Boris
Amplifier Worship


4.0
excellent

Review

by Kyle Banick USER (30 Reviews)
June 26th, 2006 | 105 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


Amplifier worship. An iconoclastic sacrificial appeasement to the gods of rock n roll, or a tongue-in-cheek jab at an anonymous group of bowel-churning, droning fools who named themselves after their amps? There�s an old horror movie directed by the brilliant David Cronenberg called The Brood that draws an excellent comparison to this album, which can be used to explain this conundrum. In this motion picture, a young woman undergoes intense therapy that causes her inner rage to manifest itself in physical form. But unlike the other patients of this therapy who merely grow skin rashes or strange warts, this particular young woman�s rage bears a bastard group of children who are the embodiment of her resentment.

Now, I know it may sound strange, but Amplifier Worship is like this. Boris, a group of three Japanese individuals with some guitars and a drum set, don�t make songs. What comes out of their albums is the embodiment of�something on the inside of all of us that is just there, unexplained, but waiting inside. A psychedelic entity that distorts cityscapes and swirls us out of dreams and into nightmares.

This album is an exercise in off-balance avant free form music. Their compositions paint a surreal face on a canvas of strange mixtures of sludge, drone, metal, ambient, avant garde, and experimental psychadelia. Boris find a twisted beauty in the chaos, yet never hesitate to relish in quiet, subdued moments of tension-filled bliss.

Like their other albums Asolutego, Flood, and Feedbacker, this album is one monstrous hour-plus-long piece, divided up into separate parts for the sake of convenience, or perhaps our own sanity.

Ganboui-Ki is a highlight; an epic adventure in and of itself, this piece starts out slow with droning, dense walls of guitar noise. There are some absolutely transcendent vocal harmonies, like a choir of dark angels encircling the globe with their tri-tone bedlam, plummeting the earth into apocalypse and trapping us inside a nightmarish soundscape. As the pandemonium dies off, it blasts into a surprisingly and unfairly groovy drum-n-bass progression, which is soon joined by monstrous wails of guitar feedback, creating a soundscape so eerily bizarre, you won�t be sure whether to dance a jig or to run out of the room. Soon, the drum kit drops out, and ethnic percussion joins the bass jam while the guitarnoise continues to howl. Just as the soundscape withers away into a peaceful abyss, Boris explode back in with a wall-rumbling E-bow jam that sends this sixteen-minute masterpiece off the edge of the earth with climactic glory.

The next movement, Hama, starts out slow, but rushes in suddenly with thick guitars, giving it a disjointed, oddball feel. Once again, the guitars drop out, leaving only an upbeat drum beat and some excruciatingly low bass, creating a great palette for the building whisper of guitar feedback that we know will grow into something sublime. Soon, we�re ensnared by a wall of wah guitar washing around us, with crushing guitars ushering in the final end of this transitional movement.

Boris have never followed normal musical criteria, and this is no exception. It seems like their soundscapes escape meter and time, the music lives outside the clock. It�s like music on a sub-atomic level�chaotic, random, but part of a bigger picture that exudes humanity, the vanguard of something sacred, yet unexplainable. The next movement starts typically enough, in Melvins-esque fashion with a slightly punky beat and stoner rock rhythmic grooves. However, this rock jam slowly and unpredictably decays into an ethereal section of awe-inspiring fragility, as if nothing even changed. Yet we are caught inside a surreal, tension-building dream that could tip over on itself into nightmare at any moment. We�re unsure whether we�re being lifted towards the ambitious summit of our existence or the downfall of everything sacred. A wailing siren in the background indicates the latter, and the dissonance becomes almost too much to bear. A soft, barely-discernable snare beat comes in�is it the seed of a vicious death march or a triumphant, uplifting rally? Finally, even the plinking guitar arpeggios show their end, and a sustaining note that decays into reverberated warning is swallowed by a growing wall of feedback.

Vomitself. The final chapter. Huge towers of distorted guitar, and, somewhere off in the distance, a chanting voice. We feel icy fire licking us, but see nothing. We�ve met our end. Thick guitars begin to mimic a ghostlike rendition of the victorious march we�d been hoping for, but all is lost already. It is too late. The adventure winds down with inexplicably growing, droning soundscape that crumbles into nothingness.



