BOTANIST Announce Album Number Six, VI: Flora

One of the Bay Area’s most interesting bands, BOTANIST, is excited to announce its sixth chronological release.  Titled VI: Flora, this 11-song full-length album is a progression from the misanthropic masterplans of the destruction of mankind at the hands of plants as detailed on the project’s last two albums: 2012’s III: Doom In Bloom  and 2013’s IV: Mandragora.  Now, VI: Flora focuses on the wondrous beauty of the plants themselves through a gauzy haze of dream-like sound with the voice of The Botanist acting as spectral underpinning to the reverie.

BOTANIST is an avant-garde musical project that is the world’s first band to use distorted hammered dulcimers as its primary instrumentation. The experimental music further delves into esoterica with a harmonium and a 12-string bass guitar, propelled by unusual drumming that  often features highly atypical time signatures and rhythm shifts.  The albums tell the story of a botanist gone mad at witnessing the destruction of the natural environment at the hands of man. He retreats into a hermitage, surrounding himself with the natural world. In this Verdant Realm, he awaits for the day when humanity will eradicate itself,  which will allow for the utopia of flora and fauna to eventually reclaim the earth.  The content of BOTANIST’s songs are a combination of scientific botanical empiricism and the poetic, romantic perception of someone who is deeply moved by the forms of the primordial, mysterious aspect of the natural world. In the world of BOTANIST, nature is the most tangible representation of the divine, and is treated as such.  While Botanist’s story is negative and misanthropic on the surface, it is an allegory of warning to a world out of balance: respect the natural world and all living things, or else the natural world will wipe you out and move on. The element of hope lies in the possibility of a changing of worldview, or at the very least the ideal that the world will right itself eventually, whether that includes humanity or not.

Here is a track from their recent EP:

APESHIT’s Top Metal Albums of 2013

carcass.surgicalsteelOnce again, another fruitful year in extreme music draws to a close.  We saw some long awaited comebacks by legends, three quarters of the original SABBATH line up, VOIVOD and CARCASS.  The godfathers of U.S. death metal had a healthy year with strong releases by SUFFOCATION, DEICIDE, and IMMOLATION.  We also saw young superstars, GHOST B.C. and KVELERTAK, release good sophomore albums.  Perhaps the most polarizing and criticized album is SATYRICON‘s self-titled album, which was roasted by the majority of the media and fans.

Among the mountains of releases, there is one album that we’ll gush about again and again, and that’s CARCASS‘ comeback album, Surgical Steel.  There are always good and interesting albums coming out all the time, and then there are the untouchable albums that only the legendary bands could create.  Surgical Steel scorches everything in its path and clearly shows that in the pantheon of active bands, they are at the top.

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