Heavy Rocks: A Guide to the Music of Boris

A guide to the music of the Japanese band Boris by Syd Fablo and Bruno Bickleby.


Boris [ボリス]

Formed: 1992, Tokyo, Japan

AKA: FangsAnalSatan or Fangs Anal Satan or fangsanalsatan (FAS)

Members: Takeshi [大谷剛 (Ohtani Takeshi)], Wata [水野陽子 Mizuno Yoko], Atsuo [水野敦夫 (Mizuno Atsuo)], Nagata (1992–1996)



A Brief Introduction

Boris was formed in 1992 as a quartet by students at Tokyo University in order to have a band with original member Nagata, who left in 1996.  Although most if not all of their music falls under the category of “rock”, they have performed and recorded music in an unusual number of distinct genres and have devised their own unique sounds that cross genre boundaries.  The tune down three full steps.  In an interview, attempting to encapsulate the band’s approach and talents, Atsuo said, “What we have is based on ‘concept’, ‘texture’, and ‘world view’, and what we are good at is conveying that through musical expression.” Over time, band members have taken up different roles, with Takeshi picking up bass and Wata becoming a vocalist.

As to their recordings, many have been limited edition releases and they can be quite difficult to obtain in many parts of the world.  The band has a proclivity toward alternate versions of releases, as well as re-using the same titles (and even the same or similar cover artwork), that makes their catalog rather esoteric and skewed toward obsessive collectors.  On recordings, they usually capitalize the band’s name for material with more widespread appeal that comes from the “heart of rock” and use lowercase lettering for “experimental rock music that comes from inside and emanates outward” with more limited appeal — the capitalization is meant as a kind of guide for listeners.  “FangsAnalSatan” is an alternate name for the band, to avoid having the name “Boris” appear too frequently, somewhat like the way some Rolling Stones recordings use a “Nanker Phelge” credit.  Although early artworks were more collaborative, eventually Atsuo came to design most of the band’s artwork, which frequently pays homage to releases by other bands through spoofs of notable album artwork.

Releases are presented below in chronological order by recording date (like a sessionography), though precise recording date information was not always available.  Ratings and release information (dates, producer, etc.) on split and various artists compilations is provided only for the Boris recording(s).  Genres are listed, though these are naturally a judgment call and not meant to be definitive.  Boris operates across many genres, and on any given recording they may also blur the lines between genres.



Legend:

♥♥♥ = top-tier; an essential 

♥♥ = second tier; enjoyable but more for the confirmed fan; worthwhile after you’ve explored the essentials and still want more or if you have a particular interest in the featured genre(s)

♥ = third tier; a less significant album, more for completists, with perhaps only one or so notable songs



The Early Years: 1992-1999


1st Demo

1st Demo (1993)

Alternate Version Notes: selected tracks reissued on Archive II and Volume Zero “Early Demo”

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Take Care of Scabbard Fish

Various Artists – Take Care of Scabbard Fish (1994)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Water Porch”

Review:


2nd Demo (1993)

Alternate Version Notes: at least selected tracks reissued on Archive II and Volume Zero “Early Demo”

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


3rd Demo (1994)

Alternate Version Notes: alternately titled Fangs Anal Satan Vol II — 4/2 Live!!, which included an image on the cassette in tribute to Flipper‘s logo; reissued on Archive II and Volume Zero “Early Demo”; two tracks reissues as bonus tracks on CD version of Barebones/Boris split

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Eat the Chaos
Various Artists – Eat the Chaos (1995)

Alternate Version Notes: Studio version of the song recorded live on 3rd Demo

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Mosquito”

Review:


From Koenji to Eternity

Various Artists – From Koenji to Eternity (1996)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Vacuum”

Review:


Absolutego (1996)

Alternate Version Notes: Expanded and remastered version released with different CD and vinyl artwork as Absolutego+ (Special Low Frequency Version) and Absolutego+ (b/w Dronevil2); the remastering gave the recording more low end and a different sound than the original; Absolutego+ (Special Low Frequency Version) initially came in an orange jewel case which was later switched to a clear jewel case, and Absolutego+ (b/w Dronevil2) also came in a red vinyl version

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded:  July 1996; reissue bonus track: 1997, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Drone doom

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s):

Review: Absolutego has to rank as one of the most audacious debut long-players in the annals of rock. (It has been claimed that the group considers it a “single,” which is how it is described on the sticker affixed to the front cover of the 2020 Third Man Records vinyl reissue. But given its subsequent 2LP length, “album” is the more appropriate descriptor.) Drawing equally from American predecessors the Melvins (whose song “Boris” served as inspiration for the group’s name) and Earth, Boris here manages to carve out their own distinctive niche within the “heavy rock” arts. The bulk of the 60-minute, album-length track consists of a slow, dungeonous, six-note riff, delivered with brute force by bassist [Ohtani] Takeshi. There is something of a bridge around the 25 minute mark that lasts for five minutes only to return to the six-note motif. 40 minutes in, this riff gives way to eardrum-shattering feedback, which takes the up the remaining 20 minutes of the recording. As an opening salvo, Absolutego is nothing short of a dare, the kind of brilliant, confrontational instrumental music guaranteed to separate the dabblers from the aficionados. Note: the last twenty minutes of the track can test even the most enthusiastic noise lover’s patience!!!


Barebones / Boris – Barebones / Boris (1996) [EP]

Alternate Version Notes: CD reissue has different cover artwork and appends two bonus tracks from Boris’ 3rd Demo

Studio/Live:

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Producer(s):

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Review:


See Archive II


"Untitled" / "Mass Mercury"

Tomsk 7 / Boris – “Untitled” / “Mass Mercury” (1997) [Single; split]

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live:

Recorded: April to May, 1997

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Mass Mercury”

Review:


A Tribute to Evangelion

Various Artists – A Tribute to Evangelion (1997)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

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Tier:

Key Track(s): “調弦”

Review:


see Scott Slimm Presents: Archive (Vols. 1 and 2)


Black: Implication Flooding

Keiji Haino with Boris – black: implication flooding (1998)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: August 31, 1997, Koenji 20000V, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Live! Amplifier Worship

Live! Amplifier Worship (2021)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: May 24, 1997 and May 16, 1998, Koenji 20000V, Tokyo, Japan; July 26, 1998, Hakata VivleHall, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier: ♥

Key Track(s): “Hama”

Review: If you want Boris at their sludge metal-y-est, then congrats, you have come to the right place!


