Release date: 2 July 2011
Style: Experimental black metal

Rating:

6.8 | 18 votes

Owners:

11 have it
6 want it


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. - - - - -

Review


Line-up
Roberto "Otrebor" Martinelli - vocals, drums, hammered dulcimer


Additional info
Released on tUMULt records.

Staff review by
!J.O.O.E.!

Rating:
N/A
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.

Read more ››
published 23.11.2011 | Comments (63)

Staff pick by
!J.O.O.E.!

22.11.2011 Yes, you read that correctly, hammered dulcimer black metal.

!J.O.O.E.!'s picks | More picks ››

Found in 6 lists
Top lists

!J.O.O.E.! An Ever Expanding Agglomeration Of 2011's Best & Most Intriguing Concoctions - Now With ❤!  | #4
Mikyz 2011: What I'm Listening To  | #47
NocturnalStalker The Highlights Of 2011  | #72
Frank Sinistra 2011 Favorite So Far...  | #15
7thSlave 2011 Top To Bottom.  | #20
musclassia 2011: Favourite To Least  | #147
More lists | Create a list! ››



Comments

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Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 00:06  
  Way too gimmicky; sometimes what makes an experimental release worthwhile is its ability to maintain structure and rigidity. This is too loose for me and as a result I can't decide where I'm supposed to be focusing. It has moments of brilliance but they're few and far between, especially when you consider the originality factor. That being said, not every first release is a winner. I expect this sound will be improved upon in the near future (as in as soon as enough musicians get ear of it) so we'll likely see an influx in this kind of experimental black metal, and with that should come more definition.
Moose - 23.11.2011 at 04:32  
  I would honestly prefer to listen to Lulu. I can understand how people could think "this is strange and interesting", but really can not imagine actually enjoying it as "music". Ah well, each to their own.
Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 05:58  
  At least some of the songs here are typically structured and varied. Lulu is more than an hour of one riff.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 12:31  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.11.2011 at 00:06

Way too gimmicky; sometimes what makes an experimental release worthwhile is its ability to maintain structure and rigidity. This is too loose for me and as a result I can't decide where I'm supposed to be focusing. It has moments of brilliance but they're few and far between, especially when you consider the originality factor. That being said, not every first release is a winner. I expect this sound will be improved upon in the near future (as in as soon as enough musicians get ear of it) so we'll likely see an influx in this kind of experimental black metal, and with that should come more definition.

We absolutely won't see in influx of this kind of experimental music, ever (where are all the Blut aus Nord/MoRT/!T.O.O.H.!/The Meads Of Asphodel etc. clones)? By their very nature this kind of thing never gains a big enough foothold whereby many people will be brave enough to tackle it or some derivation. You might find the odd black metal outfit including a few hammered dulcimer moments in their sound, or at very best a Sear Bliss with a hammered dulcimer.

Naturally I don't concur with these ideas of looseness. Botanist's sound is very direct and almost simple in its application (aside from the technical requirements of playing a dulcimer) and has a solid approach across all forty tracks, I would say this is the very definition of structurally rigid, in fact. What you get in track 2 you get in track 25 which you also get in track 37. After the initial adjustment there's really nothing to surprise you, or me anyway.

That's not to say I'm expecting a lot of positive reactions for this. Metallers like their metal well-sustained, familiar and in the middle of normality with an outside coating of rebellion and individuality, and most importantly, a big fat history giving them permission to like a certain brand of music. They don't like having to reboot their senses.
Mr. Doctor - 23.11.2011 at 16:13  
Rating: 9
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 12:31

Naturally I don't concur with these ideas of looseness. Botanist's sound is very direct and almost simple in its application (aside from the technical requirements of playing a dulcimer) and has a solid approach across all forty tracks, I would say this is the very definition of structurally rigid, in fact. What you get in track 2 you get in track 25 which you also get in track 37. After the initial adjustment there's really nothing to surprise you, or me anyway.


I fully agree here. Despite the initial shock because of how bizarre everything sounds... the songwritting itself is incredibly consistent, direct and stucturally rigid indeed and almost kind of obvious... After the first wave of "wtf was that" everything falls into place and you begin to go all "well, of course it has to sound like that". When you think about it... The riffs are pure black metal riffs which brings the big question: What's black metal anyways?
Just for bringing up that question with a new perspective, this guy gets full credit for me... I still need to listen to it more but I think this is a good album and quite the statement in terms of what is the true definition of a genre.
Also... Like you said: I have a hard time a lot of bands trying this stuff.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 16:19  
Rating: 9
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.11.2011 at 16:13

I fully agree here. Despite the initial shock because of how bizarre everything sounds... the songwritting itself is incredibly consistent, direct and stucturally rigid indeed and almost kind of obvious... After the first wave of "wtf was that" everything falls into place and you begin to go all "well, of course it has to sound like that". When you think about it... The riffs are pure black metal riffs which brings the big question: What's black metal anyways?
Just for bringing up that question with a new perspective, this guy gets full credit for me... I still need to listen to it more but I think this is a good album and quite the statement in terms of what is the true definition of a genre.
Also... Like you said: I have a hard time a lot of bands trying this stuff.

