Boris
Dronevil Final


4.5
superb

Review

by ValiumMan USER (17 Reviews)
January 5th, 2007 | 50 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Dronevil is not only a metal version of the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka, but something far more transcendental, epic and esoteric and leaves the listener baffled with a feeling of just having made an aural journey. And all that without LSD!

Remember the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka? That one strange album that consisted of 4 CDs you had to play simultaneously? Do you like it? Well, Japanese avant sludge metal power trio Boris sure do. So much that they felt they needed make their own version of it. And what came out is one of their most interesting and successful experiments to date. And considering this is Boris, that really says something.

First off, let me explain a few things for better understanding. The original Dronevil came out in 2005 as a limited 2LP set with each LP containing two side-long tracks. This new 2006 reissue entitled Dronevil Final is a 2CD version of the same thing with an additional track stuffed on each disc. CD1 is called Drone and contains what its title implies. It sounds like an even more minimal version of Sunn O))) and isn't really fun to listen to without its companion CD Evil, which contains the actual music. So unlike the Lips, Boris didn't split up the arrangements, but instead the drones are meant as accompaniment for the music and give it additional depth, which is a far "user-friendlier" approach, even though I can imagine Zaireeka sounding much bigger (never actually listened to it on 4 CDs, sadly). I don't have Dronevil Final (which shall henceforth be called just "Dronevil") as a CD either. I play the Evil part on my computer through my regular speakers and the Drone part via my iPod through my bass amp, since I felt this would be kinda appropriate. But enough of that now, let's just review what's actually on this CD.

The first song, Loose/Red begins quietly, just like the Flood or Feedbacker album. Gentle, if pretty random guitar picking by (female) guitarist Wata and low bass rumbles by bass player/guitarist Takeshi (he actually plays a guitar/bass doubleneck combo) on the Evil CD, while the Drone CD offers peaceful washes of cymbals (possibly a gong?). The track takes time to build and, just like the aforementioned Flood and Feedbacker, requires patience, but the 2CD thing grants it a much more epic slant, which makes that access easier, just the same way that people respect you more if you wear fancy clothes. Or am I just being superficial? Anyway, the random picking is soon (if you call 14 minutes soon) replaced by a beautiful, somewhat gothic guitar riff. The drums come in as well here. The gong washes slooooowly fade out and give way to 6 minutes of quiet, repetitive, dark-ish jammin'.

The combined 2nd track, Giddiness Throne/Evil Wave Form (and I though only intervals were evil, now wave forms are too? Hell, what's not evil these days?) brings some Boris-style heaviness into the mix. Starting out where Loose/Red left off, it gradually builds into some serious feedback-laden heavy ***in' METAL riffage courtesy of Wata. That's usually the point where Takeshi's whiny, mellow vocal delivery should come in, again judging by Feedbacker and Flood, but surprisingly enough this is The Borises' first all-instrumental album (excluding collabs, etc.). The riffs are after some time quieted out by feedback coming from both CDs and, after another soft interlude, we get some frantic, bluesy soloing by Wata, Takeshi finally steps on his own distortion pedal, drummer Atsuo kicks out his jams as well, and you're at home. This is the same ultra-sludgy, ultra-dirty rock and ***ing roll sound found on such fine releases as Akuma No Uta or Pink (not that ***ty teeny pop singer) and it continues this way until the end of the track. Pure heavy-psych bliss.

Track 3, Interference Demon/The Evilone Which Sobs (what a combined title!) is like a mix of both tracks before it. Heavy, slow, mellow, not unreminescent of the song Blackout from the (later?) Pink, it begins with some sludgy riffing and then builds down instead of up, descending into pure drone. The sine waves (or whatever it is) coming from CD1 strangely lift it above its own monotony and turn it into some kind of cosmic aum sound or something in that it sounds perfectly peaceful and harmonic, somehow tranquilizing. After several minutes of that, beautifully picked guitar arises from CD2. The sine waves get accompanied by amp feedback yet again and all of that together provides an appropriately quiet, almost esoteric-sounding outro for this sonic journey.