Amplifier Worship (1998)

Alternate Version Notes: re-released multiple times with alternate cover art, and the tracks are sequenced different on CD and vinyl, but the recordings are identical; “Huge” included on Let There Be Doom

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: August–September 1998, Sound Crew

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal, Drone doom

Tier: ♥

Key Track(s): “Huge”

Review:


Choukoku no Niwa / Boris – More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape (1999) [Split; solo EP]

Alternate Version Notes: reissued in 2006 with different artwork but identical recordings; reissued again in 2021 as a stand-alone Boris-only solo EP with live bonus tracks entitled Kanau Re-master + Live

Studio/Live: Studio (and Live [Re-master + Live reissue only])

Recorded: “Kanau”: Part 2 recorded May 2 and 3, 1999, Sound Crew; Part 1 recorded May 16 and 23, 1999, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan; [Boris studio recordings only]; December 27, 1998, Koenji 20000V, Tokyo, Japan [reissue Boris live bonus tracks]

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Minimalism, Drone doom

Tier: ♥

Key Track(s): “Kanau, Part 1 (Live)” [reissue bonus track]

Review:  A transitional effort.  “Part 2” is an extension of the band’s early recordings, featuring a repetitive and oh-so-slightly motorik style of sludgey drone doom metal.  “Part 1” is an almost ambient minimalist drone piece.  It is that opener that suggests other interests the band would pursue in the coming years.  But it is just an early effort and is somewhat rudimentary in comparison to what came later.  The live “Part 1” bonus track on the reissue is arguably more interesting than the studio counterpart, adding synthesizer in a way that hints toward later Merzbow collaborations.  While the Boris tracks here are decent, when looking back in hindsight, listeners may want to pass over this in favor of later recordings and only return to this if interested in the roots of the more fully developed later recordings.



International Recognition: 2000-2008


flood

flood (2000)

Alternate Version Notes: Some copies mastered as a single track, others divided into four tracks

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: September 2000, Bazooka Studio, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Post rock, Minimalism

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “flood, Part 2”

Review:


Up Jumped the Devil: Tribute to Robert Johnson

Up Jumped the Devil: Tribute to Robert Johnson (2000)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Me and the Devil Blues”

Review:


Scott Slimm Presents: Archive (2005)

Alternate Version Notes: released as a 3-disc set and as individual discs: Archive: Boris Volume One “Live 96-98,” Archive: Boris Volume Two “Drumless Shows,” and Archive: Boris Volume Three”2 Long Songs”.  The three-disc set was re-issued with new artwork and in remastered form as Archive I, and the individual remastered discs were also re-issued with new artwork in 2020.

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: June 21, December 21, 1996, August 8, 1997, August 2, 1998, and May 3, 2001, Koenji 20000V, Tokyo, Japan; August 9, 1997, Nagoya Music Farm, Nagoya, Japan; October 4, 1997, Shinjyuku Loft, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Scott Slimm

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Heavy Rocks

Heavy Rocks (2002)

Alternate Version Notes: This album has an orange cover and is sometimes identified as “Heavy Rocks (2002)” to distinguish the 2011 album of the same name with a nearly identical purple cover that contains entirely different music.

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: July to September, 2001, Bazooka Studio, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “1970,” “Death Valley,” “Korosu”

Review:


1970 / ワレルライド

“1970” / “ワレルライド” (2002) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: These are alternate takes of songs that appeared on Heavy Rocks (2002)

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: July to September, 2001, Bazooka Studio, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Mangrove2002

Various Artists – Mangrove2002 (2002)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: June to September, 2001, Bazooka Studio, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Dronevil”

Review:


megatone

boris with merzbowmegatone (2002)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2000 to 2001, Bedroom, Itabashi; 2001, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris with Merzbow

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Walrus / Groon

Boris with MerzbowWalrus / Groon (2007) [EP]

Alternate Version Notes: Issued on various differently colored vinyl; the album cover pays tribute to Yes‘ album Close to the Edge

Studio/Live: Studio [?]

Recorded: 2001

Producer(s): Boris with Merzbow

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


04092001

Boris with Merzbow04092001 (2005)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: September 4, 2001, Milk, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris with Merzbow

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Documentary of "Akuma no Uta"

Documentary of “Akuma no Uta” (2021)

Alternate Version Notes: This is an archival release of basically a demo rehearsal and rough/rush mixes of recordings for the album Akuma no Uta that the band described as a “member reference of the recording process.”

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: January to March, 2003, Peace Music, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


あくまのうた [Akuma no Uta] (2003)

Alternate Version Notes: Re-released in 2005 with new artwork and expanded and modified contents.  The most common reissue had a cover (or picture disc) that paid tribute to Nick Drake‘s Bryter Layter, and was expanded by seven minutes to have the same total runtime as the Drake album.  300 copies of an alternate artwork vinyl picture disc paid tribute to Venom‘s Welcome To Hell.  On reissues, an alternate version of the opening “Introduction” is used.  “Ibitsu” was also released on the split single The Dudley Corporation / Boris.

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: January to March, 2003, Peace Music, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier: ♥♥♥

Key Track(s): “Ibitsu,” “フリー [Furi],” “無き曲 [Naki Kyoku],” “あくまのうた [Akuma No Uta]”

Review:


boris at last -feedbacker- (2003)

Alternate Version Notes: There is different artwork between CD and vinyl versions.  Also, some CDs are mastered as a single track, others divided into five tracks.  An edit of the song appears on the soundtrack The Limits of Control There is a DVD (and subsequent digital album) Bootleg – Feedbacker- that is actually an official release of a live performance of the album

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: July to October, 2003, Peace Music, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Drone, Noise, Drone doom, Post rock

Tier: ♥♥♥

Key Track(s): [entire album is essentially a single song/piece]

Review:


目をそらした瞬間 -the thing which solomon overlooked-

目をそらした瞬間 -the thing which solomon overlooked- (2004)

Alternate Version Notes: Included in the remastered compilation 目をそらした瞬間 -the thing which solomon overlooked- chronicle

