Thursday, March 17, 2016


Relapse Records
"Farewell" commences "Gensho" (experience in Japanese)- a melancholy, droning and atmospheric track. With its pensive guitar lines building into a sound heavy with distortion-heavy guitars and clean vocals providing a somewhat trancelike effect. The vocals contrast nicely with the experimental drone and the riffs are also pleasing to the ear.
"Huge" opens with distorted screaming- piquing your interest immediately and moving seamlessly into a drone like sound. "Huge" is an excellent contrast to the prior track, being far less melodic. Chaotic and hard-hitting, the understated vocals leave space to appreciate the droning guitars. The vocals commence approximately half-way through the track with a more black metal style adding further depth to this track. Drone-like and morbid along with being heavy with distortion and with a distinct electronic ending "Huge" was a genuinely enjoyable track.
"Resonance" commences with the literal interpretation of resonance- giving the track its namesake. Loud banging combined the echoes and an understated electronic background ensure the ringing resonant echoes are amplified. The concept of this track is experimental and creative- a different concept but intelligent.
"Rainbow" commences with melodic understated musical lines combined with trance-like female vocals. An understated and carefully considered musical background makes the vocals more present during the track. Electronic effects create an eclectic yet almost "lounge music" vibe and the mid-section riffs with the typical heavy use of distortion provide an excellent contrast to the prior calm sound. The trance like female vocals slide seamlessly back into place as flawlessly as the riff commenced. Well-constructed and planned, "Rainbow" is experimental in an interesting and musically insightful yet thought provoking way.
"Sometimes" commences with heavy electronic stuttering in an ever-changing cadence intertwined with electronica style beeps and whirring. A beep rising to become a siren introduces the droning guitars combined with trance-like clean vocals; periodically interchanged with electronic whirrs and percussion. "Sometimes" is quite cohesively chaotic- the use of numerous elements ensures an interesting piece. The clean vocals interchanging with the heavy distortion towards the conclusion add a dramatic fading out to electronic pulses and buzzes creating an unexpected finale to the track.
"Heavy rain" begins with distortion, interchanged with beeps. The chaotic electronic elements switching through to scaled back harmonic guitars and the trance like vocals seemingly typical of this release. Giving way to ambient yet heavy riffs interchanged with the vocals create a mournful experience. The abrupt commencement of the female vocals creates a highly experimental vibe to this track- leaving you interested in what will happen musically next. Ending with Merzbow's characteristic electronic ending, "Heavy Rain" is an insightful musical piece.
"Akuma No Uta" begins with a droning dramatic vibe. Shifting tempo and sound levels assure that this track does not sound monotonous but creates quite a desolate effect. An oddly meditative sound interspersed with shifting droning tones creates an interesting feel to "Akuma No Uta". A midsection break of the riffs with distorted electronic sounds and am ambient overtone provides a welcome interchange from the initial section. The final section switches to a more upbeat, theatrical and quite heavy to conclude this track. This track is standout in terms of experimentation.
"Akirame Flower" commences with the electronic stuttering and shifts into a beat that combines the guitar work with cleaner, more melodic vocals that seems to lack the trancelike qualities aforementioned earlier. The classic riffs combines with the fragmented electronica add an ambient and melodic quality that make this track quite different from the others. "Akirame Flower" had the feel of a classic ballad combines with electronica which creates an interesting piece.
"Vomitself" is the total opposite of the previous track with it's chaotic, electronic and distorted sound. Intermingled with electronic buzzing, pulsing and crackling create a panicked, unsettling vibe. The vocals are overshadowed by the music, further adding to the unsettling, grinding, industrial tone. An excellent contrast and a welcome addition to "Gensho" in terms of breaking up the trancelike vocals and providing another creative perspective and direction.
"Planet of the Cows" starts with a drone at screaming, shifting pitch combined with a crackling electronic background. Add a mish-mash of sounds and you have a track that are both abrasive and unrelenting. More layers are added electronically to make this continually evolving and experimental electronic piece-however a skillfully layered one. Samples are added to give "Planet of the Cows" a slightly less relentless feel, along with deep tonal notes. Definitely another creative avenue for Merzbow is shown in this track.
"Goloka Part 1" is a primarily electronic, eclectic piece. Best described as a whirring buzz saw electronic effect with a background of hammering cacophony of electronics- a continually changing cadence and structure create an interesting and daring concept.
Goloka Part 2" commences with a crackling electronic sound giving way to a high frequency buzzing cacophony. There is no mistaking that this is the second part of "Goloka". It appears to be more of a hectic pace than the previous track and more calculated in its delivery. A fitting concept track typical of the dedication of the artists behind it.
"Prelude to a broken arm" is a droning, howling wall of sound that is relentlessly consistent- only shifting in volume and pitch. Shuddering, guttural and industrial- a perfect conclusion.
Inventive, creative and intriguing- Boris and Merzbow's ”Gensho" is certainly worthy of its namesake- experience to broaden your musical perspective. The concept is definitely interesting and confronting- a genuinely creative and insightful release. -Sarah McKellar

Track list:
Disc one:
1. Boris - "Farewell"
2. Boris - "Huge"
3. Boris - "Resonance"
4. Boris - "Rainbow"
5. Boris - "Sometimes"
6. Boris - "Heavy Rain"
7. Boris - "Akuma No Uta"
8. Boris - "Akirame Flower"
9. Boris - "Vomitself"

Disc two:
1. Merzbow - "Planet of the Cows"
2. Merzbow - "Goloka Pt.1"
3. Merzbow - "Goloka Pt.2"
4. Merzbow - "Prelude to a Broken Arm"

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