It's kinda hard to promote the message to people that it's different but basically the same. A different way of doing a familiar thing, rather than the same way of doing something else (like most avant garde bands). I think people are much more sensitive to the "sound" of something than they realise/want to admit (which is why so many people don't like modern variants of say, thrash metal, which eschew the rough production for a shiny polished one, even though the riffs are largely the same). They can handle a familiar sound trying out different techniques and structures but when faced with a different sound, the most basic element of music, people flip out and don't know how to handle it. That's how I see it anyway.
Mr. Doctor - 23.11.2011 at 16:40  
Rating: 9
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 16:19
(which is why so many people don't like modern variants of say, thrash metal, which eschew the rough production for a shiny polished one, even though the riffs are largely the same).


Weird.. I have no problems with Black with a somewhat clean production but yeah... Most of the time Thrash with a shiny polished one kind of pissed me off because I just don't think it sounds good.

Damn... My school back in Chile should have teach us to play this kind of stuff with our xelophones when we were little.
it would have been so fucking awesome...
Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 21:52  
 
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 12:31
We absolutely won't see in influx of this kind of experimental music, ever (where are all the Blut aus Nord/MoRT/!T.O.O.H.!/The Meads Of Asphodel etc. clones)? By their very nature this kind of thing never gains a big enough foothold whereby many people will be brave enough to tackle it or some derivation. You might find the odd black metal outfit including a few hammered dulcimer moments in their sound, or at very best a Sear Bliss with a hammered dulcimer.

Naturally I don't concur with these ideas of looseness. Botanist's sound is very direct and almost simple in its application (aside from the technical requirements of playing a dulcimer) and has a solid approach across all forty tracks, I would say this is the very definition of structurally rigid, in fact. What you get in track 2 you get in track 25 which you also get in track 37. After the initial adjustment there's really nothing to surprise you, or me anyway.

That's not to say I'm expecting a lot of positive reactions for this. Metallers like their metal well-sustained, familiar and in the middle of normality with an outside coating of rebellion and individuality, and most importantly, a big fat history giving them permission to like a certain brand of music. They don't like having to reboot their senses.

If there isn't a slew of bands trying to copy the sound it won't be the worst thing to happen, but it would be nice if others tried their hand at this to see what can be improve upon or added to. I'm sure bands from other countries can add their regional influence to it (like the Finns with their brand of melodeath and us Canadians with our atmo/depressive black metal), but like you said there are experimental bands that go by the way side that nobody decides to try to copy. Kind of the opposite of revivalist bands, really, especially since this sound isn't necessarily defined by anyone other than this band. And even then it really isn't a defined sound to me.

I see where you're coming from with the simplicity factor. And I agree to an extent. I think it's meant to sound as if it were applied in a simple way, but it still comes across as disjointed. It follows most typical black metal structures, but there's a big difference for me (conceptually or something, still haven't decided) between something like this and, say, A Blaze in the Northern Sky. That is an incredibly simple album but done in a way that the album flows together evenly, but what I got from this (after two listens) was a disjointed feel. But that might be due to the tracklist and song lengths that read like a grindcore release - a genre I've always enjoyed but would probably like more if there weren't 50 30-second songs on every release.

And on the whole I agree with your assessment of most metalheads in that they like their coffee black and don't want to experiment with flavoring or different brews (or in this case, adding psychotropics and paint thinner) but that doesn't mean this won't be appreciated by at least a few others. I for one found it...well, almost good (with the exceptions noted in my comment above) but it just didn't get "there" with me. And regardless of permission to like it (don't I know about that, I used to be a slave to what the majority thought about classics and turds and whatnot) I can safely say I made my own opinion on this and even if this is heralded as one of the greatest experimental releases of its time (in a few years or whatever), my opinion won't change accordingly.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 22:01  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.11.2011 at 21:52

If there isn't a slew of bands trying to copy the sound it won't be the worst thing to happen, but it would be nice if others tried their hand at this to see what can be improve upon or added to. I'm sure bands from other countries can add their regional influence to it (like the Finns with their brand of melodeath and us Canadians with our atmo/depressive black metal), but like you said there are experimental bands that go by the way side that nobody decides to try to copy. Kind of the opposite of revivalist bands, really, especially since this sound isn't necessarily defined by anyone other than this band. And even then it really isn't a defined sound to me.