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2004, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


dronevil (2005)

Alternate Version Notes: CD reissue has different artwork, is remastered, and adds two additional tracks

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2004, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Drone, Post rock

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “泣きたがるスピード the evilone which sobs” [dronevil -final- only], “ふりおろす evil wave form”

Review:


マブタノウラ sound track from film “mabuta no ura” (2005)

Alternate Version Notes: Inoxia released a vinyl version and Catune released a CD version with different artwork but identical recorded content; Essence released a CD version in Brazil with different and expanded recorded content and also a limited box-set edition that added art prints, flyers, and dried flowers.  The single “a bao a qu” is an extended version of the song from the album.  This is a “fake” soundtrack; there is no film that the music accompanies

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Winter 2003 to Summer 2004

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Post rock, Minimalism, Noise

Tier:

Key Track(s): “a bao a qu,” “yesterday morning”

Review:


A Bao a qu
“a bao a qu” (2005) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: extended version of the song on sound track from film “mabuta no ura”; completely different from the song on 目をそらした瞬間 -the thing which solomon overlooked-

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2003 and/or 2004

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Sun Baked Snow Cave

Boris with MerzbowSun Baked Snow Cave (2005)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2001–2004

Producer(s): Boris with Merzbow

Genre(s):

Tier: ♥

Key Track(s):

Review:


bootleg -feedbacker- remaster

bootleg -feedback- remaster (2021)

Alternate Version Notes: Remastered digital album of prior DVD video release

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: Oct. 16, 2004, VICE Magazine 10th Anniversary Party, Skylight, New York, NY, USA

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Klatter

Boris with MerzbowKlatter (2011) [EP]

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: December, 2004, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Vein (2006)

Alternate Version Notes: Initially released simultaneously as two more or less entirely different albums with the same title and artwork, these are referred to as the “Hardcore Version” and “Drone Version”; in 2013 a 2CD version was released (on 3 inch mini CDs; later reissued in digital/streaming formats) that intermingled material from both prior Vein albums in edited format, rather than reissuing each prior version on a separate disc as the packaging implies

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2004; 2004-2013 (2CD reissue)

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Pink (2005)

Alternate Version Notes: Diwphalanx CD and vinyl versions have different artwork but identical contents; the Southern Lord CD has an expanded runtime with the same track sequencing; the Southern Lord vinyl has the same runtime as the Southern Lord CD but with a different track sequencing; the Sargent House/Daymare Deluxe Editions (CD/vinyl) follow the respective Southern Lord CD/vinyl editions and add a bonus disc (“Forbidden Songs”) of previously unreleased outtakes

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2005, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “ぬるい炎 [Afterburner],” “スクリーンの女 [Woman on the Screen],” “PINK”

Review:


Sunn O))) & Boris – Altar (2006)

Alternate Version Notes: Released as a single disc and as a 2CD or 3LP version with “Altar Prelude” bonus disc; Japanese CD versions include the bonus track “The Sinking Belle (Black Sheep)” and Japanese 3LP versions include the bonus track “The Sinking Belle (White Sheep)”; Southern Lord 3LP editions came in differently colored vinyl or a picture disc; dedicated website (archived)

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: October 2005, [Studio] Litho; December 2005, Aleph [Studio]

Producer(s): Sunn O)))

Genre(s): Drone doom, Post rock

Tier: ♥

Key Track(s): “Her Lips Were Wet With Venom (satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas)” [Southern Lord 2CD version only]

Review:


We Got Actions Too

 Various Artists ‎– We Got Actions Too (2006)

Alternate Version Notes: Japanese CD versions of Altar included “The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)” as a bonus track

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): Sunn O))) & Boris – “The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)”

Review:


目をそらした瞬間 2 -the thing which solomon overlooked 2-

目をそらした瞬間 2 -the thing which solomon overlooked 2- (2006)

Alternate Version Notes: Copies pressed in orange and green clear vinyl; included in the remastered compilation 目をそらした瞬間 -the thing which solomon overlooked- chronicle

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2006

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


目をそらした瞬間 3 -the thing which solomon overlooked 3-

目をそらした瞬間 3 -the thing which solomon overlooked 3- (2006)

Alternate Version Notes: Copies pressed in orange and light blue clear vinyl; included in the remastered compilation 目をそらした瞬間 -the thing which solomon overlooked- chronicle

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2006

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Archive II

Archive II (2014)

Alternate Version Notes: Includes reissued songs from the first three demos, plus previously unreleased live recordings; the contents of this collection were later released separately on Volume Zero “Early Demo”, Volume Four “Evil Stack Live”, and Volume Five “Pink Days”

Studio/Live: Live (and Studio for demos?)

Recorded: 1993-1994; March 1 and 2, 1996, Capitol Theater, Olympia, WA, USA; May 15, 2003, radio station, Tokyo, Japan; May 31, 2006, The Annex, New York, NY, USA

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Boris with Michio KuriharaRainbow (2006)

Alternate Version Notes: Drag City reissue has alternate artwork and replaces “…And, I Want” with “No Sleep Till I Become Hollow”; Inoxia single LP edition follows original Pedal version; Inoxia 2LP box set features the Pedal version of the album on clear vinyl, a bonus disc containing two bonus ambient tracks on clear vinyl, a DVD featuring the music video for “Rainbow,” and a 50-page photo book; there is also a promo-only Drag City version with still further alternate (stock) artwork; “Fuzzy Reactor” also appears on the soundtrack The Limits of Control.

