Boris “Dear” Album Review + Video + Stream…

Boris

Dear – Vinyl // CD // DD

Sargent House Records – released July 14, 2017

Reviewed by Santiago “Chags” Gutierrez 

 

It’s been twenty-five years since Boris was formed, taking their name from a Melvins song, they have since released a multifarious catalog of music. From the onset, they have run the gamut of ambient, drone, doom, noise, psych, punk, sludge, and shoegaze along with everything else in between, and no one has been able to pull that off as effortlessly as Boris has. They weave their multi-genre magic seamlessly and to great effect on every release. Takeshi Ohtani, Wata, and Atsuo Mizuno have been together since the formation of the band and the chemistry they have still bonds well to this day.

Opener ‘D.O.W.N. – Domination of Waiting Noise’ sets the pace with a powerful and impactful intro of controlled noise with enchanting vocals. ‘Deadsong’ continues along the same path with an electronic drone number that showcases whispered vocals among haunting screams and howls. ‘Absolutego’ may be considered the most accessible song on the record, as it follows a more traditional song structure. You can find the official video for ‘Absolutego’ on YouTube as well.

‘Beyond’ is a highlight of the record as it takes the listener on a roller-coaster tempo ride while vocally, they hit every mark perfectly. ‘Beyond’ segues into ‘Kagero’ where Boris showcases their noise/experimental/dreampop skills with efficacy. Shoegaze-like vocals are featured on ‘Biotope’ with dreamwave and noise components.

Boris brings the doom with ‘The Power’ and ‘Memento Mori.’ Both tracks would irrefutably fit perfectly on any respectable doom record. ‘The Power’ is an instrumental piece that recalls elements of Electric Wizard and Trouble. The vocal tone on ‘Memento Mori’ is damn near perfect to go along with the funeral doom musical melee going on behind it. Certain elements of the song reminiscent of the gloriously classic Italian doom era.

Pro Band Pic

This brings us to ‘Dystopia Vanishing Point.’ To say this has song of the year potential is an understatement. Clocking in at almost twelve minutes, this one will be hard to beat. The song intro is reminiscent of a great soundtrack record. Chino Moreno-like vocals kick in to go along with the slowed down shoegaze vibe followed by an amazing guitar solo that runs the final five-minute leg of the song. The album bookends nicely with “Dear” which hearkens back to the slowed down drone feedback style we heard on ‘D.O.W.N. Domination of Waiting Noise.’

Boris are still going strong after all these years, continually looking for ways to challenge themselves with experimentation. Dear, like most of their albums, is about motion and magnitude. It is without a doubt a spiritual journey and despite the variety of genres explored, it’s still dexterous in its delivery. Thankfully Boris never seems comfortable staying fixated on one single style or genre. They continue to change and explore the dimensions of sound. I think by now it goes without saying that this will undoubtedly make my end of the year top ten list.


Mutoid Man “War Moans” – Album Review & Stream

Mutoid Man

War Moans – Vinyl // CD // DD

Sargent House – Release Date: June 2, 2017

Reviewed by Aaron “Red Beard” Wall

 

Supergroups usually suck…Mutoid Man does not. Formed in New York, and comprised of Nick Cageao on bass, Stephen Brodsky on guitar/vocals, and Ben Koller on skins.  The latter two members are from a couple of seminal bands of the last twenty years…Cave In and Converge respectively. On the heels of one EP, “Helium Head” and their critically lauded debut LP “Bleeder” released last year, momentum has been rapidly growing. After touring for “Bleeder,” the band returned home to find out they had lost their practice space due to evil gentrification, ultimately landing in the basement of one of, if not the most heralded venue in the heavy scene…St.Vitus Bar…(where bassist Nick works as the sound-man). On the stage of St. Vitus during off hours is where Mutoid Man’s new record ‘War Moans’ was assembled and constructed. Make no mistake, Mutoid Man are one of the most exciting bands in music. Destined for legend status in the underground if not more. Chock full of explosive attitude, bombastic energy, detonating musicianship, with aftershocks of memorable melodies, ‘War Moans’ is something to behold.

“Feel the heat, of the fire at your feet,” is the beginning salvo of opener ‘Melt your Mind.’ The music starts with galloping drums and bass with a killer melodic riff coming in over the top. Brodsky’s voice immediately brings to mind Magnus Pelander of Witchcraft. The song is feverish in its energy and direct in its delivery. Fantastic thrash riffs and punk rhythms fill the middle section to perfection. The chorus of ‘don’t let it melt your mind…’ makes me feel like they’re talking about this record. It is truly mind melting.

 

Live Band Shot

 

‘Bone Chain’ is next, and immediately rips and roars. Beginning with a chuggtastic riff and groove that you cant help but bang your head to. A stellar harmonized guitar section in the bridge goes into a shredder of a solo to end. ‘Micro Aggression’ follows with a punky start and a bluesy chord progression that flows into a sing along chorus with monstrous double bass underneath that crushes. These two songs are quick and flawless. Executed with  a simple virtuosity that grabs you with immediacy.

