Botanist – III: Doom In Bloom/Allies

Leaving strong acclaim and impressions behind with first release, the two part I: The Suicide Tree/ II: A Rose From The Dead, doom/death metaller Botanist returns with new release III: Doom In Bloom which is accompanied by a second CD, Allies. Openly different to the previous release, the album released through TotalRust, challenges the senses and thoughts with dramatic tones, dynamic atmospheres, and a black depth which envelopes and squeezes tightly around the senses. It is a testing listen at times but thoroughly rewarding and wonderfully leaves one alone in thought and blistered ambiance long after its departure.

Botanist is the solo project of Otrebor centred around a crazed man of science called The Botanist who lives in self-imposed exile. The songs are told from the perspective of The Botanist from his sanctuary of fantasy and wonder, called the Verdant Realm. There he surrounds himself with plants and flowers, finding solace in the company of the Natural world whilst envisioning and waiting for the destruction of man, the time when man pays for his crimes against nature and when plants will be able to make the Earth green once again. Whereas the previous parts were impactful and full of short and intensive black metal corruptions the new release offers sprawling malevolent soundscapes, their crawling tempos and intrusive keyboard driven atmospheres whipping the senses and dragging one into post-apocalyptic shadows of intent and blackened sonic realms of new enterprise.

Dulcimer guided as before, the album wraps every atom and synapse in a shifting expanse of sonic revelation. Opening track Quoth Azalea, The Demon (Rhododendoom II) laps at the ear like forceful waves, resonating squalls taunting and exploring the senses whilst disparaging whispers permeate the atmosphere. It is impossible to make out the lyrics on the track such the serpentine lilt and distorted breath they offer but it is a stirring texture to the melodramatic and provocative sound to make it all a deeper experience. The percussion is startling and spots the thick mass surrounding them perfectly whilst the rhythms fluctuate from inciteful to mere barbed guides.

It is an immense start continued just as impressively by Deathcap and elevated by the likes of Ganoderma Lucidum and Vriesea. The first of the trio is a decayed caress which consumes and sucks up all light and hope borne thoughts whilst the middle piece takes one through a sonic blistering brought with sharp acidic invention. It is a journey soaked in an intense ominous weight of sound, its passage a slow and lumbering event which with every twist and distraction of sinister melodies and irritant percussion is a mesmeric intrigue with destruction on its hands.

The last of the three steals attention with military precise drums and a droning ambience before stoking the embers of psychedelic/progressive fires, it provocation encouraging them to flame and scorch the bewildered atmosphere. It is glorious and as with all tracks, at times a challenge in its persistence and acute delving through the senses, a song to bask in and surrender to.

Highlight of the album is Amatina Virosa, another barrage of drum enticement leading the way into resourceful and imaginative magnificence. It stirs up the passions and energy, its anthemic drive and distraught vocal assault a corrosion to devour greedily. The remaining songs which sandwich this song, Ocimum Sanctum and Panax are massive funereal dirges which transfix and transport one into the darkest discomforts and sapping realms though both have spears of melodic light to scar the way.

Second disc Allies is a compilation of tracks from friends of Otrebor who have brought their own musical visions about Nature created around drums tracks recorded during the Doom In Bloom sessions. It includes songs from Ophidian Forest, Cult of Linnaeus, and Lotus Thief, as well as a two part sonic manipulation of the track Vriesea on the main album by Matrushka. It is an intriguing and different compliment to Doom In Bloom and completes what is a great release. It is a hard demand at times but always rewarding and evocative with impressive expression brought through strong invention and passion.

RingMaster 05/10/2012

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