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: January to July 2006, Peace Music, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): fangsanalsatan & Souichirou Nakamura

Genre(s):

Tier: ♥

Key Track(s): “Rainbow [Arco-Íris],” “You Laughed Like a Water Mark [Você Sorriu Como Uma Marca D’Água]”

Review:


Cloud Chamber

Boris with Michio KuriharaCloud Chamber (2008)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2006, Peace Music, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Souichirou Nakamura and fangsanalsatan

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Long Hair and Tights

Doomriders vs Boris – Long Hair and Tights (2007) [split]

Alternate Version Notes: Issued on red and yellow clear vinyl; initial 300 copies came with a stencil

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: October 19 or 31, 2006, Slim’s, San Francisco, CA, USA

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Damaged

Boris vs SBGMDamaged (2007) [EP + DVD; split]

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Studio (vinyl), live (DVD)

Recorded: September 11, 2006, Northsix, New York, NY, USA; 2007

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Hardcore punk

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Damaged 3”

Review:


Boris with MerzbowRock Dream (2007)

Alternate Version Notes: Southern Lord versions feature different artwork and packaging; Southern Lord vinyl version includes bonus track “Dyna-soar”

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: November, 2006, Earthdom Festival, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris, Merzbow

Genre(s): Sludge metal, Noise

Tier: ♥♥♥

Key Track(s): “Rainbow,” “Ibitsu”

Review:


不透明度 -You Laughed Like a Water Mark-

Boris with Michio Kurihara – 不透明度 -You Laughed Like a Water Mark- (2018)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: February 4, 2007, Shimokitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Invocation of Sacred Resonance I

Various Artists – Invocation of Sacred Resonance I (2008)

Alternate Version Notes: The Boris song also appeared on the promo-only digital release Choice Cuts From Releases On Southern Lord 2000 – Present!

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: October 16, 2007, Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Choice Cuts From Releases On Southern Lord 2000 - Present!

Choice Cuts From Releases On Southern Lord 2000 – Present! (2008)

Alternate Version Notes: This was a promotional-only digital download collection featuring two new live tracks and selected tracks compiled from prior albums, and was originally an exclusive with purchases of Smile from an on-line retailer; “You Were Holding An Umbrella (Live)” also appeared on the contemporaneous various artists label sampler Invocation of Sacred Resonance I

Studio/Live: Live (previously unreleased material)

Recorded: October 16, 2007, Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA, USA (previously unreleased material)

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Statement

Statement (2008) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: “Statement” appears on Smile, while the B-side “Floor Shaker” is a Smile outtake that was also released as a free stand-alone digital download from Inoxia Records

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Floor Shaker”

Review:


Smile (2008)

Alternate Version Notes: This album exists in two substantially different versions — You Ishihara mixed the Japanese (Diwphalanx) version of the album while Souichiro Nakamura mixed the US (Southern Lord) version — which are so different that some discographies list them as separate and distinct albums; Southern Lord also released a CD version with a bonus DVD containing music videos and added two bonus tracks to the US vinyl edition

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2007

Producer(s): Boris, You Ishihara

Genre(s): Sludge metal, Psychedelic rock

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “メッセージ [Messeeji]” (Japanese version of “Statement”), “BUZZ-IN” (U.S. version)

Review:


Smile -Live in Prague-

Smile -Live in Prague- (2009)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: May 9, 2008, Palác Akropolis, Prague, Czech Republic

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Hard rock

Tier: ♥♥♥

Key Track(s): “メッセージ -Statement-,” “となりのサターン -My Neighbor Satan-”

Review:  Maybe surprisingly one of the band’s finest live albums.  The Smile world tour was a turning point in the band’s career.  It turned out to be something they chose to never repeat. In some ways they shunned a particular avenue for international recognition.  Still, this set recorded in Europe very early in the Smile tour finds the band comfortable performing these songs but at the same time not yet worn down by the grind of touring.  If anything, there is an added bit of energy here that pushes this recording into the top tier.  While not quite a match for the epic Rock Dream, partly due to the absence of Merzbow, this live album is probably superior to either the U.S. or Japanese studio version of Smile on the whole.


Smile -Live at Wolf Creek-

Smile -Live at Wolf Creek- (2008)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: May, 2008, Wolf Creek, CA, USA

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s):

Review:


Doggy Style: The Dogs Tribute

Various Artists – Doggy Style: The Dogs Tribute (2008)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Slither”

Review:



Re-Invention: 2009-2015


New Album 2009

New Album 2009 (2021)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2009, Peace Music, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Alternative rock, Noise, Pop

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:  According to a press release by the band, “In 2009 following our album ‘Smile’ with a full schedule of touring and appearances at numerous festivals, we began working on ‘New Album 2009’, which was not intended to be released.  This was a period of deep pursuit of an unexplored world of sound, with an engine made from what was processed on the road.  Out of this period came numerous split releases, singles, and transitioned to our 3 albums released in 2011.”  In other words, this is really an archival collection of working demos that saw release only as the band cleared its archives when the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to regular concerts and tours.  These early working drafts of songs that appeared elsewhere in the coming years—sometimes in multiple alternative versions—are generally less compelling that what they would become.  What is significant about these songs, though, is that they show how pivotal the Smile tour was for everything that the band did later.  The band showed no interest in repeating the Smile tour and even seemed hostile to making the sort of albums that support big international tours.  Instead of delivering on settled expectations, the way music promoters encourage, the band sought to defy expectations and branch out into new genres.


Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v1

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v1 (2009) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: Re-released in 2021 on the Japanese Heavy Rock Hits compilation with bonus tracks

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier: ♥♥♥

Key Track(s): “8,” “Hey Everyone”

Review:


Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v2

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v2 (2009) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: Re-released in 2021 on the Japanese Heavy Rock Hits compilation with bonus tracks including a re-mix of “H.M.A. -Heavy Metal Addict-”

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s):  “H.M.A. -Heavy Metal Addict-“

Review:


Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v3

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v3 (2009) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: Re-released in 2021 on the Japanese Heavy Rock Hits compilation with bonus tracks

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Pop, Post rock

Tier:

Key Track(s): “16:47:52…”

Review:


Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v4

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits v4 (2009) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: Re-released in 2021 on the Japanese Heavy Rock Hits compilation

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: September, 2008, Bazooka Studio, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Pop

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “Seasons”

Review:


Torche x Boris – Chapter Ahead Being Fake (2009) [EP; split]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Luna”

Review:


9dw / Boris – Golden Dance Classics (2009) [EP; split]

Alternate Version Notes: Reissued in 2021 with only the Boris material plus two collaborative bonus tracks as Golden Dance Classics +

Studio/Live: Studio (and Live for “あきらめの花 -Akirame Flower-” reissue bonus track)

Recorded: 2009, Peace Music, Tokyo, Japan [Boris material only]; Golden Dance Classics + Bonus Tracks: September 19, 2009, Tokyo, Japan (with Michio Kurihara), December 28, 2015, Daikanyama Unit, Tokyo, Japan (with GOTH-TRAD)

