Boris circa 2010s
Boris circa 2011.
Background information
Also known as BORIS, boris, Fangs Anal Satan
Origin Tokyo, Japan
Genres Sludge Metal, Hardcore Punk, Drone Metal, Stoner Rock, Fuzz Rock, Drone, Experimental Rock, Avant-garde, J-Pop, J-Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Ambient, Shoegaze, Noise, Japanoise
Years active 1992 - Present
Labels Inoxia Records, Diwphalanx Records, Southern Lord Records, Drag City, Sargent House, Daymare Recordings, Fangs Anal Satan, ARCHIVE, Third Man Records
Associated acts Ensemble Pearl, Ghost, The Stars, White Heaven, Sunn O))), Merzbow, Keiji Haino
Website Boris Heavy Rocks
Current members Atsuo
Past members Nagata
Michio Kurihara

Boris are a band from Tokyo, Japan.

Boris have been notably active since 1992 performing a variety of music, notably heavy music over a career that spans nearly 25 years. Initially as a 4-piece sludge/hardcore band, the band has been a three-piece since 1996 with a knack for performing music in all sorts of genres, heavy or ambient or even poppy. Thus the band is hard to categorize as their sound is never consistent from release to release with lyrics drawing into various subjects such as dreams, sensations and random incidents. The band is known for constant recording and productive output, many of their albums recorded live-in-the-studio.

Notably the band themselves have been known for stylizing their name for releases ("BORIS" identifying heavier releases while "boris" identifies lighter, more ambient works), parodying album covers, lead vocalist Takeshi's keen interest in double-necked guitars and establishing themselves as a Japanese band with a great deal of worldwide success, especially with their partnership with Southern Lord Records that lasted nearly a decade. Even with worldwide distribution with Southern Lord and now Sargent House the band has also published a host of releases under independent labels such as Inoxia, Daymare and their own art imprint Fangs Anal Satan.

They are named after the Melvins song "Boris". Boris' personal label and art collective "Fangs Anal Satan" is derived from the Melvins song "Anal Satan".


Early Years + Absolutego (1992 - 1997)Edit

Boris Live 1995

The original four-piece Boris performing in Tokyo circa 1995.

Very little is known about Boris' early years but it is known that the band began in 1992 as a four-piece (Atsuo, Watasige, Otani and Nagata).[1] All of the members attended Tokyo University together congregating from other cities in Japan. Though the members all played in other bands at the time Boris was formed all of the members knew Nagata and "tried to make a band just for him".[2] Similar to the Melvins' beginnings (A band they idolized and drew inspiration from) the band started off playing hardcore punk and sludge metal. Boris would release a host of demos on cassette and perform FANGS ANAL SATAN live showcases between 1993 - 1998 along with a host of other selected shows.[3] In the early years the band managed to release three demo tapes and a VHS in between 1994 and 1995. The band's first appearance on any official label was the song "Water Porch" on Take Care of Scabbard Fish (Scabbard Fish Records, 1994) followed by "Mosquito" on Eat The Chaos (Thank You Record Company, 1995) and a song under the alias of "sorib" on the "Tribute to Evangelion" compilation. In early 1996, Nagata would leave the group and Atsuo would take over as drummer while still maintaining lead vocals as the band performed their first tour of the United States alongside Thrones, notably two nights in Seattle, Washington and overall roughly six dates in five cities.

At this time the band started to release physical releases beyond appearances on compilations. The first two releases would be a split 10" (and later CD with bonus tracks) with Japanese punk band Barebones along with the band's debut album Absolutego, a single hour-long noise/sludge song. While the split was released on Piranha Records both were published by their personal label Fangs Anal Satan. A split 7" with Arizona grindcore band Tomsk-7 followed on Bovine Records in 1997. Boris would perform a collaborative set with Japanese avant-garde legend Keiji Haino on 31 August 1997 at 20000V in Tokyo. This two-hour set would be edited into a live album released on Inoxia in October 1998 as Black: Implication Flooding. By this point Ohtani would start referring to himself as Takeshi and start performing vocals along with Atsuo.

