Botanist, San Francisco's one-man black-metal band, the brainchild of Roberto
Martinelli, delivered orgiastic
miniatures for blast-beats, growls and hammered dulcimer on the
double-disc I - The Suicide Tree/ II - A Rose From The Dead (2011)
the double-disc III - Doom In Bloom (Total Rust, 2012).
IV - Mandragora (Flenser, 2013) contains the five-movement suite
Mandragora which veers towards some sick form of shoegazing rock
with brutal vocals and
The style of
VI - Flora (Flenser, 2014) is much more conventional, with the melody
playing a leading role. Opener Stargazer is emblematic of Martinelli's
confusion: a bridge between black metal and pop that satifies neither.
Cinnamomum Parthenoxylon does a much better job of bridging a visceral
and frantic style with whispered alternative. This alternative dominates
dense and dynamic songs such as Pteridophyte and Callistemon,
which are relentless without being manic, peaking with
the gothic atmosphere of Leucadendron Argenteum.
The wedding of blastbeats and slow ecstatic melody, bordering on shoegazing,
is even better realized in Erythronium.
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