Producer(s): Fangsanalsatan [Boris material only]

Genre(s): Alternative rock

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “Tokyo Wonder Land”

Review:


Tokyo Wonder Land

Tokyo Wonder Land (2021)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: September 21, 2009, Shibuya Club Quattro, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal, Drone doom, Alternative rock

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “トーキョーワンダーランド -Tokyo Wonder Land-,” “feedbacker”

Review: An archival release of a live set from 2009.  This includes a selection of “greatest hits” of sorts from the last few years combined with songs the band was working out as part of the New Album 2009 demos that, in final form, would wind up on releases spanning 2009-2011.  The sound fidelity here is adequate but not great.  The main attraction is to hear the band performing live in a somewhat smaller venue setting mixing up fan favorites with some better new songs that go off in new directions.  So rather than hearing a band tired of performing the same set of old warhorse tunes one more time, there is room here for the musicians to try new things.  On the whole this is a solid live set showcasing the band’s versatility and range that is held back just slightly by the limited fidelity of the recording.


BXI

Boris & Ian AstburyBXI (2010) [EP]

Alternate Version Notes:  Vinyl issued in multiple colors; poster given away with direct orders from the record label

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2010, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan, Bazooka Studio, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): BXI

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Rain”

Review:


Variations (2010)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio, live (DVD)

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


New Album (2011)

Alternate Version Notes: Japanese LP version included different versions of five tracks than CD; US CD had different track sequencing than Japanese CD and substitutes the song “Luna” for “Black Original”

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Shinobu Narita

Genre(s): Alternative rock

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “Flare,” “Spoon”

Review:  An album of alternative rock with a shoegaze/dream-pop sheen that at times hints at pop-punk and electronica.  This is a vaguely mainstream-friendly effort with a sound that portrays a cynical electronic age urban glamor of sorts.  This album might appeal to listeners with no interest whatsoever in Boris’ early work.  The band proves capable of writing and producing music in yet another genre, even if the songwriting is not consistently as catchy as it might be and the vocals just barely hang in there.  Yet the band had added another stylistic tool to their toolbox and would call upon this new style in the coming years.


1985

1985 (2019)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: circa 2011

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Pop, Alternative rock, Hardcore

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Week End Part.01,” “u fu fu”

Review:  Originally a Japanese-only release that later saw a worldwide digital release.  This seems very much like material leftover from efforts for Attention Please and the rest of the 2011 albums.  Many of these songs gravitate toward electronic and funkier rhythms, but with a poppy approachability.  The problem, really, is that some of the songs kind of drag on repetitively, which is perhaps why they ended up here rather than on prior worldwide releases.  That said, the opener “Week End Part.01” is quite decent and “u fu fu” is a fun, poppy hardcore outing.


tears e.p.

tears e.p. (2019) [EP]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Edamitsu, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris, SADESPER RECORD

Genre(s): Pop, Hardcore

Tier:

Key Track(s): “u fu fu,” “Peaches”

Review:  Poppy material that most likely is archival stuff from the 1985 album era.  “u fu fu” is the clear highlight (it previously appeared on 1985).  Though “Peaches” is fun and features a kitschy repetitive incantation in the tradition of stuff like Beans Hambone & El Morrow‘s “Beans,” Alva Rogers“Pizza Party”, and, of course, the The Presidents of the United States of America‘s mid-1990s novelty hit “Peaches.”


Attention Please

Attention Please (2011)

Alternate Version Notes: LP also issued in clear vinyl; “Hope” also released as a single

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Alternative rock, Pop

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “アテンションプリーズ [Attention Please],” “トーキョーワンダーランド [Tokyo Wonder Land]”

Review:


Heavy Rocks (2011)

Alternate Version Notes: The 2LP version features extended versions of the songs “Missing Pieces” and “Czechoslovakia.”

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2009-2011, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal, Alternative rock

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “Missing Pieces,” “GALAXIANS”

Review:


Czechoslovakia / Vrah

Boris / SaadeCzechoslovakia / Vrah (2011) [Single; split]

Alternate Version Notes:

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Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Czechoslovakia”

Review:


Crossing Waltz

Crossing Waltz (2016)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: Possibly August 5, 2011

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


"Hope" Japan Tour 2011

“Hope” Japan Tour 2011 (2021)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: December 16, 2011, Club Upset, Nagoya, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Alternative rock, Sludge metal

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “Window Shopping”

Review: A live album from a date on the tour supporting the batch of alternative rock/pop albums released in 2011.  There are a few sludge metal songs from pre-2009 albums.  But mostly this set is focused on newer songs with more mainstream appeal.  While many of these songs benefited from studio effects and production values in their album versions, these live versions are all pretty decent.  This album reveals how genuinely committed the band was to their new direction.  Arguments might be made as to whether performances on the vaguely similar archival live set Tokyo Wonder Land are better, but these “Hope” Japan Tour 2011 recordings are captured with better sound fidelity.


Asobi Seksu x Boris – Asobi Seksu x Boris (2012) [EP/single; split]

Alternate Version Notes: The digital-only EP contains 6 tracks (3 by Boris), while the 7″ vinyl single was originally a limited edition Record Store Day Black Friday release with just one recording from each band (covering a song by the other band) that has since been released digitally

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Neu Years”

Review:


Boris / Joe VolkBoris / Joe Volk (2012) [Split; solo EP]

Alternate Version Notes: Released as a split LP (though really only of EP length) and also as a digital EP (entitled Cosmos) with just the three Boris tracks that were later remastered with an added live track (COSMOS Re-Master + Live); vinyl LP issues were pressed on differently colored vinyl

Studio/Live: Studio (and Live for COSMOS Re-Master + Live)

Recorded:  unknown [Boris tracks only]; COSMOS Re-Master + Live bonus track: May 9, 2013, Grog Shop, Cleveland OH, USA

Producer(s): Boris [Boris tracks only]

Genre(s): Minimalism, Post rock, Alternative rock

Tier: ♥

Key Track(s): “Cosmos, Part 2”

Review:


Boris performing "flood"

Boris performing “flood” (2013)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: November 3, 2012, “leave them all behind 2012” show, Daikanyama Unit, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): [the entire album is a single track]

Review:


präparat

präparat (2013)

