Album Review

Halfway Through 2013: Look At All These Killer Fucking Records I Missed

For a variety of terrible reasons, I have a hard time writing about records that didn’t get submitted to me for review. That means I come across tons of incredible shit that I don’t make time for on AGB. A lot of the records in this mid-year roundup fall into that category. Regardless of how I found out about them, all of these are 100% awesome and I’ve been playing the fuck out of each and every one of them.

Also, I have a totally bullshit & ever-shifting line that I try not to cross when writing about records that wobbles between how popular the album/band/label is and how much I love the record. This list is made up of stuff I probably would’ve reviewed if I had the time, but there’s a lot I’ve been jamming hard that was “too big” in my eyes for AGB, lots of high profile metal like Deafheaven, Altar Of Plagues, Inter Arma, The Body, etc, and then there’s stuff like William Tyler’s super bitchin Impossible Truth, which, if it didn’t come out on Merge, I most likely would’ve written it up, but then there’s some that regardless of how much press they get, I can’t help but praise the shit out of them. So those are my half-assed rules and what went through my head when making this list.

There’s a few records on here that might make it onto my year end drone list, so if you’re the gamblin type, start up a pool with your pals and maybe you can strike it rich.

Since this is a pretty big list (28 and unranked) I’ve put everything after the jump so it doesn’t clog up the front page. Here’s hoping you find some in here that you haven’t heard of yet.
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Album Review

Botanist – III: Doom In Bloom / Allies (TotalRust, 2012)

BotanistGanoderma Lucidum (TotalRust)

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Fuck yes, alright everyone, pay attention. The one man nature themed hammered dulcimer & drums black metaller is back with his second/third album and he’s gone doom. Dreams can come true. Forget that Pallbearer shit, Doom In Bloom is this year’s best and weirdest doom record. Botanist has kept the two instrument thing for the most part, although I definitely hear some harmonium style reeds in there occasionally. His take on black metal, which is basically “fuck the norms I’ll make my own,” is exactly the same with his doom stylings. Most doom tropes are tossed out while still somehow keeping within the genre. Absolutely amazing stuff. I get some serious Jesu vibes on this, especially the opening track which sounds like it could’ve been a Silver demo, but that’s the closest comparison I can make and it’s a total stretch. Doom In Bloom is dissonant & destructive, with vocals that range between creaking doors & torture victims, epic major key crescendos, wonky lurching brain fucks, rhythms & melodies that make absolutely no sense at first and sound like a fucking wreck, then everything clicks and it’s perfection incarnate.

But wait there’s more! This is a double disc. Allies, the companion, is like some weird covers/remix album, where Botanist gave his buds (GET IT???) the drum tracks for each of the songs and said do what you will, just make sure it’s about nature. So you get some black ambient, black metal, more doom, and all sorts of cool shit, from Matrushka, Cult Of Linnaeus, Ophidian Forest, Arborist, Lotus Thief, and Bestiary, all of which sound nothing like the originals, all of which is totally awesome.

Botanist is kicking so much ass and Doom In Bloom is absolutely incredible. Dude is essentially unstoppable and he’s only put out a few records. Do not miss out on this.