Botanist
IV: Mandragora


4.0
excellent

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (194 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2013 | 32 replies | 2,942 views


Release Date: 02/13/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Eco-terrorist, one manned dulcimer black metal.

By all accounts this should be a dull listen; the music is often hard to get into. Botanist’s IV: Mandragora relies on a combination of drum patterns, a hammered dulcimer and the strange vocal styling of a strange undecipherable croaky, throaty snarl that every so often will turn into a typical black metal shriek. Once you get past the gimmicky combination there is something about this one man project that ensnares the listener, just like a metaphorical vine. Botanist’s albums are not without a purpose, with the overall message being that plants (and nature) will rise up and take back what was originally theirs. It’s this extreme thinking that makes IV: Mandragora such an interesting listen. Backed by a lo-fi production and a rather short run-time, Botanist’s fourth release in the series makes headway, building off the other chapters (including a forty tracked double album, I: The Suicide Tree / II: A Rose from the Dead) and some noticeable differences arise. IV: Mandragora is doomier, and in parts post metal like. The sound may not be fully unique, but there’s a fair chance that it would take a while to find something in a similar vein. At thirty-three minutes, IV: Mandragora is an album built on context, namely that the natural world will eventually take its place over mankind. In case it hasn’t been surmised so far, IV: Mandragora isn’t an ordinary black metal record. With track titles like ‘Arboreal Gallows (Mandagora I)’, ‘Nightshade (Mandragora II)’ and ‘Mandrake Legion (Mandragora V)’ it’s clear that this album has a rather one-sided, almost nerdy, unconventional feel to it.

The multi-instrumentalist behind the helm of Botanist prefers anonymity, and will often use the band’s moniker as a title. This works well, especially when this one man act has been tagged an “eco-terrorist” and as laughable as that will seem, it adds to the overall mystique of his music. Instrumentally, the album becomes a highly successful listen as for the most part, the unconventional vocal styling can and will be a turn off for those listening. At a rudimentary level though, it should be expected, Botanist is a black metal band. Yes, the band has been twisted and shaped into this display of shrieking, not to mention the use of the dulcimer adding a whole new soundscape and excellently intertwines dank, sinister natural elements into the music. For what it is, it’s done really well. Take the track title and plant ‘Nightshade’ for example: The plant is edible, but in some cases poisonous. Where ‘Mandrakes’ often resemble the figure of a man or women and was often used as an anaesthetic and a key component in witchery. The message the Botanist portrays with, IV: Mandragora is a not so happy one.

Overall, IV: Mandragora is a record that’s short without cutting off abruptly. Chances are most are going to find the vocals grating. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Botanist uses imagery (despite the unintelligible lyrics) that works well with the artist’s overall theme of plants one day reclaiming the world. It’s not going to be a straight-forward listen, and that is for the most part what makes IV: Mandragora, so appealing. Unfortunately, this is not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. Most won’t have the patience to get past the not so usual vocals in order to appreciate the album as a whole. But, if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, IV: Mandragora should definitely make a way onto your play list. For fans of Botanist’s previous work, the album is only going to make you love the concept even more.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013



6733 Comments


Not going to lie, probably one of the weirdest album's Ive heard in a while.

BallsToTheWall
February 21st 2013



44164 Comments


Pos....HEIL THE TROO HAMMER DULCIMER HORDES OF BOTANIC BLACK METAL!!

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013



6733 Comments


I knew I couldn't be the only one who enjoys the weird and wonderful side of black metal : ]

BOTANIC BLACKENED METAL ARISE!

BallsToTheWall
February 21st 2013



44164 Comments


Blasting these guys with the windows down is a hell of a lot of fun.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 21st 2013



6733 Comments


Just one guy : ] And yeah I was sitting outside of a school waiting for my little brother the same way; the way people look at you : ]

BallsToTheWall
February 22nd 2013



44164 Comments


Sunday I shall review some fisherman themed nautical melodic death metal. Gonna get my boots and reel ready.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2013



6733 Comments


Sunday I shall review some fisherman themed nautical melodic death metal. Gonna get my boots and reel ready.


I shalt spectate upon arrival : ]

BallsToTheWall
February 22nd 2013



44164 Comments


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBEqVb3tzXg

In the meantime, enjoy this hearty, boot stomping jam.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2013



6733 Comments


Gotta love youtube sometimes.

CaptainDooRight
February 22nd 2013



26289 Comments


hey wait I know this band, I made a list for doom in bloom once and I remember hyp didn't like this band but I found them to be interesting and I didn't know they had anything new. I def gotta hear this. Pos'd

Also I would be fully surprised of you didn't make contributor

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2013



6733 Comments


hey wait I know this band, I made a list for doom in bloom once and I remember hyp didn't like this band


It's definitely not for everyone lol

CaptainDooRight
February 22nd 2013



26289 Comments


I bet they have a bandcamp link for this like their old stuff. Gotta check

YankeeDudel
February 22nd 2013



9290 Comments


yea i listened to a song off this yesterday and it was awful. but they are indeed interesting at least.

Digging: Shape of Broad Minds - Craft of the Lost Art

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2013



6733 Comments


Like i said, hardly for everbody.

CasinoColumbus
February 22nd 2013



340 Comments


The fuck this is weird. I think I like it though, in a strange way.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2013



6733 Comments


Therres something about it that makes you want more.

CaptainDooRight
February 22nd 2013



26289 Comments


theflenser.bandcamp.com/album/iv-mandragora


Havey
February 22nd 2013



9303 Comments


:D

Digging: Tim McGraw - Not a Moment Too Soon

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
February 22nd 2013



6733 Comments


Botanist blackened metalheads unite!

CaptainDooRight
February 22nd 2013



26289 Comments


just finished this album and I have to say that I enjoyed their previous release much more, this didn't gel for me at all, in fact I thought it was poor

have you heard Doom in Bloom Ipod?

I personally feel its miles ahead of this album, the style is completely different and I feel they kinda lost their edge on this release

verdant-realm-botanist.bandcamp.com/album/iii-doom-in-bloom-allies



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