Boris are an institution. There are no other bands I can think of with the kind of impact that the Japanese noise-rockers have had over the course of the last nearly 30 years. The band is a constant evolution, responding to every whim or fancy that one of its three (still original) members take an interest in. Boris, as a project, is one of the purest forms of artistic expression as their collective oeuvre seems a fully exploratory outlet of its members’ wonts.

This spirit extends even into the band’s own songs, as Boris constantly tinkers and retools older songs, remaking them in new lights and new frames that are almost unrecognizable while still staying true to whatever it is that makes them Boris. Love & Evol is a glorious continuation of this continual evolution, and a welcome one following their nigh-retirement of the Boris moniker following Dear, their last record that showed the band paying tribute to their fans after 25 years of activity. While Dear had its longer moments, Love & Evol is a far less structured affair. Some passages are evocative more of the dizzying dissonance of Sun O))) or Horseback while others approach the far-away pop of Jesu.

Opener “Away From You” takes the latter approach, with a quiet, sentimental sound that stretches out into the foggy and fuzzed-out “Coma.” The main body of both records, “Evol” begins to incorporate the band’s more thunderous aspects with pounding percussion and the band’s droning. “Evol” is a curious beast, with a number of movements that seem to shift and change on a dime. Its about as close to the Mars Volta as I have ever heard Boris get (though mark that down, a Boris/Omar Rodriguez-Lopez collab is long overdue). It’s an incredible piece that is triumphant at times and subdued at others…and single handedly the reason to own this record, in case you weren’t sold by the Boris name to begin with.

As “Uzume” begins, the band takes on a darker approach. Guitars drones become thunderous and a deep growl accompanies long passages of near-static guitar bursts. “LOVE” is a more traditional metal song with restrained doom metal singing reminiscent of Black Sabbath (and the same can be said of album closer “Shadow of Skull”)

This is a band that has made a career or making essential listening out of experimentation. This is yet another do-not-miss release in a string of do-not-miss-releases that has lasted 25 years. While yes, there are some “minor” Boris records (I am looking at you, New Record and Attention Please), Love & Evol is another high water mark.