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Botanist - Hammer of Botany (Reissue) Award winner

Hammer of Botany (Reissue)
by Jered “The Inertia” Lacks at 17 April 2019, 11:37 PM

BOTANIST is very unique band deriving from San Francisco, California. With experimental elements of Black Metal and that of “Green” or “Raw Planet” Metal, which I had never heard of before. The band was founded by Vocalist and Drummer, Otrebor. They began their discography in 2011 with “I: The Suicide Tree” and have had a number of releases since then. The band is themed around the perspective of a “crazed man of science who lives in self imposed exile far away from humanity and crimes against nature” named The BOTANIST. The character of The BOTANIST surrounds himself with plants and flowers in his sanctuary of fantasy, called The Verdant Realm. I enjoy a little bit of fiction that coincides with musicianship. Sometimes it can add more interest and depth, almost as if its a story with a character we can follow throughout.

I had never heard of this band before, nor have I ever heard anything like it. This was interesting to listen to, but I will have to say that it’s just not my thing. I am not going to sit here and pound away at insults or tearing it down, because the band is very talented and the accomplish exactly what they are striving for. The sound on this album fits perfectly with the fiction that is accompanied by it. It’s very creative. If anything sounds like Green or Raw Planet Metal, it’s this.

I often am either listening to music in my car, or in my bedroom. Rarely do I get time to enjoy the peace that mother nature grants us. I think maybe if I was to go to the lake, or walk through the woods, I would accept this album more. The instrumentals absolutely give you that naturistic and atmospheric feel, probably more than anything I’ve ever heard. Although the vocals are almost inaudible, they are quite haunting and chilling. Another interesting aspect of this band is that they don't use guitars. Instead, they use Dulcimers and Harmoniums. The harmonium is a kind of free-reed organ that generates sound as air flows past a vibrating piece of thin metal in a frame. The Dulcimer is a string instrument coming in a few forms. In this case, we are hearing a Hammered Dulcimer, which is a free-standing, usually in a trapezoidal shape, with many strings struck by hand held "hammers".

The duration of this album, or EP I should say, is quite short. Its twenty one minutes in length. So even if this kind of music isn’t your thing, you aren't about to invest a ton of time into checking it out. It’s worth hearing at least once, under the right setting. For people that love atmospheric, nature loving music, I would recommend it. In fact, I think I may actually take a long overdue journey through nature, put my headphones in, and see if I can become more interested in this style of metal. In the end, I would say that this album is very intriguing and you have to keep an open mind.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Memoribility: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Footsteps of Spring
2. Flame of the Forest
3. Upon the Petals of Flowers
4. Stachys Olympica
5. Pelargonium Triste
Otrebor - dulcimer, drums, vocals, harmonium, lyrics, bass
Daturus - drums
Cynoxylon - vocals, lyrics, harmonium
Davide Tiso - bass
Record Label: Aural Music


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Edited 05 December 2022

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