The past few months I’ve gotten together with my pal Decapod Claw and we’ve been playing doom metal – slow droney metal with tons of feedback.
Last monday. after practice, we listened to the Boris/Sunn o))) collaboration “ALTAR” and I confirmed something that I already knew: Boris is God. Every album this doom metal trio put out is different and reaches in such diverse directions (compare Feedbacker and Pink), yet each is incredibly precise in both concept and execution.
I have to say that even with the collaboration of Sunn o))), and lots of other collaborators (including Joe Preston of Thrones fame), this is essentially a Boris Album. I suspect they were the ones who really shaped the songs and their structure. ALTAR is almost like a retrospective of all of the various Boris styles they’ve cultivated. The first track, “Etna” (listen) is bombastic and epic. Takeshi’s explosive drumming acknowledges the droning structure yet is on its own rhythmic plane. “The Sinking Belle” is a heartbreaking track with a repeated piano riff and sullen guitar, anchored by Jesse Sykes’ vocal dripping with regret. It’s a warm-bath suicide song that drags you deeper and deeper down. And a vocoder has never sounded more evil than on the track “Akuma No Kuma”.
Highly recommended. I would love to hear the Japanese version with the 28 minute bonus track, but I’ll have to settle for the gorgeously packaged Southern Lord version (you can also listen to longer excerpts of tracks on the Southern Lord site).