Borish)))

Two trendy metal tastes that flame out spectacularly together

Quietly implicit in the raging successes of SunnO)))'s Black One (last year's immovable sludge monument) and Boris's Pink (this year's suave gut-rock masterpiece) was an inevitable future moment of poignant rock star overreach. Both had conquered with sound and fury; next to come would surely be the nothing-signifying, tale-told-by-a-nü-Metallica twin falls. Who could've imagined they'd decide to plunge together? Altar, their much anticipated and soon to be mourned collaboration, rises up—"Etna" builds a dripping meld of SunnO)))'s slasher-flick ominousness and Boris's depressive flop-sweat into a neck-snapping monster—then collapses. "The Sinking Belle (Blue Sheep)," with its weepy piano balladry and Jesse Sykes–voiced floating melodrama, is a bad Bowie outtake, which makes it far better than "Fried Eagle Mind," Altar's five-blunt, drug-soloing nadir. Add Boris guitarist Wata chanting dreeams-style reverie; get reminded of what it felt like to be lifted in junior high. I do dig the Star Wars–copping imperial death march horns of "Akuma No Kuma," which casts Thrones' Joe Preston as the track's raspy, grunting Darth Vader—a time-honored figure of shame and redemption, the latter yet to come.

 
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