You may love it, you may hate it
It’s obvious that Boris has merit and a whole hell of a lot of heart. The Japanese noise trio has spent the last near three decades emanating sheer influence, which was at risk of coming all to an end for the fans and fellow musicians that look up to them so much. Fans were fairly convinced that 2017’s Dear was going to be their last release, which would’ve sent them off on a high note considering the record’s exquisite composition. Yet, it wasn’t the last Boris record. Revived, Boris has now released Love & Evol. While it holds up in the grand scheme of past Boris records, it’s somehow evident that it came after a potential time of creative turmoil.
That’s because there are moments on the double LP that seem more like afterthoughts. Not bad or poorly put together ones, but instances where it seems like tracks were included simply because they had them recorded, and not necessarily because they fit in with any type of specific concept. “Coma” comes to mind as a track that seems to drone on without much real purpose (“uzume” does the same thing in the latter half of the record). It’s not that Boris hasn’t incorporated heavy distortion before, but it’s expected to be used as a bit of a break to the heaviness instead of carrying the brunt of the weight itself. Any runtime under their current seven or so minutes would’ve achieved that effect.
Still, Love & Evol holds up, particularly because of the track “Evol” itself. At over 16 minutes “Evol” weaves between many interesting yet powerful arrangements, veering through changes in tempo and distortion. It takes listeners on the classic ride through listening we’re used to from Boris, and the same can be said about the album’s other title track. Though Boris is considered more experimental than anything else, they walk the line with metal quite often. “Love” is another display of that, with fairly doomy riffs and a Sabbath-esque air to it.
Really, there’s not much that Boris can do wrong. Even in any few and far between occurrences of lacking, they’re still good. Love & Evol may not have been all wins, but its high points are enough to forget about any lows.