After all that, Dronevil ends up being not only a heavy metal version of the Flaming Lips' Zaireeka, but something far more transcendental, epic and esoteric than any other avantgarde epic Boris have yet recorded and leaves the listener baffled with a feeling of just having made a journey to the depths of sound. And all that without LSD!



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user ratings (77)
Chart.
3.9
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Comments:Add a Comment 
any14doomsday
January 5th 2007


679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Pretty good review, I friggin love this album. I dont think it was inspired by the flaming lips though. I know they did the whole 4 cd's at one time thing but alot of bands have done this kinda thing before... well not alot but its not that origional of an idea.

They played "The evil one which sobs" when I saw them last june, it was really good Takashi stood in front of his amp summoning this masive wave of feedback from his bass, while playing the one guitar part. It was insane.

FYI thats not the right album art.This Message Edited On 01.05.07

ValiumMan
January 5th 2007


493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yup, I know, the cover art on the "Final" version is different, but I couldn't seem to find a decent version of it on Google, so I just used the regular one.
I wish I could see Boris live, but I live in Austria and I think the chance of them coming here is right next to zero. But then again, Sunn O))) were here once, so there might be chance of them coming again and Boris supporting them or something.

And BTW: What other bands have done this "multiple CDs" thing before the Lips? I'd be interested in hearing whatever it is.This Message Edited On 01.05.07

any14doomsday
January 5th 2007


679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I dont know any before the flaming lips, but I know a band named rossetta released a cd that was ment to be played with the 2 disc simaltaniusly(sp), I cant think of the other few off the top of my head, maby thier arnt a ton of cds like that.

What I ment was that I think you implied that musically they were influenced by the Flaming lips which I dont hear at all. Atleast when I read it thats what it seemed like to me.

A friend has a couple of albums you have to play at the same time, Ill ask him and get back to you On a lighter note some friends and I did a parody of this one time, we recorded a drone song, and then we recorded someone eating lunch, we called it dronelunch... god were stupid.This Message Edited On 01.05.07

ValiumMan
January 5th 2007


493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

LOL@the dronelunch thing. :D
Anyway, did it sound like I implied that the Lips influenced Boris musically? Hell, no they didn't! They influenced them conceptually, that's for sure.

any14doomsday
January 5th 2007


679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah, thats what it seemed like to me atleast. Ohh well still a pretty good review.

everyone gets a kick out of dronelunch.This Message Edited On 01.05.07

Kage
January 5th 2007


1172 Comments


This is one of my favorite Boris albums, hands down. Playing it together is awesome, but so is listening to the two separately.

Good review.

any14doomsday
January 19th 2007


679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

There website has a good picture of the real album cover in the merchendise section, so you can update acordingly if you want.

ValiumMan
January 19th 2007


493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks. Strange... I've edited it but it doesn't seem to change. Or does it take a while?

any14doomsday
August 23rd 2007


679 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The Solo that starts about seven and a half minutes into The evil one which sobs gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.This Message Edited On 08.23.07

tuff
November 7th 2007


62 Comments


Awesome review. I still need to hear this.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
March 16th 2011


10596 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album's bril

Digging: Flying Lotus - You're Dead!

Ire
March 16th 2011


41788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah really cool stuff

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2011


8825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

holy shit this is good

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Ire
May 5th 2011


41788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i don't really hear the flaming lips in this but as a boris album it's amazing

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2011


8825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah me neither

Ire
May 5th 2011


41788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but i sure do love both bands :]

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2011


8825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm not that big on flaming lips but boris sure rock my socks :]

Ire
May 5th 2011


41788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no

you love the flaming lips


everyone loves the flaming lips.. some people just don't know it yet

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2011


8825 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

well I'll take your word for it :]

eternium
July 20th 2011


16338 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Holy fuck, why isn't this always mentioned along with Feedbacker and such?



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