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BOTCH

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • United States


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Botch biography
BOTCH were a mathcore quartet from Tacoma, Washington, who were formed in 1993 by bassist/vocalist Brian COOK (RUSSIAN CIRCLES, THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES), guitarist Dave KNUDSON (MINUS THE BEAR), vocalist Dave VERELLEN (NARROWS) and drummer Tim LATONA. They released two full-length albums on Hydra Head Records (1998?s ''American Nervoso'' and 1999's ''We Are the Romans''), as well as numerous other splits and EPs before breaking up in 2002.

BOTCH were among the forerunners of American hardcore acts in the 90's who began experimenting with irregular time signatures and unpredictably polyrhythmic guitars, all while becoming progressively heavier and incorporating the signature sound and stylistic tendencies more associated with the metal genre. Alongside contemporaries like THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, CAVE IN and COALESCE, their major releases helped cement the foundations for what is more commonly referred to today as mathcore.

BOTCH are recommended for all fans of experimental and progressive hardcore and their associated acts.

Bio by NecronCommander

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BOTCH discography


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BOTCH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.69 | 7 ratings
American Nervoso
1998
4.67 | 11 ratings
We Are the Romans
1999

BOTCH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
061502
2006

BOTCH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BOTCH Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Unifying Themes of Sex, Death and Religion
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Unifying Themes Redux
2002

BOTCH Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Faction
1995
1.95 | 2 ratings
The John Birch Conspiracy Theory
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Botch / Nineironspitfire Split
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Edge of Quarrel
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
In These Black Days Volume 5
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Knut / Botch / Ananda Split
2000
4.00 | 1 ratings
An Anthology of Dead Ends
2002

BOTCH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 We Are the Romans by BOTCH album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.67 | 11 ratings

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We Are the Romans
Botch Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by progtime1234567

5 stars I remember back in the day (about a month ago or so, maybe two) when this album was on streaming services. Now it's gone. Nice. I don't want to track down a CD because they're expensive, so I listened to this album on YouTube instead of on Apple Music for my second listen. Lame. But anyway, the album.

We Are the Romans is the second and final studio album by the hardcore band Botch. It is a classic of metalcore and hardcore, and it was very influential to development of mathcore. Metalcore bands from the late 1990's such as Coalesce, Kiss it goodbye, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Botch all played a sound that was first labeled as "noisecore." This would turn into what we know today as mathcore. These other bands and of course Botch played a technical style of metalcore that was different from other metalcore bands at the time.

We Are the Romans is one of the best metalcore albums I have ever heard, or maybe even one of the best prog albums I've ever heard. The album is almost an hour long, atypical for metalcore for the time and hardcore, and it is filled to the brim with technical metalcore that is a blessing to your ears. The album would influence mathcore, progressive metalcore, and progressive metal bands in general. It's influence can be heard all throughout the prog and metal worlds.

If you like post metal, metalcore, mathcore, or progressive metal, I highly recommend this masterpiece. Of course, you'll have to listen to it on YouTube or track down a physical copy of it. It is worth the listen though; I can't recommend this masterwork of an album any more than I do now. An all-time great classic masterpiece of metalcore, metal, and progressive music. Classic album.

 American Nervoso by BOTCH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.69 | 7 ratings

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American Nervoso
Botch Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Progressive metalcore is one of those splinter genres that is too wildly abrasive for prog lovers and too artsy fartsy for many who indulge in the core section at the metal supermarket but has been somewhat popular in crafting a unique hybridization of the two styles for those into both sides of the fence. The term mathcore covers a lot of these bands in a generic sense but just like technical death metal and progressive death metal, has slightly different dynamics which take place. The Tacoma, WA based BOTCH straddled the lines between straight out metalcore and mathcore and thus found a few fans from both sides of the fence including Aaron Turner who was the vocalist for the post-metal band Isis and founder of the Hydra Head Records label.

BOTCH formed all the way back in 1993 and released a series of EPs of loud and abrasive metal / mathcore but also was more adventurous than the usual band of noisemakers by covering unexpected pieces such as Carl Orff's "O Fortuna" on "The John Birch Conspiracy Theory" EP. After several years of taking the mathcore realm to more fertile grounds and incessantly touring which gained the band a larger following, BOTCH finally released its debut album AMERICAN NERVOSO in 1998 which featured a stealthy mix of mathcore laced post-hardcore with occasional drifts into piano based progressive rock. The album sort of went over the heads of many as whole progressive metalcore thing hadn't really caught on yet but nevertheless the band toured with The Dillinger Escape Plan and Jesuit. The album as you may have guess debuted on Hydra Head Records!

