Boris - Absolutego
Southern Lord
Drone Doom
2 songs (1:13:24)
Release year: 1996
Boris, Southern Lord
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

By its very nature, music is not supposed to be an endurance test. Music is supposed to be fun to listen to, a delight, and yet with the mere mention of the word ‘metal’, we accept that we want more than subservience from our ear candy. Ask yourself why you got into Heavy Metal in the first place – was it because it made a prettier noise than that which the radio played? No, it was because it appealed to something darker in you, and that’s true whether you’re the most sickest of Pornogrinders or fruitiest of Power Metallers. By accepting the steel, we’ve taken a step into the beyond and rejected the commercial. Of course, once you’ve gotten fully into it you realise that much of the commercial has been taken up by the Metal world, whether it’s the catchiness, that hook that makes a good song into a great one, or it’s simply fun to listen to. Metal and non-Metal are closer than many people on both sides of the barricade like to admit, and this closeness is what fuels the true/untrue debates that rage constantly like massive storms on the face of Jupiter.

Back in 1996, few people had heard the phenomenon that would grow to become Drone. There were no articles in the mainstream press, no hipster bullshit that would turn off the Metalheads from embracing this ‘new’ genre from the start, despite its roots going back further than even the Blues, all the way back to early Eastern religions and the ‘om’ pulse. Heck, try singing with your mouth closed - that hum, that primordial sound is drone, is tapping into the primordial part of us, that part that remembers living in caves and hunting food with our claws and teeth, THAT is what makes the sound so eerie, so strange. It is something otherworldly, completely opposite to what we would normally subject our ears to, and that is why its devotees are growing, why otherwise normal Indie kids want to go to a Sunn 0))) show and feel their teeth vibrate.

Few can overlook this and simply accept Music for what it is, a singular organism that embraces all sounds, whether it’s three-minute pop singles or hour-long Drone pieces. Each has its effect, each speaks to individuals – we all have songs that affect us emotionally, and few can explain why. Certain things, though, are universal. Anyone, whoever you are, whatever type of music you habitually listen to, whether it’s Gorgoroth or Gorillaz – there is one type of music that will crush you, and that is the almighty Drone, and few can propel that dark weight like Japanese three-piece Boris. Although the band’s total discography shows over twenty-five full-length releases in just over ten years, all with a variety of styles, it’s debut album Absolutego that is the focus here.

As you probably know, Absolutego is made of a single track over an hour long, yet it’s far from dull. Building up from ambience into chaos, screaming voices and manic drumming, epic troughs and peaks that will crush your spirit and reduce your ego to something less than human, this is a musical trip unlike any other. As the title suggests, this is absolute ego – this is the self, dissolved into a million pieces and placed back together, this is you gazing at the universe, gazing at you. This is a universe in meltdown, this is an, hell, THE intelligent designer taking a break and having a spliff. It’s become a cliché, and yet this IS glaciers sliding across each other in some otherworldly consummation, the sound of a volcano deciding to ejaculate, the sound of darkness become physical.

It’s become clear, the gods have revealed; you either are down with the Drone or you aren’t. Absolutego is a single, long, Drone piece that is over an hour long. You either love it, or you hate it, and if you hate it, then it’s your loss. Either way, there’s an eternal, universal list of things that people should try once in their otherwise pathetically short lives. Amongst this list of threesomes, cocaine and skydiving, lies buried Absolutego, an aural experience like no other. Describing the journey inch by inch would be pointless – you have to take it for yourself.

Killing Songs :
Goat quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Boris that we have reviewed:
Boris - Love & Evol reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Boris - Smile reviewed by James and quoted 87 / 100
Boris - Pink reviewed by Adam and quoted 93 / 100
Boris - Amplifier Worship reviewed by Dee and quoted 77 / 100
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