‘Kiss of Death’ is fucking sick! Sick in every way that’s good. A wildly mathy intro that drops right into the heaviest riff up to this point. Its tongue in cheek lyrics are so well written and performed that the song almost fools you into thinking it’s a pop song…which I suppose it is. If that’s the case, then this is one of the heaviest pop songs ever. The end section is pure brutality. Holy shit I love this song!

‘War Moans’ has begun with banger after banger with absolutely no let up. Next is the jam, ‘Date with the Devil’ This song is a damn masterpiece of sonic intensity as well. Mutoid Man is blowing my skull in every facet. It kicks of with another thrash shredder of a riff with a swing rhythm. Sounds weird, but man does it work. The guitar tones on this song are some of the best I’ve heard in a while. Especially the verse riff. Goddamn! In under three minutes this tune takes you from space to earth and every where in between. I can’t explain the badassness of this song. More tongue in cheek lyrics but with meaning. Very hard combination to bring to fruition and Brodsky pulls it off in spades. Go listen for yourself and get your mind blown. Wow ‘Date with the Devil…just wow.

 

 

From the pure metal riffs and blast-beats on ‘Headrush’ to the Bad Religion style punk of ‘Irons in the Fire’ Mutoid Man are exquisite. I’m running out of adjectives and superlatives for this record.

The title track ‘War Moans’ follows. This song is all Slayer and Megadeth. A pure throwback thrash song but with a fresh feel. I’m completely mesmerized and hypnotized by the songwriting and performances on these songs. Simply stunning. Marty Friedman guest solos on this track.

‘Wreck and Survive’ is another metal manifesto of amazingness. With guest vocals by the awesome Chelsea Wolfe that add an atmosphere of eeriness to this diamond of a song.

‘Afterlife’ is a straightforward slab of weight with a Burnt by the Sun feel.  ‘Open Flame’ rips and roars and who has your hair back from jump to landing.

Album closer ‘Bandages’ is Mutoid Man’s homage to 80’s hair metal balladry.  It sounds a little off when described that way but, its so spectacularly awesome, and a perfect conclusion to ‘War Moans.’

Mutoid Man have utterly and fantastically impressed and intrigued me. No exaggeration needed…’War Moans’ is a complete masterpiece. There is not a single note or melody wasted. No fluff, no filler. Energy and fervor from beginning to end. Expertly crafted individual songs and a complete piece of art as a whole. My early choice for record of the year. Period.  I could sit here and wax poetic all night about how much I truly love ‘War Moans,’ but I’m not going to. I am going to go listen to this record on repeat…and repeat…and repeat…

Band Shot

MUTOID MAN Premiere ‘Kiss Of Death’ Official Video; New Album Details & Upcoming Tour Dates

Mutoid Man have premiered a new track from their upcoming album release, ‘War Moans‘. The revelation comes via a new official video for the song ‘Kiss Of Death‘ filmed at Kurt Ballou’s (Converge) God City Studio. The new album was also recorded their under the producing auspice of Ballou as well. It will be released on June 2nd through Sargent House and features guest spots from Chelsea Wolfe and ex-Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman.

The latest track release follows the previously shared ‘Melt Your Mind‘ from Mutoid Man and is also streaming below. Also included here are the band’s upcoming U.S. tour dates with Helms Alee.

Mutoid Man War Moans

Tracklist:
01 – “Melt Your Mind” (feat. Marty Friedman)
02 – “Bone Chain”
03 – “Micro Aggression”
04 – “Kiss Of Death”
05 – “Date With The Devil”
06 – “Headrush”
07 – “Irons In The Fire” (feat. Adam McGrath of Cave In, etc.)
08 – “War Moans”
09 – “Wreck And Survive” (feat. Chelsea Wolfe & Ben Chisholm)
10 – “Afterlife”
11 – “Open Flame”
12 – “Bandages” (feat. Chelsea Wolfe & Ben Chisholm)

MUTOID MAN – On Tour w/ HELMS ALEE:

June 4 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
June 5 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus
June 6 Brooklyn, NY @ Saint Vitus – SOLD OUT
June 7 Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery
June 8 Detroit, MI @ El Club
June 9 Chicago, IL @ Subterranean
June 10 Indianapolis, IN @ Black Circle Brewing
June 12 Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club
June 13 Austin, TX @ Barracuda
June 14 Houston, TX @ The Studio at Warehouse Live
June 15 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
June 16 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade (Hell)
June 17 Orlando, FL @ The Social
June 19 Raleigh, NC @ King’s
June 20 Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts – Black Box
July 06 Seattle, WA @ Neumos
July 07 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
July 08 San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s
July 10 Los Angeles, CA @ Resident
July 11 Santa Ana, CA @ The Constellation Room
July 12 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
July 13 Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge
July 14 Las Vegas, NV @ Beauty Bar
July 15 Salt Lake City, UT @ Metro Music Hall
July 16 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge

– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker