Boris + Ian Astbury BXI

Boris + Ian Astbury BXI
One of the more unexpected pairings of late is Japanese doom rockers Boris and Ian Astbury (the Cult). Catching many fans off guard, it may seem random, but this four-song EP reveals the collaboration to be a surprisingly good fit. Astbury's booming vocals have always been accustomed to the classic rock riffs of Billy Duffy, and on BXI, Boris cater to his needs by shifting into "heavy rocks" mode. "Teeth and Claws" is only a few stacked amplifiers away from becoming a Southern Death Cult song, laying down evocative riffage that allows Ian to deliver his signature wail (he'd be wise to add this to the Cult's repertoire on their next tour). "We are Witches" is straight up groove metal that gives full control to the chugging guitars of Wata and Takeshi. And while Astbury should be able to hold his own, he sounds a little out of his comfort zone despite singing about one of his favourite subjects: witches. He makes up for it on the draining "Magickal Child," however, instilling some emotional heaviness into Boris's slow-mo doom. Curiously, Astbury yields to drummer Atsuo on a cover of the Cult's "Rain," which Boris faithfully breathe new life into. It seems a bit novel, but Boris chose a song that befits their rock'n'roll tendencies. With BXI¸ Boris have struck up a fruitful relationship with one of rock's strongest vocalists, and added yet another winning collaboration to their hulking discography. (Southern Lord)