Botanist
Collective: The Shape of He to Come


4.0
excellent

Review

by Lord of Pork USER (11 Reviews)
September 5th, 2017 | 52 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An exciting journey through the wilderness.

Botanist is not the usual musical project within the black metal scene. Guitars are swapped for a hammered dulcimer, an incredibly arduous instrument to play, which ensures this trademark sound is not likely to be found anywhere else. On the other hand, that abundantly raw quintessence harboured within more traditional black metal is also found here, engendering a rather primal sound. It is like the musical equivalent of feeling nature's tender embrace coil around you, only to discover the acute thorns sheathed within the penduncle grasp. In that sense, this record is similar to nature itself, as they both are capable of being beautiful and abhorrent.

As the record blossoms into play, one is easily illuded into thinking this is a more of a melancholic outing. Stirring pianos germinate amidst the silence, conjuring an eerie, yet beguiling atmosphere upon the listener. The elegance augments in grandiosity until everything comes to a halt. It is at this moment that the hammered dulcimer bellows into life, asserting its colossal presence swiftly. The immensely agonising vocals then pour into the record, eroding any sense of beauty and replacing it with consternation. A truly painful sound is emitted, adding an abrasive quality to the mix. With these two intertwining elements of the record, comes an equal proportion of harmony from the likes of the melodic notes and disarray from the alacrity of the drums.

Aside from all of this beauty, comes multiple issues buried within the record. Firstly, come the prodigious song lengths of the predominantly abrasive tracks. It could easily be possible for one to become tired when listening to the tracks in full, as they feel somewhat distended. This could have been easily avoided, as there are breaks from instrumentals found within the tracks that could easily be pathways to new ones.

Apart from that issue, only one other seems to be present, which is the lo-fi production. This is not an issue within itself, as artists can easily make good records with lo-fi production, such as Paysage D'hiver. The problem lies in the fact that the undefined production leads to the instruments drowning out the echoing clean vocals, which carry a very sorrowful property. A key element to the record has been rendered almost obsolete, and while this problem is predominately found in the more caustic sections of the record, it is easily noticed.

Botanists first release as a group, rather than a one-man project, proves to be one of the best in the whole discography. It is incredibly spiritual, lavish and permeated with complex layers to discover with each listen. Due to this, it is maybe not the best starting point for a new listener, as the previous releases are a lot more facile to decipher, but this proves to be much more rewarding when fully appreciated. With all of its beauty peppered throughout, 'Collective: The Shape of He to Come', proves to be an essential listen with its evident musical evolution, and may just be a sign for greater things to come.



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user ratings (25)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DungeonBoy
September 5th 2017


3054 Comments


Those flora puns.

Also good review man. I'll give this a listen, but I've always had a hard time really getting into these guys despite their obvious creativity.

Digging: Kauan - Kaiho

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hehe, I felt like I had a lightbulb above my head when I incorporated the word germinate.

Digging: Bell Witch - Mirror Reaper

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

And cheers for the kind words, but yeah this album took me a few listens.

cryptologous
Contributing Reviewer
September 5th 2017


1771 Comments


sweeto review, these guys rip. just some notes,

"become tiresome" should probs be swapped out for "become tired". also try and avoid using too many words to express a simple point; lines like "This is not an issue within itself, as artists can easily make good records with lo-fi production, such as those found in the discography of Paysage D'hiver" could be shortened or melded with other sentences for brevity.

otherwise, solid stuff!

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Changed tiresome to tired and shortened that sentence a little, thanks for the tips.

BallsToTheWall
September 5th 2017


48069 Comments


Title track is amazing.

Digging: Wrathchild America - 3-D

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah it's pretty epic.

SCREAM!
September 5th 2017


14766 Comments


"Guitars are swapped for a hammered dulcimer, an incredibly arduous instrument to play, which ensures this trademark sound is not likely to be found anywhere else."

Tbh, listening to this now and, had I not known it was a dulcimer, I'd have just figured it was a guitar with a combination of various effects added. The sound isn't all that out there or unusual

Record sounds good so far. I've been slacking on 2017 releases

AsleepInTheBack
September 5th 2017


4918 Comments


great review bud, that was quick haha

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha cheers mate, I already knew what I had to say about the album tbh.

Egarran
September 5th 2017


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review, very fascinating band.

Digging: Spectral Voice - Eroded Corridors of Unbeing

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why thank you, and yes they are very intriguing indeed.

TheSpirit
Contributing Reviewer
September 5th 2017


21851 Comments


can't wait to check this out

Digging: Grinning Death's Head - Blood War

Alastor
September 5th 2017


1748 Comments


this band is amazingly consistent in carrying their theme.

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very consistent overall as well

butcherboy
Contributing Reviewer
September 5th 2017


5258 Comments


you're on a hot writing streak, dude.. great review, not a fan of black metal, but the lo-fi tag on their page is kind of intriguing me.. pppppposs

Digging: Scratch Acid - The Greatest Gift

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you very much mate, and yes this band is very lo-fi. Would reccomend giving it a spin, but the black metal could definitely put you off, especially the vocals.

Egarran
September 5th 2017


3863 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fun fact: Botanist is not on metal-archives because it's not metal enough.

kingdedethefifth
September 5th 2017


3903 Comments


I mean Alcest isn't really metal either but I'm pretty sure they're there. Also yeah dude you're in such a hot streak, maybe I should do a write up soon.

BlackwaterPork
September 5th 2017


1031 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Cheers mate, and yeah it would be cool to see you do another write up.



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