I see where you're coming from with the simplicity factor. And I agree to an extent. I think it's meant to sound as if it were applied in a simple way, but it still comes across as disjointed. It follows most typical black metal structures, but there's a big difference for me (conceptually or something, still haven't decided) between something like this and, say, A Blaze in the Northern Sky. That is an incredibly simple album but done in a way that the album flows together evenly, but what I got from this (after two listens) was a disjointed feel. But that might be due to the tracklist and song lengths that read like a grindcore release - a genre I've always enjoyed but would probably like more if there weren't 50 30-second songs on every release.

And on the whole I agree with your assessment of most metalheads in that they like their coffee black and don't want to experiment with flavoring or different brews (or in this case, adding psychotropics and paint thinner) but that doesn't mean this won't be appreciated by at least a few others. I for one found it...well, almost good (with the exceptions noted in my comment above) but it just didn't get "there" with me. And regardless of permission to like it (don't I know about that, I used to be a slave to what the majority thought about classics and turds and whatnot) I can safely say I made my own opinion on this and even if this is heralded as one of the greatest experimental releases of its time (in a few years or whatever), my opinion won't change accordingly.

Do you not wonder if the disjointed nature of it is simply some kind of dissonance between what it actually is and your own preconceptions? You listen to it expecting black metal from what you know of it and what it gives you, but the alien element of the dulcimer connects in a way that makes your brain scream "This is wrong! This isn't how it's supposed to be!"? Obviously I'm not trying to guess the workings of your brain here, I just remember when I first listened to A Transylvanian Hunger my mind could not initially adapt to what it was, I was constantly aware of the production and the fact everything about it sounded wrong (compared to the melodeath I typically listened to). I mean, somehow a bunch of people made the ideal of shitty sounding, simplistic and clumsy music paramount which somehow managed to appeal to a huge amount of people, even though the cultural norm is concerned with clarity and melody. When I think of that the idea of a slight modification using a dulcimer instead of a guitar is a minor alteration compared to what black metal originally did.
Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 22:07  
 
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 22:01
Do you not wonder if the disjointed nature of it is simply some kind of dissonance between what it actually is and your own preconceptions?

I can't give you an honest answer to that question because I don't even know how my brain works with these things. Over time I've been trying to just enjoy what I enjoy and not force myself into liking what I don't, and sometimes a release like this catches my attention (or is recommended to me) and I just can't get into it. That could be a result of preconceived notions of what a specific subgenre should typify, it could just be a matter of ... I want to say something fancy about my ears not liking it but my ears not liking it is the fanciest I can do.

All I know is that this is above average to me, but nothing outstanding. And I've been working on adapting to more "experimental" releases (for as experimental as I've been able to enjoy, anyway) like Cloak of Altering and Gnaw Their Tongues. Perhaps in a year or so I'll return to this once I'm better acquainted with less traditional sounding forms of metal and find I thoroughly enjoy this. Or I might return and find it got worse, who knows.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 22:12  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.11.2011 at 22:07

I can't give you an honest answer to that question because I don't even know how my brain works with these things. Over time I've been trying to just enjoy what I enjoy and not force myself into liking what I don't, and sometimes a release like this catches my attention (or is recommended to me) and I just can't get into it. That could be a result of preconceived notions of what a specific subgenre should typify, it could just be a matter of ... I want to say something fancy about my ears not liking it but my ears not liking it is the fanciest I can do.

All I know is that this is above average to me, but nothing outstanding. And I've been working on adapting to more "experimental" releases (for as experimental as I've been able to enjoy, anyway) like Cloak of Altering and Gnaw Their Tongues. Perhaps in a year or so I'll return to this once I'm better acquainted with less traditional sounding forms of metal and find I thoroughly enjoy this. Or I might return and find it got worse, who knows.

