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Boris With Michio Kurihara 

Rainbow (Drag City)

For years only noise freaks and fans of avant metal worshiped Boris. But the band broke in the States last year when Southern Lord re-released Pink, an epic double LP.

The Japanese power trio is one of those rare "metal" bands that can hop genres with each new release, pushing the group further and further away from Japan's always fertile rock scene.

The band possesses its own sound. Yet it can bend and shift it when working with others. The group has collaborated with musicians as diverse as Merzbow, Sunn O))), and on Rainbow, the band's latest, psychedelic guitarist Michio Kurihara (Ghost, White Heaven).

Kurihara brightens the canvas with his cascading guitar. Boris, in turn, reveals a knack for melody on "Rafflesia" and "Sweet No. 1," a guitar hero's dream that utterly explodes at the halfway mark. Although Boris has always practiced a form of crushing minimalism, the band and Kurihara avoid riff regurgitation. They paint each track with a different set of colors.

Vocals intertwine with the music in a way that's exact and kind of alien. The howling tenor of bassist Takeshi injects the record with an emotional strain. Wata, a guitarist who usually doesn't sing, contributes a dreamy croon on the title track before a buzz-saw guitar cuts through the song's soft flesh.

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