Album review: Boris With Merzbow – 2R0I2P0
Boris and Merzbow both hail from Japan and share a deep love of pushing the boundaries of noise rock to its limits, so it makes sense that they’d join forces at some point. In fact, 2R0I2P0 – which translates to RIP 2020 – will be the eighth time they’ve done so. Every time these two collide it feels like a major event, so it’s a surprise that there’s no new material on this record, just reworkings of songs from Boris’ previous album Love & Evol, as well as a reimagining of their cover of the Melvins’ song from which they take their name.
This is a huge step away from recent record No. While that was the most traditionally heavy album the band had ever released, here Boris plug away at soft, slow and dreamy sounding psychedelia, while Merzbow creates a harsh, electronic sense of foreboding that makes for a genuinely uncomfortable listen. As the uplifting melody of Boris’ guitars battle against the sinister wall of noise, it’s easy to see the point they’re trying to put across, if it wasn’t already conveyed in the album’s title – the struggle for light in a time of darkness has been shared by all this year, and this is the pairing’s musical interpretation of that.
Neither Boris nor Merzbow are particularly known for their music being concise, and of course this opus is no exception — clocking in at almost 90 minutes it takes its sweet time making its point. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as they unhurriedly pick apart their previous material it provides fresh perspective and an opportunity to rediscover.
For Fans Of: Sunn O))), Melvins, Earth
2R0I2P0 is released on December 11 via Relapse.
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