Vein (album)

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Vein Boris.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 3, 2006 (Original)
April 10, 2013 (Reissue)
Recorded2004 (Original)
2004-2013 (Reissue)
Length30:08 (hardcore) / 33:38 (noise)
35:24 (reissue)
LabelImportant Records (Original)
Daymare Recordings (Reissue)
Boris chronology
The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked 3

Vein is the thirteenth album by Japanese experimental band Boris. The album was released on vinyl on October 2006 through Important Records and was limited to 1500 copies only. Vein became somewhat controversial for the long delays prior to the release [1] but most importantly for presenting two different albums under the album's title. As the label in charge of the release explained, "Every aspect of this beautiful release was planned and designed by Boris and they have stated that it has very special meaning for them".[2]

In 2013, the band announced that the album would be released as a 2-CD set but that this was not a reissue of the album, but rather a re-arrangement of both albums combined. The label in charge of this release explained that this release sounds different from the previous versions. The album was packaged in two 3" CDs with the same printed outer edge as the vinyl release to make them appear to be traditional 5" CDs.[3]

Part of track A7 of the hardcore vinyl version is used in the untitled final track of Smile. It is present unadulterated, but as an alternate, bass-heavy mix, on the Southern Lord US vinyl pressing of Smile as "VEIN;" it is thus removed from the untitled song. The 2013 CD pressing of Vein moves this to track 11 and is yet another mix, this one even incorporating the backwards guitar melody from the untitled Smile track. This creates a circle of sampling that intermingles the two albums.


On November 2004, first hints of the album were given by the label Important Records who, in a newsletter, informed that the band had just completed the recording of the then untitled album and more information was going to be released in the future.[4] However, for more than a year, no information about the release was given until May 2006 when the label finally revealed concrete information about the album including the picture around the edges of the vinyl, the title, and estimated date of the release:

Since we're getting lots of emails about this I figured it was probably time to give everyone someinsight into what we're doing. The vinyl only Boris release "Vein" should be available in the next 30-60 days. It's been an extremely challenging and time consuming process. There's been a couple of months of daily communication with the pressing plant and more trouble shooting than I have the space to elaborate on.

— Important Records. May 17, 2006.[5]

The label expressed some frustration with the many details involving this release, in particular, the vinyl itself. The label explained that in order to obtain the finished product they had to use a screen printed image on clear mylar in order to give the impression of clear vinyl with an image suspended within it. Additionally, the label expressed how even making the stickers for the album have been a challenge as they were designed on a custom size and require hand building a die to cut them. First attempts at this were unsuccessful with the image smudging when the vinyl was pressed over it.[6]

The album continued to be delayed causing some frustration among fans and also for label who continued to have issues regarding the manufacturing of the vinyl, in particular with the "clear mylar" images which they had to abandon and find another solution instead. The final product was announced on August 2006 with a price hike because of these issues:

Vein is expensive, but it is not overpriced. This price reflects the cost of licensing and manufacturing such an elaborate package. We did everything Boris requested and this beautiful record is entirely their creation. Atsuo told me more than once that this is a very, very special record for them. So, we went all out and two years and lots of problems later it's nearly complete. There were some snags along the way that drove the cost per unit up. Like, we had to pay for all the screen printed mylar "pictures" for the picture discs even though we're not using them. Whatever you choose to do, please understand that this price reflects the cost of production and the final product will be, in my opinion, both stunning and well worth it.

— Important Records. August 3, 2006.[7]

Only 1500 copies of the album were ever pressed which were distributed around the world and to the band who would sell some copies while on tour. The album sold out in around two months and those fans who were left out of the release were advised by the label to act fast and buy the copies distributed to third parties while once again apologizing for the lack of copies for everyone [8]

If we had our way we would have pressed enough copies for everyone but we were not allowed to. With high demand and few copies there's no right way to do it without making someone unhappy. We're genuinely sorry for all the angry stores, distributors and customers who were shorted.

— Important Records. October 2, 2006.[9]


During the two years that the album was being pressed and released, no information was ever given about two different versions of the album. Alternate recordings were confirmed shortly after the release, when various people proclaimed their Vein record had no vocals at all. Confusion about this issue was mainly because aesthetically, the packaging is identical on both records and the only way it can be differentiated is by inspecting the surface of the vinyl itself. One version, dubbed the "Hardcore version", was named as such for having elements of crust punk, hardcore, and drone. Additionally, the album features lead vocals by Atsuo for the first time in several years, with Takeshi contributing vocals in some of the songs as well. The vocals on this version of the record are notably different from most Boris albums, as they are screamed rather than sung. The other version, dubbed the "Noise version", was labeled as such for including elements of drone and noise music as well as punk. This version of the album does not include any vocals.

The hardcore version of the album also includes samples from two films by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky. At the very beginning of the third track, the listener can hear a man say "И пусть посмеются над своими страстями" (Russian for "Let them laugh at their own passions") from the 1979 film Stalker, and on the beginning of the final track, the listener can hear a man say "I hela mitt liv har jag väntat på det här. Hela mitt liv har varit en enda väntan på det här." (Swedish for "All my life I've been waiting for this. My whole life has been a long wait for this."), a quote from the 1986 film, The Sacrifice.

The 2013 version of the album featured both versions of the original album combined and rearranged into 2 CDs. Due to the 3" CD time limitation, each disc only contains 18 minutes of music or less; as such, not every track from both vinyl versions is included. Perhaps the most interesting result is the final CD track, which combines both sides of the drone vinyl version into a single track. However, tracks 6 and 7 on the CD are new material unrelated to the vinyl versions.

Track listing[edit]

Hardcore Version, Side A
7."Untitled" (Sampled in the untitled track on Smile and featured fully on its US vinyl pressing as "VEIN")2:21
Total length:14:35
Hardcore Version, Side B
Total length:15:33
Noise Version, Side A
Noise Version, Side B
2013 Version, Disc 1
1."Untitled" (Alternate, shortened version of hardcore version track A1)1:58
2."Untitled" (Alternate, shortened version of hardcore version track B5)1:24
3."Untitled" (Alternate, sample-less version of hardcore version track A3)1:40
4."Untitled" (Alternate mix of hardcore version track A4)1:12
5."Untitled" (Alternate mix of hardcore version track A5)1:22
8."Untitled" (Alternate mix of hardcore version track B1)1:14
9."Untitled" (Alternate mix of hardcore version track B2)0:45
10."Untitled" (Alternate mix of hardcore version track B4)1:29
11."Untitled" (Alternate mix of hardcore version track A7; sampled on the US presses of Smile)2:39
Total length:17:25
2013 Version, Disc 2
1."Untitled" (Alternate mix of drone version, both sides combined)17:59


  • Atsuo - Drums and Vocals
  • Wata - Guitar and Effects
  • Takeshi - Vocals, Bass, and Guitar
  • Mastered by Souichirou Nakamura
  • Produced by Boris
  • Recorded and mixed by fangsanalsatan
  • Hiroyuki Furuya - Illustration and Original Artwork
  • fangsanalsatan - Artwork and Design (Reissue)

Pressing History[edit]

Year Label Format Country Out of Print? Notes
2006 Important Records LP U.S. Yes Ltd. 1100. "Hardcore version" - released in U.S.
2006 Important Records LP U.S. Yes Ltd. 400. "Noise version" - released in Europe
2013 Daymare Recordings CD Japan No "Reissue" version


External links[edit]