Aug 212017


It’s likely that after six unique albums and a trio of EPs, Botanist has become known to all discriminating and adventurous metal listeners, of whom you are likely one because you are visiting us now. But in case you are a curious explorer finding your way to Botanist for the first time, we’ll provide a brief introduction before sharing with you the title song from the newest Botanist album — Collective: The Shape of He Who Comes — which will be released on September 1 by Avantgarde Music (CD) and Favonian (LP).

As you will learn, this new album is different from its predecessors in some important ways (though every Botanist album has differed in important ways from its predecessors). And to learn about those differences, and much more about the creative process that produced it as well as Botanist’s future plans, we also present an interview of Botanist’s creator and alter ego Otrebor by an Italian examiner who we’ll call “Mene Frago.” Continue reading »

Sep 302016



EDITOR’S INTRO:  Thanks to rendezvous points such as Maryland Deathfest and Migration Fest, we’ve learned that our allies at Metal Bandcamp are not only great writers with dependably good taste in music, they are also very fine human beings. And so it’s with great pleasure that we’re able to bring you this guest review of a fantastic new split by the California one-man projects Botanist and Oskoreien written by Metal Bandcamp’s Justin Collins. We ardently hope this will not be the last time he graces our pages with his words.


A few days ago, Islander gave us a preview of an Oskoreien song from an upcoming split with Botanist. I’ve made no secret of my enthusiasm for Botanist (see here and here and here ad nauseum), so I’m going to delve into Botanist’s side first, with no disrespect meant to Oskoreien.


Most people probably know about Botanist by now, but I always feel compelled to give a beginner’s course when I talk about new Botanist music, because there’s no easy summing up of this project. (If you know this spiel and want to go all “Choose Your Own Adventure,” skip ahead to paragraph 5 now.) Continue reading »

Sep 272016



On October 15, two very interesting and very talented one-man bands from California — Oskoreien and Botanist — will release an album-length split. The Oskoreien side is called Deterministic Chaos; the Botanist side is named Green Metal. Later this week we will be publishing a special guest review of the split, but what we have for you today is the premiere of one of Oskoreien’s two contributions on the split, “Without You I’m Nothing“.

Oskoreien is the alter ego of L.A.-based Jay Valena. This split is Oskoreien’s fourth release overall, with the last being a 2011 self-titled debut album. Along the way, Oskoreien’s music hasn’t followed a single, predictable path, instead reflecting variations in style and strategy. Of the two tracks on Deterministic Chaos, the title song is a 13-minute piece, and the one you’re about to hear is an unusual cover song. Continue reading »

Apr 102015


Yesterday brought a wealth of new music, and I’ve collected a few of the riches in this post. The first three songs are black metal, and the fourth isn’t — but it’s still obsidian and it still rips.


With only an untitled EP in 2011 and a split with Barghest in 2012 — collectively totaling three songs — the Minneapolis black metal band False have established the kind of underground credibility that makes their debut album one of the year’s most highly anticipated releases. For me, “highly anticipated” became an understatement after I saw them perform at last summer’s Gilead Fest in Wisconsin. In a word, the performance was stunning (reviewed here).

Yesterday, Gilead Media announced pre-orders for the album — which is also untitled — and put up the first advance track for streaming on Bandcamp. Continue reading »

Nov 132014


When someone describes an album by telling you that you’ve never heard anything like it before, you may greet such a claim with skepticism. So I’ll just say that I’ve never heard anything quite like Rervm before. It’s the debut album of a San Francisco band named Lotus Thief, and today we bring you the premiere of the album’s second track, “Miseras”.

Lotus Thief consists of two members, Bezaelith (Botanist, Mina Loy, The Night Falls) and Otrebor (Botanist, Ordo Obsidium). The fact that both have been involved in the unique music of Botanist may suggest certain musical associations, but Lotus Thief follows a different musical path, albeit one just as unusual. Continue reading »

Jul 042014


Google Analytics tells me that over the last 30 days 40.10% of the visitors to our site were located in the United States. Because we math like some motherfuckers, we are able to determine that 59.90% of visitors over the last 30 days were from other nations. For them, today is just another day. So we’ll get the obligatory USA! USA! USA! chant out of the way by celebrating one of our nation’s greatest accomplishments on this July 4th via the video above.

