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Botis - Grand Abominations

Grand Abominations
by Jack Harding at 11 June 2019, 9:33 PM

BOTIS have made a bold statement of intent with this, their debut full-length release. Combing elements of Black Metal, Thrash Metal and a trusty handful of Progressive Rock and Metal. It’s just a shame then that they didn’t tell their producer this was what they were doing. This record is anything but standard, yet here it is recorded like a standard Black Metal record. All washy and ill-defined. Great for your atmospheric, heavily Black Metal sections in songs like "Yggdrasil," but a complete disaster everywhere else. It really is a true shame, because the musicianship on display here couldn’t be further from standard. In fact, BOTIS have created a phenomenal record. Taking colors from all across the spectrum of genres, without ever feeling forced, or unimaginative, forging a record that is a unique beast.

"Rodente" is a superlative example of the creativity on display here. Hopping genres constantly, whilst always forming a cohesive and narrative through line. We have traditional Death Metal grooves, progressive, almost Jazzy riffs with great use of dissonance and even the onslaught of punk-inspired riffs from Thrash Metal. This song is a perfect example of how taking separate elements and arranging them with creativity and respect, can lead to a product greater than the sum of its parts.

Somewhat peculiarly, BOTIS seem intent on focusing upon Black Metal, not just with the production. I say “somewhat peculiarly” because these Black Metal edges are quite possibly the weakest part about this album. Songs like "The Magus," start off as standard Black Metal songs before ascending to something much more interesting and less monotonous. It is almost as if the band themselves are bored of these moments. This leads me to wonder simply, why on earth are they so intent on attaching these Blackened elements? It’s clear from first listen that this is not where their strengths lie. Not to say that these sections are bad, because they’re not. They’re just vanilla. Bland. Boring. This is the ultimate crime on an album as genuinely creative most of the time as this. Songs like "Gullet," "Rodente," and "The Noble King" haven’t been able to leave my mind since first listen, so any time spent creating their inverse just feels wasted.

This is an incredibly promising first release from a new band and I can’t wait to see where things go next. I thoroughly recommend you listen to this record now, because if they reassess themselves (and hire a better producer) their second record could be a masterpiece.

Songwriting: 7/10
Originality: 9/10
Memorability: 8/10
Production: 5/10

4 Star Rating

1. Descent
2. Rodente
3. Deluge
4. Serpentine
5. Yggdrasil
6. The Magus
7. Gullet
8. The Noble King
Erik Levitsky - Guitar
Peter Hruar - Vocals
Greg Bogart - Drums
Graham Noel - Bass Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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