Boris, Mutoid Man and Endon played Brighton Music Hall – 10/31

Japan’s extreme experimental stalwarts Boris joined forces with heavy metal troublemakers Mutoid Man and harbingers-of-the-apocalypse Endon at Brighton on Halloween. 

I feel like I complain every year about Boston never having a good Halloween show. This year, it seems someone finally listened. Sure, your nightlife options are plentiful on the spookiest eve of the year (even when it’s a Tuesday), but there really wasn’t a more fitting option for a music fan on the heavier side of the spectrum than this three-headed monster of a bill.

Endon, also hailing from Boris’ native Japan, were up first with their mind-erasing, incomprehensibly loud collision of black metal, noise and hardcore. I’ve seen many of the bands currently touted as “world’s loudest” (Swans, My Bloody Valentine, Sunn O))), Mogwai etc.), and while I’ve learned that venue size and speaker proximity all warp how loud something really feels, Endon might’ve been the loudest band I’ve ever seen relative to a room of Brighton’s size. It was truly, ungodly earsplitting, with the five-piece churning out walls of harsh noise, sub-bass earthquakes, blast beats, serrated guitars and growled vocals in an unstoppable maelstrom. Rarely does an opening act leave a bootprint impression in one’s skull quite like Endon did.

Mutoid Man, the don’t-call-it-a-supergroup featuring Cave In’s Stephen Brodsky and Converge’s Ben Koller, served up something a bit more traditional. With Brodksy and Koller dressed in their finest Wayne and Garth costumes, the power trio blasted through hit after hit from “album of the year War Moans” (Brodsky’s words) and beyond. The band’s speed-fueled metal is at once technical and goofy – the sound of some highly skilled musicians not taking themselves too seriously – and their set was a blast.

For their headlining slot, Boris were celebrating both a 25th anniversary and a new record hearkening back to their sludgiest days. Having already traversed the nostalgia circuit with full-album tours of both 2005’s Pink and 2000’s Flood in recent years, the trio focused squarely on the present by simply playing July’s Dear straight down. The record isn’t quite Feedbacker 2, but it’s got plenty of the prolific band’s most satisfyingly crushing doom-sludge creations in recent memory, and the atmospherically-lit live set was satisfying and crushing just the same.

See photos from all three sets below.