Botanist/Oskoreien
Green Metal/Deterministic Chaos


4.0
excellent

Review

by is Wario a libertarian? USER (10 Reviews)
October 25th, 2016 | 68 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hope and despair.

In comparison to full lengths or EPs, split releases are a lesser known way of putting out a musical project, resulting in two artists collaborating for half an album each. There are usually two kinds of splits, ones in which the bands are diametrically opposed in sound, and one where the bands are similar genres and complement each other. On the surface this appears to be the latter, as both bands are solo black metal projects from California. The tone of the two bands however could not be more different.

I have been a big fan of Botanist since they dropped IV: Flora in 2014 but I didn’t know up until a few weeks ago that the project doesn’t use guitars, instead using an obscure instrument known as a hammered dulcimer. The hammered dulcimer sounds quite a bit like a guitar so the mistake is easily forgiven, but thinking back the instrument can create some truly wonderful and unique moments and atmosphere. The high pitched sound of the hammered dulcimer, as well as the furious blast beats are at the forefront of Botanist’s sound while the vocals take a back seat. The tone is set by wonderful melodies creating an atmosphere that is vibrant, colorful and full of life much like the plants he screams about. The constant pounding blast beats add to the atmosphere that is very pleasant and joyous which seems odd for a black metal album. “Varkoor” has the most, dare I say infectious and happy sounding melody I’ve ever heard in a black metal song. Botanist are a ray of sunshine in a genre much associated with darkness and despair.

Oskoreien’s side, while still black metal, could not be more different. Oskoreien only made two tracks for their side of the split and only one is a original song, however the track is a 13 minute beast. The atmosphere created by Oskoreien is everything Botanist’s side wasn’t: sludgy, thick and dark. Project creator Jay Valena’s vocals are much in the vein of what you would expect in the DSBM band; pained wails that evoke sadness and despair. “Deterministic Chaos” is an incredible sludgy and dense track that flows extremely well, with nice melodies scattered throughout. “Without You I’m Nothing” is actually a cover of the famed britpop band Placebo featuring the late great David Bowie and while it does sound a bit odd, it really works. The original song is depressing and Oskoreien really tap into that and turn the dial to 11 with the depressing shrieks and slow churning, doom like atmosphere.

Botanist and Oskoreien have much in common in terms of genre but could not be more polar opposite in terms of tone and atmosphere. These differences make the split really special and a unique listening experience. Going from the Botanist side to the Oskoreien side is extremely jarring but oddly enough in a good way. EP3: Green Metal/Deterministic Chaos is a true achievement in the genre that juxtaposes two of the most common human feelings: hope and despair.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Futures
October 25th 2016


9079 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

another rev! incredible split here. shoutout to rowan as usual for the proofread. criticism welcome!

Digging: Yndi Halda - Under Summer

Frippertronics
October 25th 2016


10735 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

" obscure instrument known as a hammered dulcimer"



"o b s c u r e"



good shit

Digging: Foxygen - Hang

Futures
October 25th 2016


9079 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

d a n k

ScuroFantasma
October 25th 2016


8912 Comments


Another great rev, this actually sounds really intiguing, especially with the hammered dulcimer used for BM, definitely have to hear that.


Digging: Sepultura - Machine Messiah

cryptologous
October 25th 2016


1027 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Sick write-up dude. It is surprising how well the two sides complement each other. This release basically sounds like your profile picture.

Digging: The Drowned God - Moonbearer

Futures
October 25th 2016


9079 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks fellas! and i didn't notice that but holy shit you are so right haha

ScuroFantasma
October 25th 2016


8912 Comments


A couple things that you might want to change, mostly just little details that would make it read better. In the second paragraph you repeat the word 'melodies' a bit too often (granted that's a difficult one to swap out for a simile) maybe by changing the wording a bit you could get rid of one or two?

The opening sentence seems a bit awkward and maybe a bit obvious the way it's worded, perhaps something like "in comparison to full length albums or EPs, split releases are a somewhat underused method of releasing music where two artists come together and contribute half an album each" or something like that. Idk. A bit clumsy but you get the idea (;


"The atmosphere created by Oskoreien is everything Botanist’s side wasn’t, sludgy, thick and dark." - the comma after 'wasn't' should be a colon. That's about it really, great write-up man.

TheSpaceMan
October 25th 2016


6868 Comments


damn bro you're on a roll. another good one too I went with the yes button

DungeonBoy
October 25th 2016


2254 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Good review dude! learned the word diametric, and also that this band plays a dulcimer instead of a guitar. Mind blown on the latter.



I listened to some snippets of the last Botanist album and didn't really care for what I heard, but the way you describe their sound on this split as happy and a ray of sunshine makes me want to check this out from sheer curiosity.

Digging: The Atlas Ghost - Drmme Om Uskyld

ourgoodfriend
October 25th 2016


188 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

sick review, you rly are on a roll



although I'm quite disappointed to say, I was really let down by this. botanists side feels really flat and uninspired compared to flora, and oskoreiens does nothing for me either



still catch this pos

TheSpaceMan
October 25th 2016


6868 Comments


*intercepted*

zaruyache
October 25th 2016


15499 Comments


"this actually sounds really intiguing, especially with the hammered dulcimer used for BM"

go jam Botanist if you've not jammed Botanist. The high-pitched notes from the dulcimer can start to grate on the ears after a while, but otherwise it's a great project.

ScuroFantasma
October 25th 2016


8912 Comments


Yeah I've never heard them but I'm curious to say the least

dbizzles
October 25th 2016


5268 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Fuck yeah, man- good review.

Varkoor and Dracula Vampira fucking rule- seriously two of my favorite metal tracks of the year and I can't get enough. I love how bright and uplifting they can sound while still giving off a sinister vibe. Really good split on both sides, imo.

Botanist's stuff sounds more like Flora to me than the Hammer of Botany EP, which I wasn't really expecting. Always stoked to see what Otrebor comes up with.

Digging: Cult Of Fire - Life, Sex & Death

DungeonBoy
October 25th 2016


2254 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Okay, gave the Botanist side a spin, but unfortunately it's not something I can currently get into. It's super unique, I'll give them that, but the dulcimer gets old after about a minute, and almost every part with fast drums and dulcimer just comes off sounding goofy. A+ of experimentation and creativity though. They also seem to be driving the whole plant thing into the ground (:



Not a huge fan of Oskoreien either. Some nice moments at the end of Deterministic Chaos, but overall not really digging the sludgy sound. but thanks for writing the review and bringing this to my attention.

zaruyache
October 25th 2016


15499 Comments


driving the whole plant thing into the ground

BUH DUM TSH!

dbizzles
October 25th 2016


5268 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

COME ON HE'S JUST STICKING TO HIS ROOTS

JasonCarne
October 25th 2016


747 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Leaf him alone, he's at least trying to branch out!

Grimlin
October 25th 2016


952 Comments


Beksinski is without a doubt my favorite artist, but I kinda can't stand when bands use his paintings for for their shitty albums.

zaruyache
October 25th 2016


15499 Comments


I don't think I've ever seen this particular piece of his before, huh. Love his stuff, though. Super spoopy with all of its apocalyptic christian symbolism.



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