Saturday 20 August 2022

Boris - Heavy Rocks (2022) (Album Review)

Release Date: August 12th 2022. Record Label: Relapse Records. Format:CD/DD/Vinyl

Heavy Rocks (2022) - Tracklisting

1.She is burning 03:41

2.Cramper 03:23

3.My name is blank 03:15

4.Blah Blah Blah 04:22

5.Question 1 05:21

6.Nosferatou 05:20

7.Ruins 02:38

8.Ghostly imagination 03:52

9.Chained 03:34

10.(not) Last song 06:10






Legendary Japanese Rockers Boris return with Heavy Rocks (2022). The third chapter within their Heavy Rocks series which started in 2002 and continued with 2011’s installment. Eleven years later and Boris returns with another round of 70’s based classic Proto-Metal sounds but given the Boris experimental makeover. This time, Boris brings a fresh chaotic Punk Rock creative spirit to the album and even throws in elements of Jazz for good measure. 

Heavy Rocks (2022) is fast paced and extremely dangerous with the band employing genres such as Crust Punk, Doom Metal, Psych Rock and Stoner Metal to great effect. This chapter of Heavy Rocks is extremely different to the previous chapters and that’s a damn good thing with Boris being BORIS.

Opening song She Is Burning advises the listener on what to fully expect with this album. Fast-paced and catchy slabs of Punk based Doom/Stoner Metal with a free flowing Jazz attitude. Boris throw in a few sneaky Crust Punk sounds that could have easily come from 2020’s NO album. This song and the whole album is perhaps best suited to dedicated fans of Boris and not the casual listener. Boris are in their element here and they sound like they’re having fun. Imagine that.

Second song Cramper is a more Proto-Metal offering with a fast-paced Punk Rock attitude. The song is stripped back in all the right places before a rebellious Psych Rock streak appears. The cautious and solitary sound of the song makes it appear that this album was recorded in the 70’s and that’s one of the main highlights of the whole album.

Things do become weirder and weirder with more abstract noises and sounds being added for good measure. The album becomes more Experimental and Jazz focused for the next few songs with My Name Is Blank, Blah Blah Blah and Question 1 being some of the standout tracks on the album. However, Boris doesn't stray too far away from the Heavy Doomed Out Grooves they’ve become known for over the last 30 years.

The second half of the album is not as experimental as the first half with Boris playing the heaviest sounds of the record. Other great songs to check out are: Nosferatou, Ghostly Imagination and Chained.

The final track (not) Last Track is a trippy and dreamlike song with delicate vocals and bringing a more nightmarish vision with a deep emotional core. One of the most interesting tracks on the album as it ends quite suddenly. Maybe, perhaps to be continued on their next studio release. This is a bold statement for Boris to end the album on but I never expected anything less from this legendary and groundbreaking band.

Heavy Rocks (2022) delivers all the goods that Boris are known for and I hope they don’t leave it so long for the next exciting chapter with the series of Heavy Rocks releases.

This is an essential album to own. Awesome stuff.

Words by Steve Howe

Heavy Rocks (2022) is available to buy now on CD/DD/Vinyl via Relapse Records from all good stockists now.


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