Hailing from San Francisco, California, Botanist is a highly creative Experimental/ Avant-garde Black Metal band, or, in their perspective, Green Metal, that is very peculiarly themed: the songs of Botanist are told from the perspective of The Botanist, a crazed man of science who lives in self-imposed exile, as far away from Humanity and its crimes against Nature as possible. In his sanctuary of fantasy and wonder, which he calls the Verdant Realm, he surrounds himself with plants and flowers, finding solace in the company of the Natural world, and envisioning the destruction of man. There, seated upon his throne of Veltheimia, The Botanist awaits the time of humanity’s self-eradication, which will allow plants to make the Earth green once again.
When it comes to “Hammer of Botany” the band cites that it refers to the EP’s titular character, Arctopoides, a hammer-wielding floral giant who walks the earth and is invisible to man. In his wake, the Sanicle Prince leaves behind the Footsteps of Spring, small patches of clustered yellow flowers that heal the ravaged land. Where there was wasteland and desolation, Arctopoides brings rebirth.
As for the music now, it feels delightful and hopeful, at times eerie and ghostly, almost mystical. As I type my thoughts about this EP, I’m using a laptop and sitting by a lake, overlooking the nature and trying to capture Botanist’s message. I sincerely believe that the music feels more powerful in this environment than when I heard it the first time in my bedroom in a crowded city. The sound is harsher than the previous release, but it’s still gorgeous and almost delicate, haunting, atmospheric and soothing. As it happened before, when it comes to Botanist’s creations, I actually feel calmer after listening to the album. It’s an exercise in ingenious craftsmanship and sheer elegance.
A bit more Black Metal oriented, “Hammer of Botany” also feels ethereal and rich, using dulcimers and harmonium, Botanist manages to reach different senses, demonstrating how unique and privileged their music is. The entire set results in an alluring, dazzling and sophisticated work that is more than pleasing to the ears. It indeed feels like a journey, painting images in our minds and creating new worlds to be explored. In a non-cheesy way, “Hammer of Botany” feels magical, almost nostalgic, as to me, it felt like a return to the childhood, even though it presents us the uttermost current metal elements. I can not explain the reason though, as I believe that the sentiments and experiences you have/ face in regards to music are very personal, it also depends on your mood, period of the year, well, many factors, but all I can assure is that I felt carefree and contented while enjoying “Hammer of Botany”. It was indeed enchanting.
The production of “Hammer of Botany” sounds just right for the musical genre (s) that the band crafts. Now, my good friends, I ask you all to check out Botanist music, let yourself be taken away by this release and, if you happen to enjoy this beautiful experience, please, find a way, that is possible for you at the present moment, in order to support and/ or promote this amazing band.
Until next time.
Album: Hammer of Botany (EP – 2015)
Label: The Flenser
- The Footsteps of Spring
- Flame of the Forest
- Upon the Petals of Flowers
- Stachys Olympica
- Pelargonium Triste
Otrebor, D. Neal, R. Chiang, A. L. Golem, Balan
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Verdant.Realm.Botanist
Official Bandcamp: https://verdant-realm-botanist.bandcamp.com/
All photos belong to their rightful owners.April 26, 2015