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user ratings (393)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Jom
Staff Reviewer
June 26th 2006


2987 Comments


You know, I've seen you review these guys before, but I have yet to check 'em out. I should get around to doing so, or hope that they pop up in a Daily Upload until I can find them in-store.
I also wish you'd review more, but hey, I know how busy life can get. Keep up the good work, though.

montague
June 26th 2006


35 Comments


nice review. freaking great album.

however, i am most displeased by you having a go at said eponymous-amplifier band. said band rock my fucking world.

Kyle
June 27th 2006


667 Comments


This an amazing review Cage, great description.

What comes out of their albums is the embodiment ofsomething on the inside of all of us that is just there, unexplained, but waiting inside. A psychedelic entity that distorts cityscapes and swirls us out of dreams and into nightmares.
I wasn't sure if this was going over the top slightly, but it still sounds good.

Anyway, I need to check this out.This Message Edited On 06.27.06

AlienEater
June 27th 2006


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Boris are geniuses.

Kage
June 28th 2006


1172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[QUOTE=Kyle]I wasn't sure if this was going over the top slightly, but it still sounds good.[/QUOTE]

Heh, perahps slightly overboard, but it was fun to write, and I was in a really psychadelic mood because I had listened to the album several times in a row in order to review it.

Thanks for the comments.



any14doomsday
July 13th 2006


680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

when I first got this i didnt listen to it much, but now i play it one or two times a day, its fantastic. I dont really view it as one big song though I only think the first 2 tracks are connected, and the last two tracks arte connected. Thats a good review though, they really do have the power to destroy citys man.



When I saw them live, I cleaned out my ears a few dyas later, there was lots of dried up blood. Tottelly worth it though, heads up if you see em live though, stand in front of wata not takashi, youll be able to hear things a bit better.

Two-Headed Boy
September 22nd 2007


4527 Comments


I think I'll get this.

any14doomsday
September 23rd 2007


680 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You need this, and most of there other albums too.

MeowMeow
September 23rd 2007


662 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this and Rainbow are my favorite Boris albums. Depends on my mood on which one I prefer.

Boris, a group of three Japanese individuals with some guitars and a drum set, don�t make songs. What comes out of their albums is the embodiment of�something on the inside of all of us that is just there, unexplained, but waiting inside. A psychedelic entity that distorts cityscapes and swirls us out of dreams and into nightmares.


and thats the greatest thing ever said about Boris.

Royd Rage
October 13th 2008


419 Comments


my wife got me this for my birthday,i love it! only thing is "hama" doesn't fit well and i think "vomitself" would have been even better with drums.This Message Edited On 10.13.08

iranscam
June 22nd 2009


469 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album kicks serious quantities of asses

burnedcorpse
July 7th 2009


26 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album.

FadeToBlack
November 3rd 2010


11044 Comments


so good

AngelofDeath
Emeritus
February 20th 2011


16202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just got this on vinyl yesterday at the record store. With Feedbacker and Pink, that makes three. Only a shit-ton more to go.

eternium
March 9th 2011


16354 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Damn, I think I like this more than Feedbacker and rivals Flood. Fucking awesome, especially how versatile it is.

omnipanzer
March 10th 2011


21816 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^ I honestly believe it does.

AngelofDeath
Emeritus
March 10th 2011


16202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool. Which ones do you have?

AngelofDeath
Emeritus
March 10th 2011


16202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've basically just got all the ones I really like, minus Akuma no Uta because it's just so damn expensive.



Amplifier Worship

Feedbacker

Pink

Walrus/Groon EP (with Merzbow)



Might get Absolutego and BXI at some point. Not sure.

AngelofDeath
Emeritus
March 10th 2011


16202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I got lucky and walked into the record store when they had a used but mint copy of Walrus/Groon at the record store.



Flood's never been released on vinyl sadly.



And Untitled on Smile is pretty good. Wish the rest of Smile was on par.

AngelofDeath
Emeritus
March 10th 2011


16202 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

$20. It's the green and yellow swirled one too. The whole parody of the Close to the Edge packaging is genius. The inside art of the gatefold is a ridiculously awesome homage to Roger Dean.



http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/1/18/Borismerzgatefold.jpg



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