Botanist
Ecosystem


4.5
superb

Review

by dbizzles USER (6 Reviews)
October 26th, 2019 | 10 replies


Release Date: 10/25/2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A seed must die before it grows, or something.

Similar to its predecessor, Ecosystem is the product of a collective, the brainchild of San Francisco's Otrebor, featuring a supporting cast of musicians previously, or currently, involved in the outfit's live show. The result treats the listener to a relatively larger palette of vocals merged with the clear fingerprints of the project's mastermind. Where 2017's Collective: The Shape of He to Come was an intrepid journey into new territory for Botanist, Ecosystem is an outing that feels more refined and direct. This is an album that has the goal of its namesake: not to merely survive, but to thrive- under all conditions.

Ecosystem, the 6th LP from experimental black metal band Botanist, steps delicately into a whirlwind of percussion that features the band's trademark sharp dulcimers and imposing drums. Rarely does it let up. And when it does, I'm not sure which is more beautiful; the declarations of harmony or the sections that tear it to shreds. The bass work is a notable improvement compared to previous works and is not only prominent in the mix but also has a tone that tiptoes clarity and fuzz. Similarly, the notorious hammered dulcimers stand out even more than before, if you can believe it. The dulcimers are shrill at times of chaos and ring clear at times of peace, yet weave into and out of each other with absolute grace. To that end, they work better here with everything, most notably on tracks Abiotic and the perfect closer Red Crown, where they dance with bass guitar to create some of the more serene and transcendental moments of Botanist's career to date.

Fans of Botanist's recent work will doubtlessly be pleased with this album. But, I also believe that more fans will be brought into the fold as the project expands and improves. Otebor and Co. are putting in serious work and it shows as they continue to impress, release after release. To put it boldly, Ecosystem may be the most complete work of Botanist's discography and with VI: Flora already five years in the past, the future is bright for this project. As bright as the fires that grow, as bright as the fires that kill, as bright as the fires that die so that all else can be reborn once again.



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Botanist VI: Flora
user ratings (18)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
dbizzles
October 26th 2019


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is probably a 4.25, I don't know. But it owns. Shout out to Rowmeo for a read-through at dumb/non-local hours.

Digging: Sanguisugabogg - Pornographic Seizures

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 26th 2019


11754 Comments


This looks and sounds awesome from the description, will checkerooni. Great review man, nicely written and fairly brief, perfect combo.

Digging: Lindemann - F & M

dbizzles
October 26th 2019


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

#basedscuro

ty

Egarran
October 26th 2019


14444 Comments


Great band, great review.

Botanist should be bigger on Halloween Sputnik. Collective was scary.

Digging: Nile - Vile Nilotic Rites

Nocte
Contributing Reviewer
October 26th 2019


10938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Easy pos. Does anyone else find this album weirdly wholesome? Kind of wish they kept the edge from the Mandragora days.

teamster
October 26th 2019


4519 Comments


Ha, literally just downloaded this album yesterday Biz. I still need to unzip it. You have pushed this to the front of the line. Excellent review and thanks.

dbizzles
October 26th 2019


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel that uplifting vibe a lot, yeah. But that edge rears its head now and again. Love the harsh vocals in that regard.



Thanks for reading. Already in love with this.

garas
October 28th 2019


2823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Does anyone else find this album weirdly wholesome?"

Man, this is just the perfect way to describe this album! Yup, it was weirdly wholesome.



I was about to 4.0 this, but the last two songs turned me totally off... but it was a nice review, btw.

Digging: Gjallarhorn - Sjofn

dbizzles
October 28th 2019


13751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Those are 2 of my favorites : )

quetzal
October 28th 2019


32 Comments


Might bump this to a 5, instant entry into the top 10 of the year. Not sure if I like it as much as The Shape of He to Come, but it's close. Incredible piece of art.



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