Botanist - I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose From The Dead review




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Reviewer:
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19 users:
7.11
Band: Botanist
Album: I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose From The Dead
Release date: 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.

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


 


Comments

Comments: 65   Visited by: 283 users
23.11.2011 - 16:45
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Well.. I already explained my point of view in the album's thread so I'm just going to say that I highly enjoyed this review... Probably my favorite one of yours atm which says a lot since I always likeyour reviews.

Also... Like I said before. My school in chile should have taught us to play this kind of stuff with our xylophones back when I was little. Pure awesomeness.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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23.11.2011 - 16:46
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.11.2011 at 16:45

Well.. I already explained my point of view in the album's thread so I'm just going to say that I highly enjoyed this review... Probably my favorite one of yours atm which says a lot since I always likeyour reviews.

Also... Like I said before. My school in chile should have taught us to play this kind of stuff with our xylophones back when I was little. Pure awesomeness.

Cheers me old china I suspect this may be the first and last praise the album gets here.
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23.11.2011 - 16:48
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Guest on 23.11.2011 at 16:46
I suspect this may be the first and last praise the album gets here.


That was exactly the reason I wanted to post first.... To have at least one good thing to read first
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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23.11.2011 - 16:49
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Mr. Doctor on 23.11.2011 at 16:48


That was exactly the reason I wanted to post first.... To have at least one good thing to read first

I'll think of you when I'm getting a barrage of "how can anyone find this good!?" comments
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23.11.2011 - 20:54
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Sometimes I feel like I should just post a period or exclamation mark. Just to let you know that, once again, our tastes differ almost completely. I mean, this entire comment is practically redundant. You don't need to read it because you know it would only be me stating an opinion that opposes yours.

I can say nice review though. You managed to capture the ... oddness (?) of the album with your writing.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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23.11.2011 - 20:57
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Troy Killjoy on 23.11.2011 at 20:54

Sometimes I feel like I should just post a period or exclamation mark. Just to let you know that, once again, our tastes differ almost completely. I mean, this entire comment is practically redundant. You don't need to read it because you know it would only be me stating an opinion that opposes yours.

I can say nice review though. You managed to capture the ... oddness (?) of the album with your writing.

Ha cheers, it was quite difficult to summarise this with the lack of comparison that there is.

Still though, you gave this a 6.7 which shows you at least appreciate it on a conceptual level. You can always count on me to jump all over this kind of thing like a hungry labrador so things are still in good perspective here
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23.11.2011 - 21:00
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Guest on 23.11.2011 at 20:57
Still though, you gave this a 6.7 which shows you at least appreciate it on a conceptual level. You can always count on me to jump all over this kind of thing like a hungry labrador so things are still in good perspective here

Oh for sure, I mean my album thread comment probably sounded a lot worse than was meant. I was only pointing out the bad parts, explaining why I didn't like it or couldn't get into it (will have to respond to your quote btw, just working on that paragraph haha), but there are definitely things about this that are good. After all, it's still within the black metal confines and for that alone I usually find something enjoyable.

Unless it's Ajattara.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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23.11.2011 - 23:24
Slayer666
Meh, I said it once, saying it again: I find almost nothing enjoyable about this, even though I gave it a fair share of spins. I appreciate the innovation, so I wanted to like it. No dice, it just doesn't sound right.

The review is much better than the music, methinks.
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23.11.2011 - 23:31
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Slayer666 on 23.11.2011 at 23:24

Meh, I said it once, saying it again: I find almost nothing enjoyable about this, even though I gave it a fair share of spins. I appreciate the innovation, so I wanted to like it. No dice, it just doesn't sound right.

The review is much better than the music, methinks.

Cheers bub, at least you gave it a whirl or three.
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24.11.2011 - 02:04
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Seems to be like Giant Squid, but with plants (?)

Let's check this
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24.11.2011 - 02:07
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Unhealer on 24.11.2011 at 02:04
Seems to be like Giant Squid, but with plants (?)

:s How is this like Giant Squid?
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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24.11.2011 - 02:09
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.11.2011 at 02:07

Written by Unhealer on 24.11.2011 at 02:04
Seems to be like Giant Squid, but with plants (?)

:s How is this like Giant Squid?


I was referring to the song namings. Now I'm checking out the music... yup, nothing like GS O.o
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24.11.2011 - 02:12
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Unhealer on 24.11.2011 at 02:09
I was referring to the song namings. Now I'm checking out the music... yup, nothing like GS O.o

Ah, okay. I was like...they aren't black metal at all.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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24.11.2011 - 02:22
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Well, I heard a couple of songs from their website.
I'd like it better with a more modern production and BM vocals, maybe the oddity of the music plus the trve-kvlt BM sound it way too much to digest, but really got me interested anyway.

I'll check out the record!
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24.11.2011 - 02:24
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Are we still talking about Botanist or Giant Squid?

I think the vocals here are very "black metal", they're just...gurgled? Like maybe if Angel Ochoa decided to join a black metal outfit.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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24.11.2011 - 03:24
Unhealer
Eclecticist
Above I meant I'd like more modern BM vocals, I didn't mean it doesn't have any at all.
But they sound more like Darkthrone than Enslaved (later records at least). I think that with the later style it would be better.
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24.11.2011 - 04:12
Slinky666
Account deleted
In order to accommodate this one we have to create a new genre - exotic metal... It is bizarre and I kind of like it.
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24.11.2011 - 06:25
Fat & Sassy!
Nomcat
Purely avantgarde stuff here. Only listened to a few songs, but I think this pill would be a lot easier to swallow if the production was better. xD
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"Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST..." ____Frank Zappa
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24.11.2011 - 09:11
Mikyz
I know that I recommended this to you, but I still think that this is more interesting than good, though I did find this enjoyable and I like everything that tries to be different, this does a good job at that, it does a good job at creating an atmosphere and the music in itself isn't as impressive. I'd give this 8/10 I've listened to this a couple of times helps me study for some reason.
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Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
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24.11.2011 - 09:12
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Mikyz on 24.11.2011 at 09:11
I'd give this 8/10 I've listened to this a couple of times helps me study for some reason.