Alternate Version Notes: Originally release exclusively in Japan on vinyl, the album was later released digitally worldwide

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2012, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris, Shinobu Narita

Genre(s): Shoegaze, Drone, Doom Metal

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s): “method of error,” “哀歌 -elegy-,” “december”

Review:  A surprisingly good album that, in hindsight, was something of a trial-run for Noise.  Although short, and perhaps with a bit of filler, there are some strong tracks here and this is an album that is well worth exploring.  It signals the beginning of the latter phase of the band’s re-invention period, when, to some extent, the dust had settled on the batch of 2011 albums and new and different songs were emerging.  Pure pop elements are scaled back, pushed instead into indie shoegaze/dream pop territory.  Yet there is also a noisy, drone-y aesthetic at play and some heavier elements.  Though the album is free of any pure sludge rock/stoner metal cuts.  The group’s initial efforts here to intermingle different styles proves a success, and they continued in that direction for their follow-up full-length album.


Yellow Loveless

Various Artists – Yellow Loveless (2013)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

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Tier:

Key Track(s): “Sometimes”

Review:


Various Artists – Dead End Tribute -Song Of Lunatics- (2013)

Alternate Version Notes: The Boris song “冥合” was re-released as a stand-alone EP as Myogo

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “冥合”

Review:


Noise (2014)

Alternate Version Notes: Deluxe Edition included six bonus live tracks (separately downloadable with physical formats and included with digital version of album); some LP issues came in marbled vinyl; Japanese Tearbridge 2CD version includes bonus disc “Another Noise”

Studio/Live: Studio, Live (Deluxe Edition bonus tracks only)

Recorded: 2013, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan; Deluxe Edition live bonus tracks: June 24, 2011, Madrid, Spain; July 1, 2011, Karlsruhe, Germany; July 7, 2011, Vienna, Austria; October 24, 2011, Montreal, Canada

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Indie pop, Alternative Rock, Metal, Drone, Hardcore

Tier: ♥♥♥

Key Track(s): “Taiyo no Baka”

Review: Following the release of SMILE and the supporting tour, Boris explored more varied recording interests, resulting in albums of pop and alternative rock that bore little if any resemblance to the sorts of genres they previously embraced.  Many of those new genre explorations — along with older, familiar ones — come together on NOISE.  The band had long switched between different genres across different albums, and even to a small degree within certain albums, but this one was unusual in that it there were all sorts of different genres spanning from more mainstream sounds to more obscure ones pulled together in a cohesive way within the space of a single album.  Maybe surprisingly, NOISE is rather successful in that the various genres are all represented through good songwriting, performances, and production.  In a sense, the band found a way to come to terms with their recognized (interpellated) strengths along with their clear desire to demonstrate versatility and avoid being pigeonholed, while at the same time refining and expanding on some of their most recent genre exercises.  So, this album can be seen as the culmination and realization of efforts of the prior five years and also possibly their finest album of the later part of the band’s existence.  It is also free of any sentimentality when it calls upon the band’s proven strengths in noise and metal.  Subsequently the band would make a number of nostalgic, career-summary type albums, which, while often quite good, were somewhat safer bets that did not leave the comfort zone of the drone-y, sludgy, noisy hard rock and metal in which they (by then) had a well-established fan base.  This one took more chances at being something different and new, as a whole, even if that may not be immediately apparent.


目をそらした瞬間 -The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked Extra-

目をそらした瞬間 -The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked Extra- (2014)

Alternate Version Notes: Copies pressed in clear yellow and purple vinyl; included in the compilation 目をそらした瞬間 -the thing which solomon overlooked- chronicle

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2013

Producer(s): boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


"Big Peach" / "Noel Ford"

Boris / Heap“Big Peach” / “Noel Ford” (2014) [Single; split]

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Big Peach”

Review:


Whatever Nevermind

Various Artists – Whatever Nevermind (2015)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Lithium”

Review:


Boris + EndonEROS (2015) [EP]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s): Boris, Endon

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Urban Dance

Urban Dance (2015)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2015

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier: ♥

Key Track(s): “Surrender”

Review: An album of mostly noise rock with one slightly ambient pop-rock song in “Surrender.”  This one, along with its companion albums Warpath and Asia and the Thing Which Solomon Overlooked series, is going to appeal mostly (and perhaps only) to listeners with an interest in noise rock.


Warpath

Warpath (2015)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded: 2015

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Asia

Asia (2015)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded: 2015

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


ニンジャスレイヤー フロムコンピレイション「忍」 [Ninja Slayer Nin]

Various Artists – ニンジャスレイヤー フロムコンピレイシヨン「忍」 [Ninja Slayer Nin] (2015)

Alternate Version Notes: “キルミスター” also released as a single

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “キルミスター -Killmister-,” “Aurashi no Ken”

Review:


ニンジャスレイヤー フロムコンピレイション「殺」 [ Ninja Slayer Satsu]

Various Artists – ニンジャスレイヤー フロムコンピレイシヨン「殺」 [Ninja Slayer Satsu] (2015)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Memento Mori”

Review:


Ninja Slayer Batsu ニンジャスレイヤー フロムコンピレイション「伐」

Various Artists – ニンジャスレイヤー フロムコンピレイション「伐」 [Ninja Slayer Batsu]  (2016)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Hey Everyone”

Review:


Low End Meeting

Boris + Goth TradLow End Meeting (2015) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: The song also appears on Psionics; a single-sided 12″ vinyl version was also released (possibly just a test pressing)

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Mr. Shortkill

Mr. Shortkill (2016) [EP]

Alternate Version Notes: remastered version released digitally

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2015, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal, Drone doom

Tier: ♥♥

Key Track(s):  “キルミスター -Killmister- incl. ‘Many Are Called, but Few Get Up'”

Review: More of a lengthy single than an EP.  The opener is a great hard rocking medley partly made up of a cover of a song by British band Man.  The other tracks are mostly filler.


