Anyone even vaguely familiar with Boris know that the Japanese band have a vast, hugely varied discography, ranging from drone to psychedelic metal to J-pop – sometimes in the space of a single album. Akuma no Uta is the album that introduced me to the band, and remains my favourite – which is why I’m slightly apprehensive about getting to see them on their UK tour with Amenra. Their most recent album, Dear, is a different beast to Akuma no Uta, being based upon drone, rather than the psychedelic heavy metal of Akuma… – and, as good as I expect them to be, part of me will be disappointed if nothing from Akuma… is played.
Akuma no Uta may open with a droning introductory track (expanded on the Southern Lord Records reissue, from two minutes to almost ten); but what defines the album, for me, are songs like Ibitsu, Furi, and the title track, which are equal parts garage rock enthusiasm and heavy metal heroics, laced with a psychedelic undercurrent – somewhere between the MC5, Japanese psychedelica heroes High Rise, and Pink Floyd’s space rock tendencies. It’s very different to the drone of Dear, or early classics like Amplifier Worship – and whilst the drone of Boris is good, and will surely make for an enjoyable enough live show (if that’s the right word for drone), I’ll always be longing for them to cut loose and play Akuma no Uta in full instead.