Maybe its nature theme has a growing effect that helps feed your brain. Like watering the seeds of knowledge in your mind.

It's late here. This is what happens when I stay up past 9:00 my bedtime.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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24.11.2011 - 09:26
Mikyz
Written by Troy Killjoy on 24.11.2011 at 09:12

Written by Mikyz on 24.11.2011 at 09:11
I'd give this 8/10 I've listened to this a couple of times helps me study for some reason.

Maybe its nature theme has a growing effect that helps feed your brain. Like watering the seeds of knowledge in your mind.

It's late here. This is what happens when I stay up past 9:00 my bedtime.


Yeah, my midterms are coming up so I'm going to play this death. I just hope the trees don't take too long to grow, cuz I need to pick them apples pretty soon. XD
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Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone.
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24.11.2011 - 11:01
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
Dang, I really wanted to enjoy this release based on how bizarre it sounded from your review. However, this album was just a chore to get through. None of the songs seem to go anywhere and the vocals are terrible. Like Inquisition bad. It would be cool to see what he could do with an actual band, in which he only played the dulcimer and had talented people do the drums and vocals.

Nonetheless, great review. Got me really intrigued. And I'll say this, the hammered dulcimer doesn't really seem all that out of place, it's just everything else that doesn't seem right.
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24.11.2011 - 12:52
!J.O.O.E.!
Account deleted
Written by Marcus on 24.11.2011 at 11:01

Dang, I really wanted to enjoy this release based on how bizarre it sounded from your review. However, this album was just a chore to get through. None of the songs seem to go anywhere and the vocals are terrible. Like Inquisition bad. It would be cool to see what he could do with an actual band, in which he only played the dulcimer and had talented people do the drums and vocals.

Nonetheless, great review. Got me really intrigued. And I'll say this, the hammered dulcimer doesn't really seem all that out of place, it's just everything else that doesn't seem right.

To be fair the guy is a drummer firsthand. I find nothing inherently wrong with the drums myself.
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24.11.2011 - 14:15
Merchant of Doom
Written by Guest on 24.11.2011 at 04:12

In order to accommodate this one we have to create a new genre - exotic metal... It is bizarre and I kind of like it.



you mean "neurotic metal"?
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24.11.2011 - 17:31
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Fat & Sassy! on 24.11.2011 at 06:25

Purely avantgarde stuff here. Only listened to a few songs, but I think this pill would be a lot easier to swallow if the production was better. xD


Am I the only one not seeing ANYTHING wrong with the production here? If people want it cleaner then I don't know what to say because it's pretty shiny clean already and everything can be heard perfectly. There's nothing to change
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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24.11.2011 - 17:56
Merchant of Doom
Written by Mr. Doctor on 24.11.2011 at 17:31

Written by Fat & Sassy! on 24.11.2011 at 06:25

Purely avantgarde stuff here. Only listened to a few songs, but I think this pill would be a lot easier to swallow if the production was better. xD


Am I the only one not seeing ANYTHING wrong with the production here? If people want it cleaner then I don't know what to say because it's pretty shiny clean already and everything can be heard perfectly. There's nothing to change


I think the production is clean enough... in fact, too clean!
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24.11.2011 - 18:00
Mr. Doctor
Skandino
Written by Merchant of Doom on 24.11.2011 at 17:56
I think the production is clean enough... in fact, too clean!


Well, I don't think a fuzzy sound would help at all. The dulcimer's sound is good enough to replicate a black riff without problems... If there were guitars this album wouldn't be too different from most BM. Imo this is a pretty obvious release... I said it before on the album thread: After some spins I did realise that the album just has to sound like this. In terms of production and composition there's nothing too bizarre about it.
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Written by BloodTears on 19.08.2011 at 18:29
Like you could kiss my ass
Written by Milena on 20.06.2012 at 10:49
Rod, let me love you.
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24.11.2011 - 19:19
Marcus
Doit Like Bernie
Written by Guest on 24.11.2011 at 12:52

Written by Marcus on 24.11.2011 at 11:01

Dang, I really wanted to enjoy this release based on how bizarre it sounded from your review. However, this album was just a chore to get through. None of the songs seem to go anywhere and the vocals are terrible. Like Inquisition bad. It would be cool to see what he could do with an actual band, in which he only played the dulcimer and had talented people do the drums and vocals.

Nonetheless, great review. Got me really intrigued. And I'll say this, the hammered dulcimer doesn't really seem all that out of place, it's just everything else that doesn't seem right.

To be fair the guy is a drummer firsthand. I find nothing inherently wrong with the drums myself.

It must have just been me, but the drums seemed a little synthetic in a few songs. I guess I didn't like how sporadic they were all the time as well.
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24.11.2011 - 20:36
Troy Killjoy
perfunctionist
Written by Mr. Doctor on 24.11.2011 at 17:31
Am I the only one not seeing ANYTHING wrong with the production here?

I didn't exactly think this was a great album and I've already posted a lot of reasons for why I didn't like it that much, but production is definitely not a problem here. In fact if I were to rate the production it would probably be an 8 or 9.
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Prettier than BloodTears.
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25.11.2011 - 05:18
Frank Sinistra
The review convinced me, should check this album ASAP

but i think it's a bit pretentious no?
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