Okie dokie, now that we’ve had our Fourth of July celebration, let’s move along to some musical fireworks. Here are four recommended new metal songs that appeared over the last 48 hours.


As we’ve previously reported, Oslo’s Pantheon I have a new album entitled From the Abyss They Rise that’s due for release on August 14 by Non Serviam Records. It includes both an EP’s worth of new songs plus older compositions, including their first demo tracks from a decade ago. Yesterday I caught up to a stream of one of the new songs that appeared on July 2. Continue reading »

Sep 052013

Collected in this post are a handful of tours that I decided were worth mentioning, even though only the first one is within my grasp. I’m trying to be less self-centered. This is like trying to levitate, but I should get points for the effort, don’t you think?


Earlier today we posted Old Man Windbreaker’s review of the entire discography of Botanist. And only now I come to find out that Botanist will be here in The Emerald City at Highline along with two other stellar bands in little more than a month (October 13). One is the brain scrambling Behold… the Arcoptus (featuring Colin Marston on Warr Guitar, Mike Lerner on Guitar Guitar, and Weasel Walter on drums), and the other is Seattle’s own Lesbian, who are riding a big wave of entirely justified attention drawn by their latest album Forestelevision.

But this turns out to be just one stop on a brief West Coast tour by BtA. On October 12, Behold…the Arctopus and Botanist will be playing together with Agalloch and Eight Bells at Day 3 of the Fall Into Darkness festival in Portland (OR). And on October 11 BtA and Botanist will be playing Oakland along with a Bay Area band named Burmese. Continue reading »

Sep 052013

(NCS supporter and occasional contributor Old Man Windbreaker, who is prone to speak of himself using illeism, provides this guest review of the discography of San Francisco’s Botanist.)

Greetings, fellow Great Apes, Proboscideans, and Cetaceans. [Whales and Elephants like Metal, right?] Behold the insane Botanist, from the Verdant Realm. He is an eco-terrorist who lives amongst plants, plays something akin to Black Metal on Drums & Hammered-Dulcimer, and awaits/plots the demise of Humankind. He has produced one music release every year for the past three years. To know more, go to his site.

I: The Suicide Tree

Here is the first album, part of the 2011 debut release from the Botanist. The songs are typically fast and short, the whole album being only around half-an-hour long. But, they don’t invoke an ominous atmosphere in the imagination like Black Metal usually does. On the contrary, these songs are just weird, and often even uplifting. It reminds One of Elvenefris by Lykathea Aflame, because of the odd mix of aggression with melody.

The lyrics feature horrific descriptions of various species, imagined as soldiers in the Botanist’s campaign against humanity. That said, the lyrics are more amusing than horrifying to One, having been a student of biology in high school. Even the description of butterflies and moths as pillaging, raping, savage arseholes in ‘Lepidoptera’ only reminds One of the annoyance that they are when One is sitting in the balcony. Continue reading »

Nov 282012

In my daily ramble through the interhole yesterday probably nothing made my eyes bug out quite as much as the sight of The Acacia Strain’s overturned van, which will force them to pull out of their tour with Veil of Maya but fortunately (and amazingly) left the band with only minor injuries. But a couple of other items were close seconds in the eye-popping competition. I’m including those in this post — new album art for the next releases by Vreid (Norway) and The Botanist (U.S.). I’ve also got for you a brand new song from Vreid and a new song by Maveth (Finland) from their forthcoming album.


Vreid’s last album, V, was extremely good. It made a number of the year-end lists we posted at the close of 2011, including our own Andy Synn’s list of “The Great Albums of 2011”. Summing up his thoughts, Andy called V “a stunningly dynamic series of songs that filter the thrashy energy and classical aspirations of Ride The Lightning-era Metallica through a blackened prism of primal fury.”

So my eyes went wide yesterday when I saw the album art for Vreid’s sixth album, Welcome Farewell, and the news that it will be released by Indie Recordings on February 26 in Europe, February 22 in Germany/Austria, and March 5 in North America. Yesterday Terrorizer also premiered a track from the new album named “The Reap”. I gotta be honest — it surprised me. Continue reading »