Boris Akuma No Uta

Japan’s leading free-for-all metal outfit have dipped their distortion pedals into many different waters over the ten-plus years they’ve been around — stoner drones, garage rock, and Keiji Haino (with whom they have collaborated extensively with, and is really an ocean unto himself). Not surprising since the band is named after a Melvins song, but what comes as a shock is how Akuma No Uta brings a pile of Boris’ contrasting styles together into one cohesively fluid affair — sandwiched between two expansive doom-drone meditations ("Introduction” and "Akuma No Uta”) listeners will find a trio of old school Detroit rockers ("Ibitsu,” "Furi” and "Ano Onna No Onryou”) and a mellow 12-minute power-ballad-cum-bar-band-jam ("Naki Kyoku”) that serves as a loose centrepiece to this strong album. Experimental fanatics might balk at this album’s formulaic and rock-centric approach (not to mention its cover art, which expertly recreates Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter), but this is balls-out good-time rock’n’roll and mellow-tip drone metal at its ferocious finest. (Southern Lord)