Amplifier Worship + Flood (1998 - 2000)Edit

In 1998 the band would sign with Mangrove and release their second album in Amplifier Worship a foray of sound based in sludge, drone, noise and trance. At the time it helped the band gain more of a fanbase but would later be praised as one of their finest works. Man's Ruin Records had an interest in issuing the album but folded before any relationship between the label and the band could be established. On 17 & 18 April 1999 Boris would share the stage with their idols The Melvins for two nights in Tokyo.[4]

The next release would be a split with Japanese psychedelic group Choukoku no Niwa in a split named More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape. Their contribution "Kanau" would serve as a precursor to the fuzz rock sound the band would establish in later releases. The band's third album Flood would be issued via MIDI Creative on 15 December 2000, a single song spanning 70 minutes interlacing psychedelic, ambient and stoner metal.

Signing to Southern Lord + Expanding Sound (2001 - 2004)Edit

In 2001, Boris would sign with Southern Lord Records in terms of an United States distributor while being free to work with other labels. The label would reissue a re-master of their debut as Absolutego+ (Special Low Frequency Version) with a reissue of Amplifier Worship following in 2003, exposing them to an expanded worldwide audience.

Between the reissues Boris would release two albums on 26 April 2002. First would be a collaborative album with Merzbow entitled Megatone (On Japan indie label Inoxia). The other would be Heavy Rocks, featuring the likes of Masonna, Merzbow and Lori S. (Acid King). At this point the band started developing a fuzz-rock/stoner rock sound that was far more accessible than some of their previous efforts. Around this time the band would sign with Diwphalanx in Japan with the first album on that label coming on 6 June in the form of Akuma no Uta, an album that garnered a growing audience with it's single Ibitsu. Around this time the band would start touring more throughout Japan and also branching out in Europe.

Two more releases would come on Christmas Day via Diwpahalanx in 2003. First was a DVD featuring music videos and live footage known as Live at the Shimokitazawa Shelter. Another studio album came in the form of Boris at Last - Feedbacker -, a single 43-minute song of stoner rock and shoegaze inspired guitar works. The band would work in association with limited label Kult of Nihilow for The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked, an ambient drone album devoid of vocals and drums. The band began to tour more frequently throughout Europe and hinting at more releases in the immediate future.

Release Frenzy + Rise to Fame (2005 - 2010)Edit

The next few years would prove to be a landmark era for Boris in terms of popularity and productivity. Along with tours of Europe and the United States, the band would put out a host of physical media in the year 2005:

  • Bootleg -Feedbacker-, a live DVD of Feedbacker performed in 2004.
  • The European edition of Boris at Last - Feedbacker on Conspiracy Records.
  • 04092001, a live LP of Boris and Merzbow performing songs from 2001.
  • The US edition of Akuma no Uta on Southern Lord, with the cover parodying Nick Drake's Bryter Layter.
  • Dronevil, a double LP of doom and drone intended to be played simultaneously, similar to the Flaming Lips album "Zaireeka".
  • A Bao A Qu, a 7" single spreading the song into two parts though it'd be released in different versions.
  • Wizard's Convention, a split DVD with Church of Misery, Greenmachine and Eternal Elysium showcasing some performances from the Wizard's Convention shows.
  • Sound Track from Film "Mabuta no Ura", a concept soundtrack album released in two different versions on Catune (Japan) and Essence Music (Brazil)
  • Archive, a 3-disc live showcase of Boris live in their early years.
  • Pink, a new studio album in the stoner rock/fuzz rock style established on Heavy Rocks and Akuma no Uta.
  • Heavy Metal Me, a DVD of live footage, music videos and a short film.
  • Sun Baked Snow Cave, a sixty-minute ambient/drone collaboration with Merzbow.

Pink in particular would gain the band substantial critical praise upon release in the United States and Europe via Southern Lord as the band toured Europe and the US that year. Along with the US version of their most recent album at the time, the band also released the following in 2006:

  • The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked 2 and The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked 3, two experimental albums to compliment the first record.
  • Dronevil -Final-, an expanded 2CD version of the album of the drone/ambient album of a similar name.
  • Vein, an album of harsh noise and powerviolence via Important Records some three years in the making with two separate versions for European and American fans.
  • Altar, a collaborative album between Sunn O))) and Boris.
  • Rainbow, a collaborative album between Michio Kurihara (White Heaven, Ghost) and Boris.

2007 would follow with more touring and a host of split and collaborative releases, culminating in the live double CD Rock Dream, a two-hour collaborative performance of Boris with Merzbow. Boris would close the year doing a live presentation of Altar with Sunn O))) and begin work on their next album among a host of other releases.

