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.
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.
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.
Although this doesn't count as musical agreement because it's only a matter of agreeing on genre, not enjoyment. I almost got excited.