AMERICAN NERVOSO originally only had nine tracks on the first pressing but subsequent releases have added five bonus tracks which are all worthy editions albeit clearly in the bonus track realms. The album starts off in full metalcore mode with "Hutton's Great Heat Engine" and is a little misleading as the album doesn't start crafting a more intricate deliveries with more frequent time signature changes until the track takes off. Late on it hots softer passages that escape the incessant bombast of the frenetic bass, drum and guitar assaults linked with Dave Vereillen's frantic screaming, however even on the opening number, BOTCH are clearly not your run of the mill metalcore group as there are moments of more atmospheric contemplation with subdued clean vocals and more guitar sustain than rampaging chords.

Perhaps what is most effective in this kind of extreme metal is the diversity of the guitar riffs and styles of playing throughout the album. One trick pony extremism can become quite tiring for an album's run yet BOTCH excel at keeping the raw core bombast as the album's emphasis while pulling enough tricks out of their sleeves to leave an extremist metal lover's attention fully in tact. In addition to rhythmic variations and tempo changes, the band delivers some progressive deviations as well as a few moments of respite to allow the contrast to sink in such as the space rock beginning of "Dead For A Minute." While labeled as mathcore on many databases, AMERICAN NERVOSO is much more of a progressive metalcore album with some mathcore seeping in once and a while. Regardless of how you classify BOTCH's debut full-length, it's certainly a compelling listening experience if you can handle the incessant screamed vocals. BOTCH would release one more album before breaking up but they certainly made their short run count.

 American Nervoso by BOTCH album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.69 | 7 ratings

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American Nervoso
Botch Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by progtime1234567

3 stars American Nervoso is the first album by Botch. Botch is very technical and experimental compared to some of their peers, as they are at the center a metalcore and hardcore punk band, but they're not only good at playing that style of music, they also take it and add their own flavor to it. Really the only other bands that Botch remotely sounds like are Coalesce, Converge, Daughters, and maybe even some post metal bands like Isis, but they still have their own unique style of music. The album itself it pretty short as common with hardcore but the songs have a lot going on even though they have shorter lengths. The playing is very technical and their are some strange song structures and time signatures.

The bands follow up and final album, We are the Romans in my opinion is better but American Nervoso is a very creative album. The sound would evolve on the bands follow up a year later. A nice piece of metalcore and hardcore.

 An Anthology of Dead Ends by BOTCH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2002
4.00 | 1 ratings

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An Anthology of Dead Ends
Botch Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

— First review of this album —
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.

 The John Birch Conspiracy Theory by BOTCH album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1996
1.95 | 2 ratings

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The John Birch Conspiracy Theory
Botch Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

2 stars Botch is a band that released 2 albums, 1 live album, and several EPs and splits before they disbanded and went their separate ways (Minus the Bear, These Arms are Snakes, and others). They were considered a Metal Core band, which is a very loud version of Math Core. Being put under Tech/Extreme Prog Metal in Prog Archives is an appropriate placement.

The music itself is definitely hardcore metal, but with a progressive edge. It's the vocals that I have a hard time with. They are non-melodic and screaming, at least when they are not field recordings. If you can get past that, the instrumentals are top notch, but they can be hard to listen to with the screaming. If you like that style, then you should be interested, but for me it ruins the excellent job by bass, guitars and drums. The best track on this is "O Fortuna" which is their extreme rendition of the famous operatic song. At least there aren't as many vocals on that one.

The music is definitely primal and loud. This particular EP is now available on the collection "Unifying Themes Redux" which combines 2 of the 3 EPs, the Botch songs on their split singles, and also some unreleased tracks. This is the best way to purchase the music, and that release makes this EP obsolete. We'll go two stars on this one, only because the instrumental parts are great, but the screaming is awful.

 We Are the Romans by BOTCH album cover Studio Album, 1999
4.67 | 11 ratings

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We Are the Romans
Botch Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by LearsFool
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Botch played what they call mathcore: take a particularly loud,heavy, and fast take on shred metal and then add more complex time signatures and fast changes than any average tech death band could ever handle. The result is one of the hardest genres of music to ever get into, but those who can listen to it are rewarded with a hardy challenge and a quick moving succession of complex wonder. And bowing out right when The Dillinger Escape Plan was getting started cutting albums, Botch did so with "We Are The Romans", the cream of the crop of the genre. Some of the fastest, tightest, and most complex metal ever was forged by the trifecta of Knudson on guitar, Cook on bass, and Latona on drums. Each played their instruments to the fullest, without flaw. They run rampant through ten tracks of atomic power, each uniquely titled. How can you pass up tracks called "Man The Ramparts", "C. Thomas Howell as The Soul Man", and "Saint Matthew Returns To The Womb"? The epicness and strangeness of these titles is lived up to by the music. Nothing, not even Dillinger, compares. Excellent. Transcendent. The very pinnacle of shred metal.
Thanks to aapatsos for the artist addition.

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