On 7 March 2008 Boris' next album Smile would be released (With different mixes between the Japanese and American versions), garnering critical praise and even peaking at the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart at #20. The band would tour heavily in support of the album and even play it entirely at some of the dates, culminating in two separate live albums related to Smile along with a DVD in subsequent years. Boris opened for Nine Inch Nails on part of the fall 2008 segment of the Lights in the Sky tour. They also appeared on the avant-garde metal soundtrack to Jim Jarmusch's film The Limits of Control. The band would follow with a 7" series entitled Japanese Heavy Rock Hits on Southern Lord. A re-recordings compilation entitled Variations was released in Japan in 2010 with a DVD entitled Live in Japan, with the DVD being released via Southern Lord.

On two occasions the band performed with Ian Astbury as a guest which ultimately led to a collaborative EP entitled BXI, proving to be one of the last releases Boris would contribute to Southern Lord.

Signing to Sargent House (2011 - 2013)Edit

Between the transition to a new label, Boris released another collaborative album with Merxbow via Daymare Recordings in the form of Klatter (Previously known as Mellow Peak) . Boris would sign with Sargent House in late 2010 with three albums released on 26 April, some of which featured similar tracks between the three releases.[5] New Album leaned the band's sound more towards shoegaze and pop, the 2011 version of Heavy Rocks exhibited a sound consistent of the band's stoner rock style and Attention Please displayed more of a pop style, notably the first album with Wata entirely on vocals.

The band toured heavily in support of all three records throughout the next couple year with extensive touring of Europe among other special releases.Präparat followed on Daymare in 2013 with a heavier emphasis on drone and experimentation. Boris would also compose two compilations: Vein (A 2-disc remixed version of both versions of the 2006 album) and The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked Chronicle (A 4-disc release of the previous three releases in the series along with a disc of unreleased recordings). Archive II would follow the next year featuring two live performances and a disc of Boris' demos as a four-piece.

Noise + Dear (2014 - Present)Edit

Boris' next album would come in the form of Noise, released on 18 June 2014 via Sargent House in North America and Daymare in Japan. The band would follow with a tour of North America in support of the record[6] with further touring of Europe to follow. A vinyl version of the bonus disc The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked would see a release via Taiga Records.

In 2015 the band would commission three songs for the anime series Ninja Slayer along with self-releasing three experimental albums on their Fangs Anal Satan imprint. Asia, Urban Dance and Warpath were all released on 2 May 2015 and mainly sold on tours. The band would start off 2016 with their seventh collaborative release with Merzbow. Gensho was released on 16 March 2016 via Relapse Records (Daymare in Japan) in a similar fashion to the Dronevil album in that both discs are set to be played together or separately.

Boris would also release a tenth anniversary edition of Pink with bonus tracks. The band would perform the entire album on tour for the first time, touring Europe and then North America with Earth as direct support.[7] On 9 May 2017 the band announced a new album entitled Dear in lieu of their 25th anniversary as a band, at one point being intended to be the band's final studio album. Dear was released that on Sargent House, compiling positive reviews and following with a 25th Anniversary world tour with the band performing the whole album along with a handful of Boris classics.[8] In December 2017 it would be announced that Boris would be performing at the 2018 edition of Roadburn Festival. It would be a special performance of the 1996 album Absolutego with Stephen O'Malley joining them as a second guitarist. The band would follow up with more touring of the United States in support of the 25th anniversary, including a show with Melvins and releasing a new EP in Phenomenons Drive. On 6 September for the “Boris -25th Anniversary Tour Final- Oneman Show” at Shindaida Fever it would be announced that Michio Kurihara would play with the band for the first time since 2012.[9] That same night the band released a new album entitled Secrets, consisting of a collage of unreleased works spanning from 1992 - 2018. Another shows followed on 11 October leading up to Unknown Flowers, a 12" split with The Novembers.

On 15 May 2019 Boris would announce that they had signed a deal with Third Man Records. Along with forthcoming reissues of Akuma no Uta and Feedbacker, the band would release a new studio album entitled LφVE & EVφL circa August 2019. The band would also announce a North American tour with Uniform would be planned in support of the album.[10]


NOTE: In the case of Boris, both the Japanese label and US/EU labels will be listed for each respective release.

Any release with an asterisk next to it (*) denotes that the respective album has different mixes or track lists between each version, with details to be added on the respective album pages in the future.