Requiem for the Abyss

Requiem for the Abyss (2016) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded: 2015

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:



The Later Years: 2016-Present


Boris with Merzbow – 現象 -Gensho- (2016)

Alternate Version Notes: Released initially as an Expanded Edition with two discs of a live show called “Gensho at Fever 11272015”; later issues omit the live show, and have different sequencing between CD and vinyl editions but otherwise the same content; the 4LP version was also pressed in clear vinyl for a “family and friends” edition not offered for sale

Studio/Live: Studio, live (expanded edition only)

Recorded: 2016, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan; Live tracks on Expanded Edition: November 27, 2015, Fever, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Shinobu Narita

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:  According to the record label, “The BORIS songs are completely new, percussion-less reinventions of classic tracks from the band’s storied catalog, while MERZBOW’s songs are entirely new compositions.  The two sets are intended to be played at the same time at varying volumes so that the listener can experience their own ‘gensho/phenomenon’ every time.”  Gensho inaugurates a nostalgic phase in Boris’ recordings.  Though actually these new recordings of old songs ends up being quite effective.  The Boris songs also sound fine played on their own without the Merzbow disc playing simultaneously.


Urban Dance U-DNA

Various Artists – Urban Dance U-DNA (2016)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Day After Day (Urban Dance)”

Review:


Live at Third Man Records

Live at Third Man Records (2017)

Alternate Version Notes: A Japanese release features half pink half blue colored vinyl

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: August 1, 2016, Blue Room, Third Man Records, Nashville, TN, USA

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review: A live set featuring songs from PINK.  There is nothing particularly essential in these (perfectly good) performances but the song selection is strong and the album provides a no-frills window into some of the material that garnered the band their widest international recognition.


Dear (2017)

Alternate Version Notes: Japanese issues (on Daymare) include a bonus disc with three additional songs that were later released as a stand-alone EP entitled DEAR Extra; US 2LP version (on Sargent House) had differently colored vinyl pressings; the songs “Absolutego” and “Memento Mori” were each released as singles

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2017, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris & Shinobu Narita

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “絶対自我 [Absolutego],” “何処へ [Dystopia -Vanishing Point-]”

Review:  Dear is yet another backwards-looking collection of material but with a dark and ominous feeling.  This lengthy album proves mostly forgettable, with only a couple songs of much value.  Boris seemed out of ideas.  The band planned to retire after releasing Dear but those plans changed and they kept on recording and performing live.


UGX: undergroundextra

Various Artists –UGX: undergroundextra (2017)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “雨 -Heavy Rain- (Live Version)”

Review:


eternity

eternity (2018)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: December 28, 2017, Daikanyama Unit, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Absolutego Studio Session 2018

Absolutego Studio Session 2018 (2021)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: April 5, 2018, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Minimalism, Drone doom, Noise

Tier:

Key Track(s): [the entire album is a single track]

Review: A new recording of the band’s debut album.  Less guitar-heavy and with more studio-driven noise and effects than the original version.  This version is actually so different from the original as to seem like its own new work.


Phenomenons Drive

Phenomenons Drive (2018) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes: Also released on colored vinyl and as a picture disc

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Drone doom, Post rock

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Phenomenons Drive”

Review:


unknown flowers

Boris / The Novembersunknown flowers (2018) [EP; split]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: Sound Square, Edamitsu, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Secrets

Secrets (2018)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded: 1992-2018

Producer(s):

Genre(s): [all of them]

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:   A curiosity for only the most dedicated superfans.  Originally distributed to attendees at the band’s final show of its 25th Anniversary World Tour at Shindaita Fever in Tokyo, then subsequently given away as a bonus with purchases from the band’s official Japanese retailer, then much later released worldwide digitally.  This is a “fan club” remix album of sorts.  According to a press release, “This was as a new album from a standpoint of taking excerpts from a huge collection of unreleased compositions that had been brewing over a long period of time through our accumulated activity, newly constructing them via technique and interpretation of ‘now’, thus inviting the listener to the next phase. Fragments of unreleased compositions were excessively weaved together . . . .”  The press release perhaps overstates things.  The album is individual snippets of recordings strung together serially, but not really interwoven much—more like a compilation.  While the fragments have merits on their own, the album as a whole is unessential.  That said, Secrets does provide evidence of Boris’ wide and varied musical landscape and dedicated fans may well be intrigued by the “treasure hunt” aspect of the listening experience.


https://boris.bandcamp.com/album/japanese-heavy-rock-hits-live-25th-anniversary-show

Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Live -25th Anniversary Show- (2021)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: August 2018, “Boris 25th Anniversary Tour 2018”, USA

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal, Drone, Post rock, Minimalism

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review: Features a “greatest hits live” lineup of some of the band’s most beloved songs, culled from performances in the USA on a 25th Anniversary tour.  It bears some resemblance to the epochal Rock Dream but with the addition of songs debuted after that earlier live album.  All said, this is a very solid live album that would make a decent introduction to the band’s work.  Listeners already familiar with Boris will also probably enjoy hearing these live versions, which are pretty consistently good from beginning to end with no filler.


EarthQuaker Devices Presents: Boris | Relaxer | Crypt City | Lisa Bella Donna

Boris / Relaxer / Crypt City / Lisa Bella Donna – EarthQuaker Devices Presents: Boris | Relaxer | Crypt City | Lisa Bella Donna (2019) [EP; split]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Farewell”

Review:


LΦVE & EVΦL (2019)

Alternate Version Notes: N/A

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2019

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Away from You,” “EVOL”

Review:


Silent Running

Various Artists – Silent Running (2020)

Alternate Version Notes: This compilation features a different, drumless version of a song on LΦVE & EVΦL

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “終曲 -Shadow of Skull-“

Review:


"Akuma No Uta" At Elsewhere NYC 10th Sep. 2019

“Akuma No Uta” At Elsewhere NYC 10th Sep. 2019 (2020) [single]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live

Recorded: September 10, 2019, Elsewhere, New York city, NY, USA

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Akuma No Uta”

Review:


リフレイン

Z.O.A x Boris – リフレイン [Refrain] (2020) [EP]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

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2R0I2P0

Boris with Merzbow2R0I2P0 (2020)

Alternate Version Notes: 2-LP editions available in various limited edition colored vinyl patterns; “Away From You” and “Boris / Away From You” singles released off the album

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2019-2020

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Drone, Noise, Alternative rock

Tier:

Key Track(s): “To the Beach,” “Absolutego”

Review:


NO

NO (2020)

