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Boris

Smile (Southern Lord)

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Japanese metalheads Boris continue their progression from deep-riffing stoner band to experimental noise wizards on Smile. There's still plenty of Western-metal heaviness: the Sabbath-like brooding of "Buzz-In," "Laser Beam"'s Metallica-style speed-crunch, and "Statement," which power-amps Blue Cheer's shredded guitars. Boris also takes some time out for daydreams ("My Neighbor Satan" is so heartbreaking, it's gotta be a joke) as well as a few nightmares (the haunting guitar overture "Ka Re Ha Te Ta Sa Ki — No Ones Grieve"). But Smile's showpiece is an untitled collaboration with Sunn O))) guitarist Stephen O'Malley that turns a slow-strumming riff into a fuzzed-out maelstrom over a dense 15 minutes.

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