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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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Mr. Doctor - 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.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 16:46  
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.
Mr. Doctor - 23.11.2011 at 16:48  
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.


That was exactly the reason I wanted to post first.... To have at least one good thing to read first
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 16:49  
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
Troy Killjoy - 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.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 20:57  
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
Troy Killjoy - 23.11.2011 at 21:00  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! 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.
Slayer666 - 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.
!J.O.O.E.! - 23.11.2011 at 23:31  
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.
Unhealer - 24.11.2011 at 02:04  
Seems to be like Giant Squid, but with plants (?)

Let's check this
Troy Killjoy - 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?
Unhealer - 24.11.2011 at 02:09  
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
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 02:12  
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.
Unhealer - 24.11.2011 at 02:22  
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!
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 02:24  
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.
Unhealer - 24.11.2011 at 03:24  
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.
Slinky666 - 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.
Fat & Sassy! - 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
Mikyz - 24.11.2011 at 09:11  
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.
Troy Killjoy - 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.
Mikyz - 24.11.2011 at 09:26  
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
Marcus - 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.
!J.O.O.E.! - 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.
Merchant of Doom - 24.11.2011 at 14:15  
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"?
Mr. Doctor - 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
Merchant of Doom - 24.11.2011 at 17:56  
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!
Mr. Doctor - 24.11.2011 at 18:00  
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.
Marcus - 24.11.2011 at 19:19  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! 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.
Troy Killjoy - 24.11.2011 at 20:36  
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.
Frank Sinistra - 25.11.2011 at 05:18  
The review convinced me, should check this album ASAP

but i think it's a bit pretentious no?
Troy Killjoy - 25.11.2011 at 05:24  
Written by Frank Sinistra on 25.11.2011 at 05:18
but i think it's a bit pretentious no?

I don't know if I'd say it's pretentious... I mean it's definitely artistic, there is an obvious "wow" factor but I don't think it was done with the intention of sounding or feeling pretentious.

Sometimes artsy fartsy releases like this come across as being more pretentious than they really mean to be.
Frank Sinistra - 25.11.2011 at 06:08  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.11.2011 at 05:24

Written by Frank Sinistra on 25.11.2011 at 05:18
but i think it's a bit pretentious no?

I don't know if I'd say it's pretentious... I mean it's definitely artistic, there is an obvious "wow" factor but I don't think it was done with the intention of sounding or feeling pretentious.

Sometimes artsy fartsy releases like this come across as being more pretentious than they really mean to be.


well i do share the same opinion sir.. Therefore i should check this album first
btw quite a new approach to the so called black metal genre, nice pick!
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.11.2011 at 13:06  
A little pretension never hurt anyone anyhoo ;]
Troy Killjoy - 25.11.2011 at 21:12  
A little, ya. I still don't find this a pretentious release but even if I did I'd say the amount of pretentiousness is minimal and therefore welcome.
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.11.2011 at 21:25  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.11.2011 at 21:12

A little, ya. I still don't find this a pretentious release but even if I did I'd say the amount of pretentiousness is minimal and therefore welcome.

I still don't really think the concept of pretentiousness can (easily) be applied to music as such, it's too vague a word that morphs meanings every time someone uses it for their own ends. In the end it's a meaningless word that doesn't help in description in the slightest.
Troy Killjoy - 25.11.2011 at 21:28  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 25.11.2011 at 21:25
In the end it's a meaningless word that doesn't help in description in the slightest.

Good point, although I think it's safe to say something like Lulu is pretentious.
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.11.2011 at 21:30  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.11.2011 at 21:28

Good point, although I think it's safe to say something like Lulu is pretentious.

Perhaps, but I'd say that's only because pretentiousness is synonymous with "bad" (even though that's not always the case).
Troy Killjoy - 25.11.2011 at 21:32  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 25.11.2011 at 21:30
Perhaps, but I'd say that's only because pretentiousness is synonymous with "bad" (even though that's not always the case).

Well now I feel mindfucked so I'll leave this review alone. How come more people haven't sent you hatemail for this? Not even a single user threatening your life. MS has changed.
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.11.2011 at 21:34  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.11.2011 at 21:32

Well now I feel mindfucked so I'll leave this review alone. How come more people haven't sent you hatemail for this? Not even a single user threatening your life. MS has changed.

Mayhaps it's because I'm so gloriously gorgeous and intimidating. Or maybe because it's at least a parsec outside of everyone's tastes so they don't really care? I'm not offending anyone's sensibilities here.
Troy Killjoy - 25.11.2011 at 21:37  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 25.11.2011 at 21:34
Or maybe because it's at least a parsec outside of everyone's tastes so they don't really care? I'm not offending anyone's sensibilities here.

That's what it is. Give this a 1 or a 10 and nobody even thinks twice because it's so far from the realm of interesting to them... It just goes by the wayside. I listened to a few songs last night just to see if it had any immediate impact - no dice. Still a high 6 but I'm beginning to appreciate the concept more at least.

I really like the album title(s). Reminds me of The Fountain with Huge Ackman.
!J.O.O.E.! - 25.11.2011 at 21:42  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 25.11.2011 at 21:37

I really like the album title(s). Reminds me of The Fountain with Huge Ackman.

I haven't seen that, looked a bit soppy... but yeah the titles are very cool. Some nice puns in there too. I wondered if some were parodies/takes on existing black metal paraphernalia. Chaining The Catechin - Chaining the Katechon?
Troy Killjoy - 25.11.2011 at 21:44  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 25.11.2011 at 21:42
I haven't seen that, looked a bit soppy... but yeah the titles are very cool. Some nice puns in there too. I wondered if some were parodies/takes on existing black metal paraphernalia. Chaining The Catechin - Chaining the Katechon?

I'm sure all wordplay is purely intentional. It seems like too purposeful an album to incorporate the element of irony purely by accident.

And it is a bit of a sop-fest, but it's also a mind-fuck of an ending. Plus if you watch it with a ladyfriend...
ß - 26.11.2011 at 01:28  
For some reason the idea of drum and vocal based Black Metal turns me off. I've been quite reluctant to give this a listen.
DahliaRock - 26.11.2011 at 23:06  
I seriously was like WTF when I heard this.. so unusual, so strange, yet so elegant! thanks for introducing me to a band like this!
!J.O.O.E.! - 26.11.2011 at 23:33  
Written by DahliaRock on 26.11.2011 at 23:06

I seriously was like WTF when I heard this.. so unusual, so strange, yet so elegant! thanks for introducing me to a band like this!

No problem, glad someone appreciates it.
Boxcar Willy - 27.11.2011 at 16:17  
:/ not for me...
Nocturno-Inculto - 27.11.2011 at 23:20  
To me the first song sounds horrible!!!! It souns like... well, I'm going to listen all the album with the 2 cd's expecting to hear something good, and not a "song" like that one in the youtube video "10 worst black metal videos".
DahliaRock - 27.11.2011 at 23:29  
Written by !J.O.O.E.! on 26.11.2011 at 23:33

Written by DahliaRock on 26.11.2011 at 23:06

I seriously was like WTF when I heard this.. so unusual, so strange, yet so elegant! thanks for introducing me to a band like this!

No problem, glad someone appreciates it.


It's really hard to digest, but yeah, I've listened to stuff so weird that I can compare it to fucked up bdsm porn that this actually excites me
Troy Killjoy - 28.11.2011 at 01:13  
Whoa TMI. :s
Void Eater - 28.11.2011 at 02:26  
This album has potential to... Grow on me...



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.

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