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Botch - An Anthology of Dead Ends CD (album) cover




Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

4.00 | 2 ratings

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Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
4 stars Botch's 'An Anthology of Dead Ends' is the last studio recording we would get from this Tech Metal/Metalcore band because they disbanded shortly after. But if there is a metalcore band out there that must be heard because of their ingenuity in extreme rock with a crazy progressive metal mentality, this is it. There is only one problem in my book, and that is the dirty vocals which are non-melodic.

However, this is the must-hear album from the band. Yes it is hard and unrelenting. But it is also very progressive and full of ingenious time signatures and dangerous tricky riffs. Tech lovers must have this album, if for nothing else, to find out how it should have been done.

The EP has 6 trracks that all together only last a little over 20 minutes. Each track is named after a country, except the letter 'n' is replaced by 'm'. I'm not sure where this idea came from, or what it means, but that's how it is. The album starts out with an unapologetic bombastic explosion of guitar that lasts all of 14 seconds. But now you know what to expect, because it gets louder than this and more complex.

Next you have 'Spaim', 'Japam', and 'Vietmam'. Each one of these land between 3 and 4 minutes each, and each one features ever shifting meters and crazy, heavy guitar, extraordinary bass and non-djent drums, but heavy nonetheless. Each one of these is an all out attack to your senses and are bound to get your heart racing. The difference between this EP and the other noisy EPs by the band is that you hardly notice the screaming vocals as the instrumentals are crazy good, and that is the only way I take my music when screaming vocals are present. The musicianship is that good.

When we come to the 5th track, we think we know what to expect. But forget that. 'Afgamistam' is completely different from everything else you have heard before. This one turns out to be one of the best math core tracks I have ever heard. For one thing, there is no wall of noise, but more of a heavy bass with a more typical math core sound with a lot of space. The vocals are also clean, and it makes you wonder why the other vocals were necessary as the lead singer has an excellent clean voice. There is also a piano riff through the track. It is a nice slow burn that is worth the price of the entire EP. Excellent track, and if the EP had been full of tracks like this, it would have got a 5 star rating.

Last of all, segueing into the final track with a chaotic build in noise, we go into 'Micaragua' which increases in non-melodic sound as a excellent drum passage tries to hold it all together. This is like the final goodbye from the band as the drums slow down against the wall of feedback and then short bursts of anger from the vocals as the noise from the instruments create a collage of ugly beauty. What a way to end.

It is such a pity that this band had to separate, but out of their ashes have come bands like 'Minus the Bear' and 'These Arms Are Snakes'. But what we have from them while together as 'Botch' is some tech metal that pushed the boundaries beyond it's usual limits. I can't say this EP is perfect, as there are those dirty vocals to deal with, but it is one of the few albums I can listen to without minding too much about the vocals. The other thing about this EP is that it is the only EP by the band that is not available in any other form. All of the band's other EPs are available on the collection 'Unifying Themes Redux', but their best one, which is the one under review here, is only available this way. And for Tech metal and Progressive Metal lovers, it is one that you need to find.

TCat | 4/5 |


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