Akuma No Uta
Despite the cover photo parody of Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter album, Akuma No Uta isn’t musically any relation to Drake’s work. There are no acoustic or gently orchestrated tunes here. (OK, maybe “Naki Kyoku” qualifies.) Japan’s doom merchants attain the intense drones preferred by their fellow former labelmates Sunn 0))) on the opening near ten-minute “Introduction” (perhaps a foreshadowing of their excellent collaboration on Altar) before grinding out a deliciously primal garage-rock-via metal rocker with “Ibitsu” and “Furi,” two three-and-a-half minute tracks that settle on some urgent psychedelic stoner riffing while never losing the intense pummel. “Naki Kyoku” is the album’s centerpiece, a twelve-minute dynamic masterwork that begins with a meditative guitar piece worthy of Pink Floyd before slowly jamming its way to a thrilling conclusion. “Ano Onna No ONryou” suggests Boris have been studying their Stooges albums and spitting back the lessons with convincing venom. The title tracks ends things with a concluding stoner-metal piece that highlights the group’s carnivorous rhythmic engine and their ability to take Black Sabbath riffs and set them on fire.