and radial light. Beginning during the first, powerful chord and never once letting up, Boris played through the entirety of their latest record, Dear, without interruption. Each members has a distinct personality, which came through so strongly in their performances, commanding the crowd. Drummer Atsuo lead the performance, berating both the crowd and his band mates to always give more.
The performance of “The Power” saw band members Wata and Takeshi dueling with increasingly heavy riffs in response to one another, plowing through as the wall of Orange amps pressed the audience back, with intensity that only built from the call of Atsuo.
As the night drew near the conclusion, “Dystopia” began with a chillingly sweet accordion solo by a lonesome Wata, a highlighted sole figure on the darkened stage with smoke surrounding her as she was wrapped in neon lights, the cloaked silhouettes of Atsuo and Takeshi a distant thought. A sharp contrast to the heavy sounds of the night, her modulated accordion developed from flowing chords, into a dreamy metal ballad that lead to the end of the night.
The encore saw Boris concluding the night with “Farewell”, the dreamy intro to their celebrated record Pink, in a fitting conclusion to the night as the band looks back on the 25 year journey they’ve taken.
By Jackson Tucker
Photos by Christian Senf