Review Summary: Eerie and beautiful. Cold, yet warm
Boris doesn't have much left to prove at this point in their career. They could easily get away with coasting if they wanted to, releasing uninspired albums, ceasing experimentation, and tour off the “greatest hits” until the wheels come off. But Boris doesn't do that - they’re 25 years deep into their career and constantly reinventing themselves and pushing the boundaries of their sound. Boris has compiled an impressive resume of stoner rock, drone, shoegaze, noise rock, and post-rock albums, and they even put out a surprisingly good J-pop record only a few years ago. The constant through all this experimentation has been Boris' exceptional ability to blend heaviness with emotion. From the guitar crunches in the opening tracks, to the brooding falsetto vocals in "Kagero," and the superb lengthy emotionally draining solo in "Dystopia," there’s always a moody expression at the heart of the music. Dear
expands upon the sludge and drone sound the band has been developing the last several years - there’s a monster riff about halfway through "Absolutego" that in true Boris style gets my blood pumping and my heart racing. The shoegaze and dream pop influences from their last several records have mostly been stripped away, leaving behind a pure sludge heavy framework. As limited as Dear
is stylistically compared to previous Boris releases, it still manages to hit all the right notes with its emotional core.
like most Boris releases has its fair share of unexpected moments - twists and turns that keep the album fresh. Wata’s chilling soft vocals on "Beyond," coupled with the minimalist percussion of the title track provide just the right dose of experimentation. The second half of Dear
does drag a tad, "The Power" specifically is too long and too repetitive, but the strength of the closing two tracks more than makes up for the slight dip in quality. There’s not much more one could ask for out of a Boris record - it’s very focused tonally, it’s inspired, and it heavy as fuck. Dear
continues a long line of experimental, exciting, and fresh releases from the Japanese three-piece, Dystopia -Vanishing Point" is one of their best songs to date, and the record as a whole is rock solid. Boris doesn't have any obligation to still be putting out records this captivating, but Dear
most certainly captivates, and it has me excited for 25 more years of Boris.