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Botanist - Ecosystem CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.00 | 1 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Honorary Reviewer
3 stars It is fair to safe that I'm not a massive fan of the only other release I have heard from Botanist, and I'm still not too sure about this one, but my mind is slowly starting to get around to understand what this incredibly different and experimental form of black metal is trying to achieve. They/he (apparently there is a collective, but I'm not sure if this is still a solo project by The Botanist or something else) like to be described as Green Metal, yet in normal parlance they would be thought of as a highly creative Experimental Avant-garde Black Metal outfit. Apparently, this is concept about the ecosystems of redwood forests on the West Coast of the United States, calling into question whether humanity has an operating 'ecosystem' of its own. Musically it is often based around a strident piano with heavy use of sustain, drums very much to the fore, with other instrumentation coming in and out.

It can be incredibly unsettling at times, like taking RIO to the extreme, and Art Zoyd being an obvious reference point, yet there are other times when it is quite brutal in its attack. Against that it can be lulling and gentle, the vocals being gently sung as opposed to be ripped from the throat by demons of Hades. This mix of instrumentation, sparse arrangements and vocals combine with a musical direction which is all over the place and in itself that is quite unsettling as the listener is never sure what is going to happen next, and whether it is a journey they really wish to complete. This certainly isn't for the unwary, and due to the manner it straddles so many genres, it may find itself being too far removed from what is generally expected, to be accepted even by those who want their music to be weird and challenging. As for me, although it may not be something I will listen to repeatedly for pleasure, for some quite perverse reason I am very glad I have heard it. Most definitely this is one to play on Bandcamp before purchase, and it will take quite a few listens to don't totally discard after the first one.

kev rowland | 3/5 |


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