Jun 24, 2012
Botanist – III: Doom In Bloom / Allies ...
Instead you get music made with hammered dulcimer and the guitar work you do hear comes out with completely unexpected parts that is totally unique given that black metal and doom metal isn't renown for its experimental qualities.
The main album 'Doom In Bloom' comes with a companion disc titled 'Allies' so you end up with 115 minutes worth of some of the most original black doom you will ever hear in your lifetime. Musically this is dissonant and threatening while the vocals are pure horror. They are made up of spoken sections, whispered creep-fests, raspy black metal sections and haunting female vocal passages.
Going into a track by track review of this album isn't going to happen because you would really need to write a small novel on each track just to cover the basic elements. While a lot of this is all about ambience and minimalism, the audio destruction this man has created is captivating and brilliant. Even the drumming is unique as it blends standard doom slo-mo plods with burst of frantic blasts of blackened fury. Each track on the main album melts into the next so it plays out like a concept album of sorts. The track that starts all this; 'Quoth Azalea, the Demon (Rhododendoom II)' is 13 minutes long but it might as well be timed at 68 minutes because it bleeds into the next which bleeds into the next and so on. The flow of these pieces is majestic and wonderful and while it is a strange album, it is also quite accessible at times.
'Quoth Azalea, the Demon (Rhododendoom II)' is dramatic and full of sorrow and that is one musical angle this album revisits often. The following 'Deathcap' has almost a baroque vibe while being very ugly and violent sounding. If two different vibes isn't enough for you, it changes gears once again for 'Ganoderma Lucidum' which has a twisted space-rock meets black metal vibe going on and that is two genres you don't hear mixed too often. 'Vriesea' is based on military style drumming and there are all kinds of unique stringed wizardry going on in this track. 'Ocimum Sanctum' is one of the most hypnotic black-doom songs you will ever hear that literally sets you mind off floating into another world. Despite being over 12 minutes long, the dream-like state that this piece puts you in is deeply rewarding and relaxing. Just like snapping out of long meditative trance, the next track 'Amanita Virosa' awakens the atmosphere with the closest thing to traditional black metal although it is still slow by most black metal bands standards. As the track builds, it becomes ever increasingly bleak which provides the perfect lead into 'Panax' which closes the first disc. This track takes the album back to where it all started with a sorrowful, depressive vibe.
This leads me to the companion disc 'Allies' and in many respects, everything just gets more weird and wonderful. This disc is a collection of this mans leftover works, the name of this guy is Otrebor by the way. There are seven songs and each track has a completely different line-up so the feels are constantly changing but remarkably it still plays out like a very concise piece of work. The brilliantly titled 'The Ejaculate on the Petals of the Femme Orchid' starts and ends the disc with a two-part ambient freak-out track. Apparently all the tracks on this companion disc come from the bands Matrushka, Cult Of Linnaeus, Ophidian Forest, Arborist, Lotus Thief and Bestiary; none of which I have ever heard before but I have been told, these versions are nothing like the originals. 'The War of All Against All' is pure black-doom, nothing more, nothing less but delivered in a very original fashion. After this track however, the highlights seem to dry up except for some great guitar work in one track titled 'Nymphaea Carulea.'
This album comes out on the Total Rust label which really seem to be leading the pack in unique and original bands. Botanist still wont be for everyone, their apocalyptic visions are almost TOO unique for the average listener but littered in-between all these challenging, ambient bleak pieces are moments of very assessable music. It treads a fine line between being overly ambitious and too strange for its own good at times but overall, this is one of the most interesting releases ever put out there. The album demands some attention and is unlikely to blow you away on the first spin but give it time and you will be hooked by this release.....9/10.
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