Yet another mysterious one man black metal horde, rising from the fertile SFBM underground. The scene that gave us Leviathan, Draugar, Crebain, Pale Chalice, Sutekh Hexen, Dead As Dreams, Dispirit, Horn Of Dagoth, Pandiscordian Necrogenesis, Amocoma, Elk, Necrite, Palace Of Worms, and more, has now spawned the oddly monikered Botanist, an odd moniker only until you realize that all the songs here are about plants and flowers, and all of the artwork following suit, old faded images of strange and wondrous flora and fauna, but that's not nearly the strangest thing about Botanist. Nope, the strangest thing would be the fact that there are NO guitars, and there is NO bass, just drums, vocals, and HAMMERED DULCIMER. That's right, eerie and esoteric, buzzing and baffling, drum and dulcimer driven black eco-terrorist black metal. And as strange as that may sound, the SOUND is even stranger, the dulcimer a particularly haunting and strangely melodic instrument, the typical black metal riffs replaced by maniacal dulcimer melodies, repeated motifs, flurries of cyclical notes, the sound buzzy and brutal in it's own way, with an almost old-timey feel to the sound, the drums mathy and intricate, often sounding strangely like a demonic drumline, the vocals a hellish raspy croak, but it's the dulcimer that drives the sound of Botanist, a distinctive metallic buzz that's eerily creepy and darkly cinematic, with many of these tracks sounding like they could be some alternate soundtrack for a lost seventies giallo or some super surreal art film.

The tracks are mostly short sharp blasts of metallic buzz, the dulcimer alternatingly offering up dense overtone-rich clouds of frenzied tangled melody, but just as often, unfurling stretches of haunting atonal shimmer, occasionally spacing way out, and weaving sprawling dreadscapes of minor key tension and slow build terror, the sound of the dulcimer so strange, sometimes evoking old pianos in ghost town saloons, other times impossibly melodic, with the songs on the verge of pure poppiness, or as poppy as something as twisted and confusional like this can be. The sound of Botanist is definitely black metal, in form, in structure, in intent, in spirit, even to a degree in sound, but it's also something wholly other, the relation between the rhythms and the melodic component of the dulcimer's haunting buzz and chiming metallic tone hard to quantify, and obviously even harder to accurately describe, then there's the dulcimer's traditional station as a folky Appalachian instrument, it all adds to the crazy, confusional appeal of Botanist's warped sonic world, one that manages to be both heavy and buzzy and blackened, but also haunting and hypnotic and strangely soundtracky, a swirling, hazy, chaotic sound, densely melodic, relentlessly rhythmic, fantastically fucked up and bafflingly brilliant. The discs are housed in super swank full color mini-lp gatefold style Stoughton jackets, with a thick booklet of lyrics, the jacket and booklet both printed to look like an antique botanist's field journal. ENTER THE VERDANT REALM!!




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