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Botanist - I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose From The Dead
2 July 2011


Disc I [The Suicide Tree]
01. Dracocephalum
02. Invoke The Throne Of Veltheimia
03. Helleborus Niger
04. Whorl
05. Forgotten In Nepenthes
06. Aldrovanda Ascendant
07. Chaining The Catechin
08. Dionaea Muscipula
09. Clematopsis
10. Rhododendoom
11. Gorechid
12. Cerbera Odollam
13. Bromeliad
14. Lepidoptera
15. Euonymous In Darkness
16. Dactylorhiza Elata
17. Glycyrrhiza

Disc II [A Rose From The Dead]
01. Convolvulus Althaeoides
02. Dioscoria
03. Megaskepasma
04. In The Hall Of Chamaerops
05. Quercus Lamellosa
06. Echinocereus
07. Sparaxis Of Perdition
08. Feast Of Saussurea
09. Wings Of Antichrys
10. Monstera's Lair
11. Chiranthodendron
12. Koeleria
13. Sanguinaria
14. Dodecatheon
15. Summon Xanthostemon
16. Asclepias Curassavica
17. Strelitzia Reginae
18. Trillium Recurvatum
19. Cypripedium
20. Nephrolepsis
21. Abrus Precatorius
22. A Rose From The Dead
23. - - - - -


Abandon even the vestiges of your expectations. They have no place here in the garden of the Botanist.

Encapsulated in a fascinating fictional lore, the Botanist takes the familiar theme stemming from nature and the crimes against it by man and contorts it into the bizarre verdant realm of the entity known as the Botanist.

So, this is hammered dulcimer black metal. No guitars. Nope, none at all. Just drums, vocals and that unusual hammered dulcimer. The effect is initially disorientating and bewildering to say the least. In terms of structure this is relatively standard black metal fare though, pollinating 40 tracks of "eerie and esoteric, buzzing and baffling, drum and dulcimer driven eco-terrorist black metal" (Ah, "eco-terrorist black metal", haven't heard that since Velvet Cacoon). The result is fast and frenetic "riffs" with an almost tremolo-picked ferocity. The sole familiar aspect of the Botanist's music is the 30-a-day smoker's croaks, which instantly plants it into black metal territory. The highly critical of you may question why conform to such a stereotypical approach when everything that circles it is so obscure? This grounding fundament of grimly rasps quashes the sheer un'knowableness of the band as a whole, making it all that bit more palpable, and creating an audience which it can veer toward, like dark phototropism.

Whether or not this extends beyond pure novelty is up to history. This may well wilt like a winter rose and become lost in the annals of time or it may grow upon listeners like a creeping vine. Experimentation within the genre is not always welcomed with open arms but I certainly believe that this is something that should be investigated with open-minded intrigue. This isn't exorbitantly brutal metal, nor is it an indulgent exercise in harsh noise designed specifically to break the listener's most basic programming. In fact, when all is said and done this is perfectly listenable music with a rich and colourful background and with a little dedication could bare the most wonderfully exotic of fruit.

Botanist raises an important question: what makes something black metal? For all intents and purposes this strides far and wide of the often cited qualifications, yet paradoxically it could only be regarded as so. Botanist further expands the realms and possibilities of a genre which has proven itself most vigilant in branching off from the roots of its basic protocols whilst incorporating the exterior forces of unusual and unthinkable elements that in the end make up the tapestry of modern day black metal.

All pretension, imagery and puns aside, this is a damn excellent record. It's pretty rare that a totally unique take on something is discovered and for that reason alone you should get your fingers green and give this a blast.


Band profile: Botanist
Album: I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose From The Dead


 


written by !J.O.O.E.! | 23.11.2011



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Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 02:40  
Written by Void Eater on 28.11.2011 at 02:26
But really, the only thing black metal about this is the vocals. If this had death growls, people would be calling it eco terrorist death metal.

I dunno, replace that dulcimer thing with guitars and you've got yourself some traditional sounding black metal.
Void Eater - 28.11.2011 at 03:35  
Now hang on one damn second.



Is that a guitar I hear at the beggining?
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 03:38  
Written by Void Eater on 28.11.2011 at 03:35
Is that a guitar I hear at the beggining?

That's clearly the sound of corn growing in the distance.
Void Eater - 28.11.2011 at 03:44  
Pretty sure the sound of korn growing in the distance sounds something like this.
!J.O.O.E.! - 28.11.2011 at 13:20  
Except for the fact it has nothing to do with death metal structurally, whereas it has everything to do with black metal structurally. If it had death growls it'd probably be black/death dulcimer metal, innit.
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 19:29  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 28.11.2011 at 13:20
Except for the fact it has nothing to do with death metal structurally, whereas it has everything to do with black metal structurally. If it had death growls it'd probably be black/death dulcimer metal, innit.

Agreed.

Although this doesn't count as musical agreement because it's only a matter of agreeing on genre, not enjoyment. I almost got excited.
!J.O.O.E.! - 28.11.2011 at 19:33  
Indeed, we nearly had a moment where our streams crossed (in reference to Ghostbusters, not urination).
Unhealer - 01.12.2011 at 19:57  
I've been blasting it this week
It was interesting listen (and only for the dulcimer thing), but I didn't find myself stoked for more afterwards :/
Frank Sinistra - 04.12.2011 at 04:26  
After a lot of spins , i found it to be a really interesting release...
i'm quite sure we will see copycats of this band in a few years from now
3rdWorldFuckface - 18.12.2011 at 11:03  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 16:46

I suspect this may be the first and last praise the album gets here.

Absolutely not.Good pick and nice review too.... this is avant-garde for sure.... One of the most interesting releases this year imo.
Boxcar Willy - 10.01.2012 at 05:48  
I actually didnt mind this... However I fell it could have been better with some bass.
Troy Killjoy - 10.01.2012 at 06:44  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 10.01.2012 at 05:48
I actually didnt mind this... However I fell it could have been better with some bass.

One does not simply add bass to a hammered dulcimer.
a MasT - 11.01.2012 at 08:01  
Holy crap...this guy really is doing a metal thing with a hammer dulcimer.
Boxcar Willy - 12.08.2014 at 16:14  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 10.01.2012 at 06:44

Written by Boxcar Willy on 10.01.2012 at 05:48
I actually didnt mind this... However I fell it could have been better with some bass.

One does not simply add bass to a hammered dulcimer.

Old ass comment I just saw now, but they make dulcimers that are tuned lower, if he had one that was a full octave down this would be absolutely insane.
Troy Killjoy - 12.08.2014 at 23:16  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 12.08.2014 at 16:14
Old ass comment I just saw now, but they make dulcimers that are tuned lower, if he had one that was a full octave down this would be absolutely insane.

I was probably just talking out of my ass. I don't even remember what this sounds like it's been so long since I tried "getting it".

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