Akuma no Uta

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Akuma no Uta
Boris (band) - Akuma no Uta.jpg
Studio album by Boris
Released June 6, 2003 (2003-06-06) (original)
2005 (2005) (reissue)
Recorded January–March, 2003 at Peace Music
Genre
Length 31:59 (original)
39:00 (reissue)
Label Diwphalanx (original)
Southern Lord(SUNN41) (reissue)
Producer Boris
Boris chronology
Boris/The Dudley Corporation
(2003)
Akuma no Uta
(2003)
Boris at Last: -Feedbacker-
(2003)
Alternative cover
Original version featuring minimalist artwork
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Pitchfork Media (8.2/10) [2]

Akuma no Uta (悪魔の歌 The Devil's Song?) is the fifth album by the experimental Japanese band Boris. This album stands out as a combination of all the genres, stylings, and sounds of their previous works, yet maintains a mostly 1970s rock sound with a bit of sludge, punk, drone, and post-rock. Originally released in 2003 on Diwphalanx Records with minimalist artwork, it was re-issued in 2005 on Southern Lord Records with a different cover and more music.

In addition to running an additional 7 minutes, the opening track of the Southern Lord version is a totally different take; both use the same riff from "Akuma no Uta," but the original, shorter track repeats it far less and opens with over a minute of ambient, resonant amp noise absent from the longer version. An edit of the long version opens 2010 compilation Boris / Variations + Live in Japan, closely resembling the running length of the original intro, but sourced from a different point halfway through the 9 minute version and with a fade in.

Music videos were made for the songs "Ibitsu" and "Furi" and can be found on the 2003 DVD Live at Shimokitazawa Shelter. In addition to a short edit of the opening track, an alternate take of "Naki Kyoku" appears on Variations; it and "Akuma no Uta" were also re-recorded with Merzbow in 2004, for their 2011 collaboration called Klatter. Another collaboration with Merzbow for the title track – though its arrangement reflects the 9-minute take of "Introduction" more than the title track itself – is featured on their 2016 release Gensho, both as studio and live recordings.

In an interview with Rad Company, drummer Atsuo remarked that the album was recorded on analog tape in one take.[3]

Reception[edit]

The album received praise for its clever cover and use of many distinct genres previously used by the band into a single album. Music review online magazine Pitchfork Media, placed Akuma No Uta' at number 198 on their list of top 200 albums of the 2000s.[4]

Cover art[edit]

While the original minimalist album cover has been part of Boris' website for an extensive period of time,[5] its US cover version is a direct tribute to the cover of Nick Drake's album Bryter Layter. The notable difference in the design is Takeshi holding his double-neck Ibanez instead of the acoustic guitar that Drake holds in his cover. The album's original length was extended on the reissue to 39 minutes, exactly the same length as Bryter Layter.

Southern Lord Records released a vinyl pressing that had a third cover, in tribute to the black metal band Venom. This was released as a picture disc with 700 copies featuring the "Nick Drake" cover, and 300 in the "Venom" style cover.

Track listing[edit]

あくまのうた (Original)
No. Title Length
1. "イントロ" (Intro) 2:35
2. "Ibitsu" 3:20
3. "フリー" (Fury) 3:20
4. "無き曲" (Naki Kyoku) 12:14
5. "あの女の音量" (Ano Onna no Onryou) 6:29
6. "あくまのうた" (Akuma no Uta) 4:01
Total length: 31:59
Reissue
No. Title Length
1. "Intro" (イントロ) 9:44
2. "Ibitsu" 3:22
3. "Fury" (フリー) 3:20
4. "Naki Kyoku" (無き曲) 12:14
5. "Ano Onna no Onryou" (あの女の音量) 6:29
6. "Akuma no Uta" (あくまのうた) 4:01
Total length: 39:00

Pressing History[edit]

Year Label Format Country Out of Print? Notes
2003 Diwphalanx CD Japan No Minimalist art; the "original" cover
2003 Diwphalanx LP Japan Yes Same "Nick Drake" art as on the US CD (a tribute to the Bryter Layter album); ltd. 500 copies
2005 Southern Lord CD US Yes Nick Drake art
2005 Southern Lord Picture disc LP US Yes Nick Drake art; ltd. 700 copies
2005 Southern Lord Picture disc LP US Yes "Venom" art (a tribute to the Welcome to Hell album); ltd. 300 copies

References[edit]

  1. ^ Review of "Akuma no Uta" on Allmusic.com
  2. ^ Review of "At Last: Feedbacker", "Sun Baked Snow Cave", and "Akuma no Uta" on Pitchfork
  3. ^ "Rad Company interview with Atsuo". Archived from the original on 2005-10-24. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 
  4. ^ Pitchfork staff (September 28, 2009). "The Top 200 Albums of the 2000s: 200-151". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 1, 2009. 
  5. ^ Boris' website with the minimalist album cover

External links[edit]