Head here to submit your own review of this album.

Over the course of about 20 years, 19 studio albums and a few lineup shuffles, Boris has, surely, explored every facet of heavy music, from the grimiest sludge to psychedelic rock to crunchy punk, and even leaning into poppier realms from time to time.

On Noise, the trio pare down a bit and deliver a rather focused (for Boris) record. The band still explores a quite a bit of sonic territory throughout the 8 tracks but takes less of an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink approach and crafts more concise, impactful songs.

Take for example 'Ghost of Romance', where eerie passages of feedback give way emotive, strummed-chord verses before erupting into a full on assault of fuzzy stoner rock guitars then switching back to finish with the mellow, eeire feedback. But everything fits very well. The disparate elements don't clash, just complement, and each passage flows rather seamlessly to the next.

The band feels adequately at home on droning, low tempo noise explorations like 'Heavy Rain' as it does with speed metal thrashing of 'Quicksilver'. Boris delves into the furthest reaches of "post-" music during the 18+ minutes of 'Angel', and tries out crunchy j-pop on 'Taiyo No Baka'.

If it relates to overdriven guitars and experimental sonics, Boris can handle it - they've made that clear in many previous albums. With Noise, their aim seems to be more about songcraft, dialling in the appropriate elements without sounding contrived.

I can't attest much to the lyrical quality of the album, as I don't speak Japanese. In an press release about Noise, it stated these were the band's darkest lyrics to date. I'd buy that. Many songs ('Ghost of Romance', 'Siesta', 'Heavy Rain') are more brooding, slower and atmospheric. Despite the language barrier, I picked up on a vibe of moody introspection and despairing self-reflection. If these are Boris's darkest lyrics yet, it's reflected in the sounds as much as it is in the words. Except for 'Taiyo No Baka'. That song is as saccharine as it gets.

But that attests the brilliance of this band. They can successful plop 3 minutes of bubblegum indie pop between Sunn O)))-esque doom sludge and Mogwai-like instrumental crescendos, and pull it off.

Seriously, even though Boris leaves no hard rock unturned, they may very well have put out there most accessible album to date. For anyone who hasn't given the band much time, this would be a solid starting point. And in its own right, Noise is another impressive addition to Boris' expansive catalog of experimental rock.

This is the place you'll find reviews from 405 Readers. To join in, head here.