The Pitch: Split release between two California solo, experimental black metal projects: guitarless, plant-themed Botanist and the doomier Oskoreien.
What I Like: Who says you need a guitar to make a metal song? Or even a synthesizer for that matter. I am in constant awe of the simultaneously bleak and beautiful sounds Botanist is able to create using distorted hammered dulcimer. Backed by some organic drumming and lo-fi screeches, this is some of the most unique black metal on the scene right now. Oskoreien is comparitively more traditional with its buzzing doom chords, but not something you should skip either. Both the title track and Placebo cover are highly enjoyable with their late 80's industrial vibe fusing with funeral doom leads and wretched howls.
What I Don't Like: My only complaint about this split and much of both bands' other work is that while it is so refreshing, it struggles to be something I can find myself listening to on a regular basis. Now to be fair, I know people who could play this stuff all day long, but my own personal challenge to them is to see if they can find that true sweet spot between avant-garde and marketable. I don't think they are too far off.
The Verdict: To quote a Skinny Puppy track, this is "Nature's Revenge." The flora release sweet pheremones to lure you in, and though there is a sense of dread, one is compelled to walk right into the jaws of this monolithic venus fly trap.
Flight's Fav's: Clathrus Columnatus, Varkoor, Deterministic Chaos