Studio AlbumsEdit

Extended Plays / SinglesEdit

  • 1970 / ワレルライド (2002, Inoxia)
  • A Bao a Qu (2005, SuperFi)
  • Floor Shaker (2008, Fangs Anal Satan)
  • Message~Floorshaker (2008, Diwphalanx)
  • Statement (2008, Southern Lord)
  • Scion A/V Remix: Buzz-In (2009, Scion A/V)
  • Japanese Heavy Rock Hits (2009, Southern Lord; Four separate releases)
  • Black Original Remix (2011, Catune)
  • Looprider Remix (2012, Catune)
  • Myogo (2013, Avex Entertainment)
  • Mr. Shortkill (2016, Daymare Recordings)
  • Heavyblind (2016, Fangs Anal Satan)
  • Phenomenons Drive (2018, Inoxia/Fangs Anal Satan)


  • Boris / Barebones (Split with Barebones) (1996, Fangs Anal Satan)
  • Boris / Tomsk-7 (Split with Tomsk-7) (1997, Bovine)
  • More Echoes, Touching Air Landscape (Split with Choukoku no Niwa) (1999, Inoxia)
  • Boris / The Dudley Corporation (Split with The Dudley Corporation) (2003, Scientific Laboratories)
  • Damaged (Split with Stupid Babies Go Mad) (2007, Diwphalanx)
  • Chapter Ahead Being Fake (Split with Torche) (2009, Daymare)
  • Golden Dance Classics (Split with 9dw) (2009, Catune)
  • Boris / Saade (Split with Saade) (2011, KYEO)
  • Asobi Seksu x Boris (Split with Asobi Seksu) (2012, Sargent House)
  • Boris / Joe Volk (Split with Joe Volk) (2012, Invada)
  • Boris / Heap (Split with Heap) (2014, Baked Goods Records)
  • Unknown Flowers (Split with The Novembers) (2018, Inoxia Records)


Live Albums and DVDsEdit



  • Tsuyoshi Ohtani aka Takeshi - Bass, Guitars, Vocals (1992 - Present)
  • Yoko Mizuno aka Wata - Guitars, Keyboards, Vocals (1992 - Present)
  • Atsuo Mizuno aka Atsuo - Drums, Vocals (1992 - Present)
  • Nagata - Drums (1992 - 1996)
  • Michio Kurihara - Live Guitar (2006 - 2012, 2018)

External LinksEdit


  1. Atsuo Instagram
  2. The QuietusAccessed 7 March 2017
  3. Boris Website via Wayback MAchineAccessed 23 February 2017
  4. Themelvins.netAccessed 23 February 2017
  5. BrooklynVeganAccessed 23 February 2017
  6. Exclaim!Accessed 27 February 2017
  7. Exclaim!Accessed 27 February 2017
  8. NPRAccessed 9 May 2017
  9. Boris InstagramAccessed 10 September 2018
  10. Boris Facebook
  V·T·E Boris
Current Members WataTakeshiAtsuo
Past Members Nagata • Michio Kurihara
Albums AbsolutegoAmplifier WorshipFloodHeavy RocksAkuma no UtaBoris at Last: FeedbackerThe Thing Which Solomon OverlookedPinkSoundtrack From Film "Mabuta no Ura"DronevilVeinThe Thing Which Solomon Overlooked 2The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked 3SmileAttention PleaseHeavy RocksNew AlbumPräparatThe Thing Which Solomon Overlooked ExtraNoiseWarpathAsiaUrban DanceDearSecretsLφVE & EVφL1985NO
Select EPs, Splits and Singles Boris / BarebonesBoris / Tomsk-7More Echoes, Touching Air LandscapeDamagedScion A/V Remix: Buzz-InJapanese Heavy Rock HitsMr. ShortkillHeavyblindPhenomenons Drive
Live Albums & Videos e.prayLive at Shimokitazawa ShelterBootleg - FeedbackerWizard's ConventionArchive IHeavy Metal MeLong Hair and TightsSmile -Live At Wolf Creek-Smile Live In PragueLive In Japan: "Smile" World Tour FinalBoris Performing "Flood"Archive IICrossing WaltzBoris Live at Third Man Recordseternity
Collaborations Black: Implication FloodingMegatone04092001Sun Baked Snow CaveAltarWalrus & GroonRainbowRock DreamCloud ChamberBXIKlatterEROSGensho
Associated Bands and Artists Sunn O))) • Merzbow • Keiji Haino • GhostEnsemble PearlInoxia RecordsDiwPhalanx RecordsDaymare RecordingsShe's So Heavy
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