Alternate Version Notes: “Loveless” also released as a single; F.O.A.D. LP included a bonus flexi disc with an unreleased version of “Fundamental Error”

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: March 2020, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Hardcore

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Anti-Gone”

Review:


Boris (2020) [single]

Alternate Version Notes: Single-sided 12″ single with non-playable etched image on second side; released in red for a fan club only issue and in purple vinyl; originally intended to be sold exclusively at shows during a North American tour due to start in July 2020 that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: 2020, Peace Music, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Boris”

Review:


No World Tour "In Your Head" 2021

No World Tour “In Your Head” 2021 (2021)

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Live in Studio

Recorded: November 17, 2020, Shindaita Live House Fever, Tokyo, Japan

Producer(s): Boris

Genre(s): Hardcore

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:


Reincarnation Rose (2021) [single]

Alternate Version Notes: Digital single includes only the song “Reincarnation Rose” but the CD and 12″ vinyl versions add the lengthy track “知 = You Will Know (‘Oyasumi’ Full Version)”; 12″ vinyl released in a mutli-color splatter edition and a red limited edition with alternative cover art sold as a package with Wata’s signature “Hizumitas” fuzz pedal (with shared artwork)

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: January 2021, Sound Square, Kitakyūshū, Fukuoka, Japan

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Sludge metal

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Reincarnation Rose”

Review: “Reincarnation Rose” is something of a hybrid of stoner/sludge metal of the Heavy Rocks era with a sheen of laid-back catchiness that draws from mellower recordings from Japanese Heavy Rock Hits, Noise, etc.  The collective vocals are diffuse and pushed somewhat into the background.  The production is polished.  In some form or fashion Boris has been over this territory before though the results have their own character.  In that way “Reincarnation Rose” is typical of Boris’ backward-looking later period.  But this is one of the catchier tunes of that period.  The B-side “知 = You Will Know (‘Oyasumi’ Full Version),” which is exclusive to the CD and 12″ vinyl releases, is reminiscent of “俺を捨てたところ [Just Abandoned Myself]” from PINK.


Noël

Noël (2021) [Single]

Alternate Version Notes:

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s): Alternative rock, Shoegaze

Tier:

Key Track(s):

Review:  The inevitable: a Boris x-mas single. “Pardon?” is a song from New Album reworked by Lauren Auder & Dviance, with newly-recorded vocals.  It came about partly in honor of the 10th anniversary of New Album and the admiration that Boris and Auder have for it despite various criticisms it received.  The second track, “Last Christmas,” is a cover of a hit song by Wham!, done in somewhat of a shoegaze style.


W

W (2022)

Alternate Version Notes: “Drowning By Numbers” and “Beyond Good and Evil” released as singles

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded: June 11, 2020 and later

Producer(s): suGar Yoshinaga

Genre(s): Post rock, Sludge rock, Alternative rock

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Drowning By Numbers”

Review: Intended as a companion album to NO, with the two album titles combined forming the word NOW.  Though W has a completely different sound than its predecessor.  Here, the emphasis is on diffuse, more minimalist and subdued expression.  The sonic textures are perhaps closest to マブタノウラ sound track from film “mabuta no ura”, with some of the 2011-era albums’ poppiness and fascination with electronics too.  Though in terms of overall feel, W might be closest to Dear, which is to say this is rather indistinct in its intentions and rather more backwards than forwards-looking.


Bongzilla x Boris

Bongzilla /Boris – Bongzilla x Boris (2022) [Single; split]

Alternate Version Notes: released in limited edition 7″ formats of green, purple, white, clear, neon green, neon purple, and blue/red

Studio/Live: Studio

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

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Key Track(s): “Down the Road”

Review:


Todo Muere SBXV

Various Artists – Todo Muere SBXV (2022)

Alternate Version Notes:  released as limited edition red vinyl and neon pink/black splatter vinyl, plus digital edition

Studio/Live:

Recorded:

Producer(s):

Genre(s):

Tier:

Key Track(s): “Funnel of Love (SQÜRL)”

Review:


Heavy Rocks (2022)

Heavy Rocks (2022)

Alternate Version Notes:

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Related Releases:

朝生愛 [Ai Aso] / Wata ‎– She’s So Heavy


Remixes:

Frog: Remixed and Revisited

メッセージ / Floor Shaker

Scion A/V Remix: Buzz In

Black Original Remix

Looprider Remix

Secrets [see above]

“Everybody Loves You” on Big Mess Deluxe Box Set Bonus Disc


Best-of Compilations:

Choice Cuts From Releases On Southern Lord 2000 – Present! (promo only)

Variations



Video/Film:

Hama

Live at Shimokitazawa Shelter

Bootleg -Feedbacker-

Wizard’s Convention: Japanese Heavy Rock Showcase

Heavy Metal Me

Live at Amoeba Music

Live in Japan: “Smile” World Tour Final

Boris Boiler Room Tokyo Live Set

Music Videos and Concert Footage on Official Site

Fractalimage


Web:

Official Site

MusicBrainz Entry

Discography

Encyclopedia Entry

Social Media Site @Borisheavyrocks

Social Media Site

Another Social Media Site

Yet Another Social Media Site

Record Label Shop

Authorized Digital Downloads Site

Merch Shop


Other Guides:

A Beginner’s Guide to Boris

Beginner’s Guide: Boris

Boris: Heavy Rocks: The Essential Boris

A Beginner’s Guide to Japanese Heavy Rock Greats Boris

Amplifier Worship: A Spotify Introduction to Boris (and alternate link)

The StonerRock.com Guide to Boris…


Also Try:

MelvinsLysol, Bullhead

EarthEarth 2: Special Low-Frequency Version

Sunn O)))Black One

SleepSleep’s Holy Mountain

Blue CheerVincebus Eruptum

Les Rallizes Dénudés’77 Live

不失者 [Fushitsusha]悲愴 [Pathétique]

Godspeed You Black Emperor!F♯ A♯ ∞

My Bloody ValentineLoveless

Various Artists – Inside the Dream Syndicate Series

The Theatre of Eternal Music, John Cale, Tony Conrad, Rhys Chatham

Jim O’Rourke – Live at Japan 2002.9.16 [bootleg]

BBC Radio 6 “Freak Zone” Playlist by Boris