I take it you didn't fare too well with those industrially/obscure black metal bands I recommended =P

Well, it's all vague and unidentifiable anyway. I think Botanist is a nice case-in-point of experimental, extreme music. It's the most appropriate example of perception-challenging music I've come across, perhaps ever. Even stuff like BaN and such stuff probably won't create such a polarising opinion as this will so I look forward to seeing how this is received in the future.
Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 22:20  
 
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 22:12
I take it you didn't fare too well with those industrially/obscure black metal bands I recommended =P

Not too well, no. To be honest I actually enjoyed this album more than most of that stuff. I'll have to remind myself to come back to this in time though, I don't want to forget it because it has a chance to be a breakthrough listen for me in terms of expanding my horizons.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 22:24  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.11.2011 at 22:20

Not too well, no. To be honest I actually enjoyed this album more than most of that stuff. I'll have to remind myself to come back to this in time though, I don't want to forget it because it has a chance to be a breakthrough listen for me in terms of expanding my horizons.

I guess that kind of music goes a bit deeper than just liking the music itself. I'm somewhat opposed to depressive stuff, probably not because of the way it sounds but rather for what it represents. Not something I connect with. I guess the stuff I like is more apocalyptic/dirty/industrial oriented which is something I dig, so it comes free with a nice set of codes and images which I can jump straight on board with.
Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 22:26  
 
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 22:24
I guess that kind of music goes a bit deeper than just liking the music itself. I'm somewhat opposed to depressive stuff, probably not because of the way it sounds but rather for what it represents. Not something I connect with. I guess the stuff I like is more apocalyptic/dirty/industrial oriented which is something I dig, so it comes free with a nice set of codes and images which I can jump straight on board with.

So what you're saying is if you're weird you like weird music.

I can be weird too Joe. I can be...very weird.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 22:28  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.11.2011 at 22:26

So what you're saying is if you're weird you like weird music.

I can be weird too Joe. I can be...very weird.

Yeah... but you're probably more like "Mikko Aspa" weird... >.>
Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 22:30  
 
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 22:28
Yeah... but you're probably more like "Mikko Aspa" weird... >.>

I'm going to take that as a compliment and leave this thread alone now.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 22:33  
Rating: 9
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.11.2011 at 22:30

I'm going to take that as a compliment and leave this thread alone now.

Yeah, leave this thread to look at PORN!
Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 22:34  
  Exactly. Now stop distracting me.
mz - 20.05.2013 at 16:58  
Rating: 5 Not impressed by this at all, it might be due to fact that dulcimer is extensively used in Persian traditional music and I've heard much more interesting performances by that instrument. I respect the braveness and that's it for me.
3rdWorld - 05.11.2013 at 18:48  
 
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 23.11.2011 at 22:28

Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.11.2011 at 22:26

So what you're saying is if you're weird you like weird music.

I can be weird too Joe. I can be...very weird.

Yeah... but you're probably more like "Mikko Aspa" weird... >.>

What is wrong with Mikko Aspa? (Atleast to the point of mentioning him for an intended..... insult, I guess :p). I heard Clandestine Blaze's latest record Harmony Of Struggle and really liked it a lot.

As far as this album is considered, I found the novelty enjoyable and it is indeed heavily structured. And moresoever irrespective of whether this tries to invoke the stylistic runnings of grind or black, the very fact that it has a dulcimer played in a metal album would've been enough for me to check this out especially if it is used to such an amazing extent such that it is the only instrument apart from the drums and how this would add up to sounding metal. Both exotic and a novelty as well.
!J.O.O.E.! - 05.11.2013 at 19:22  
Rating: 9
Written by 3rdWorld on 05.11.2013 at 18:48

What is wrong with Mikko Aspa? (Atleast to the point of mentioning him for an intended..... insult, I guess :p). I heard Clandestine Blaze's latest record Harmony Of Struggle and really liked it a lot.

Mikko Aspa is practically a self-confessed hebephile / pedophile (see his Nicole 12 power electronics project), and I think he published porn mags for a while too
3rdWorld - 05.11.2013 at 22:34  
 
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 05.11.2013 at 19:22

Written by 3rdWorld on 05.11.2013 at 18:48

What is wrong with Mikko Aspa? (Atleast to the point of mentioning him for an intended..... insult, I guess :p). I heard Clandestine Blaze's latest record Harmony Of Struggle and really liked it a lot.

Mikko Aspa is practically a self-confessed hebephile / pedophile (see his Nicole 12 power electronics project), and I think he published porn mags for a while too

That is indeed some sick fucked up interesting sexual orientation.
BoxCar Willy - 28.01.2014 at 23:03  
Rating: 9 This is so weird but I love it.
snake? snaaaake! - 01.04.2014 at 00:06  
Rating: 1 I've tried so hard with this for the best part of a year now and I've come to a conclusion. Shite. It's very rare I find something offensively bad but this one crosses that line.

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